Author: frederic - page 61

Hornblower – Welding

16th May 2012 – I continued welding the floor in the wheelhouse of the Hornblower. It’s taking a lot of time and it becomes boring. I want to finish this job before I go to the yard. I’ll see how far I’m getting…

Hornblower – Welding and fire

12th May 2012 – The bedroom is divided from the wheelhouse. Since I want the ship to has it strengths again for when another ship would more alongside, I’m extending a part of the bulkhead to the ceiling of the bedroom. A second reason for this metal part of the boat is that it can now carry some floating cabinets for my clothes and other stuff.

While welding the plate, some sparks must have touched dust in the engine room. The bilges were on fire in no time. Gray and black smoke started appearing out of the boat. I had nothing else but some buckets of water to kill the fire. It is certainly not recommended pouring water on oil, but it helped. The damage is reasonable seen to the flames that appeared.

A few pipes of the engine melted and everything is in black smoke. It will take some time to clean the engine room. It could have been much worse!

In the afternoon I gave up welding and cutting. I did some wood work for a while till I had enough of it for the day!

Hornblower – Metal profiles

15th May 2012 – Converting a boat is expensive. Last weekend I had to buy some L-shaped metal profiles. When you look on second hand sites, you find a lot of stuff. I found some profiles, but they were meters long. I bought eight of them for half the price of what I paid last weekend in the shop. It was not very practical carrying them on my roof rack but I made it safely back home!

Hornblower – Welding

8th May 2012 – The plates in the floor of the wheelhouse are welded. I now need to cut the remaining pieces and put them in. Since the weather is terrible, I’ll have to wait to cut the sheets in the right size.

Hornblower – Painting the engine room

6th May 2012 – I’ve painted one side of the engine room with a white primer. They told me it is a good paint, the smell made me really sick! I had to empty the old fuel tank and got some diesel in my moth while trying to fill a hose. Working on a boat is not always pretty!


With some help of my neighbour we lowered the fuel tanks in the engine room. Since they didn’t fit, I had to cut one support of the wheelhouse floor.

The engine room is 3,10m long, the fuel tanks are 1,50m each. Not much room left, but they are the maximum I could get in! I know have around 800 liters of fuel storage for the engine. This should take me somewhere!

Welding can start again! I’ve just rewelded the support and stitched the plate in position. the rest will be done later this week.

Hornblower – Cleaning the wheelhouse

5th May 2012 – Since I need to lower the fuel tanks in the engine room, I started by cleaning the wheelhouse. After working a few months on the front area, most of the stuff was stored in the wheelhouse.

In the afternoon, I worked in the bathroom. Sometimes, I like to work with wood instead of always welding and cutting sheets of metal. I did a little of t&g to finish the bathroom walls.

Hornblower – Welding

28th April 2012 – Because it was raining, I started welding the wheelhouse floor of the Hornblower. The idea is to make sure no smell or fumes can leave the engine room into the living area of the ship. One thing is already sure, the Hornblower is become a solid ship. The amount of metal added to make her stronger, she will be able to cross rough waters!

Hornblower – Welding

28th April 2012 – The floor of the wheelhouse is bolted, so are the L-shape profiles. The bolts were to keep everything in position. Together with the hatch, everything needs to be welded. I ‘ve started today. I’ll see how long it will take.

Watergeus – Metal box for the generator

27th April 2012 – With the little nice weather in the coming days, I finished welding the generator box on the front of the Watergeus. Now it still needs a cover and some decent paint. I’m not sure yet how to mount the exhaust.

In the afternoon, with some neighbours, we had a a beer and a laugh. A boat community is a very close group of people with the same sorrows and moments of happiness!

Hornblower – Hatch

25th April 2012 – The hatch for the wheelhouse floor is now in the right position. That sounds like a small job, but it did take me a few hours. One the major problems on small boats is space. I had to move around half of the stuff rom the wheelhouse…

Maybe I should start collecting less!

Hornblower – Generator aboard

23rd April 2012 – I lowered the generator into the Hornblower. She will supply me of electricity when the batteries are death or when I need extra power. I’ve chosen for a Hatch engine again. They are very reliable. It is a full set, I only need to mount the exhaust to the outside of the boat.

Since there are already a few holes on that side, It is all about just welding a pipe to the exhaust bit.

So far, I have owned the Hornblower for one year. I have done a lot of work. The idea was to finish her in three years time. Now, one year is gone and I believe I certainly need another year before she is ready for cruising in France. The idea of only working in the weekend is gone. Every evening I’m doing something. At the moment, the ‘cheap jobs’ are almost done. I’m going to the yard in less then one month with the Watergeus, so I need to save as much money as possible.

In London

21st -22nd April 2012 – I left Bruges in the early Saturday morning, heading for London. Every year I visit the boats at Brentford, taking some pictures, talk to the people and give a hand if necessary. The difference with the boats over here and in London is that people really live on them. They use the boat to the maximum as possible. Some of them even had nice gardens on the roof, etc… Since the weather was good and the people were friendly it was a great time!

On Sunday I made a walk on the muddy beach, taking some more detailed pictures of the barges.