Author: frederic - page 92

Helping each other with frozen pipes

5th February 2012 – Feeling slightly better, I decided to work on the Hornblower. Sorting out the wood in the back area was my first priority. While working, both of my neighbours called for frozen pipes. I gave them a hand. I can’t remember it being so cold last year…

The canal is still frozen and as the weather conditions aren’t becoming any better, I believe we will have more issues then a few frozen pipes.


When 600kg of steel is leaning to one side of the ship…

Hornblower – Cleaning the back area of the ship

5th February 2012 – Since it is to cold to work on the engine or to weld the plates and ribs for the wheelhouse , I cleaned the back area where all the wood is stored. I want to measure the area and make some plans for the conversion. I put some more blankets around to keep the heat in the engine room. Heating a a ship which has no insulation will cost me some money. Replacing an engine is more expensive!

Hornblower – Ice

2nd February 2012 – Ice was formed around the hull and inside the boat. On Monday I noticed condensation was frozen to the windows. I was more worried when I discovered there was ice in the cooling system of the engine. I quickly bought an extra heater to heat the engine room.

Freezing cold!

2nd February 2012 – Yesterday I had put an extra electric heater in the engine room of the Watergeus near the boiler and water pump. Today I went to the shop for another heater. This time it was for the engine of the Hornblower. The cooling outlet was frozen. I’m to much worried about damage. It might not be to effective to have a heater running in a boat with no insulation. Nevertheless, it is now only 0°C near the engine, better then minus 7°C.

Hornblower – Metal floor

31st January 2012 – The metal floor for the wheelhouse is taking much longer then I expected. I don’t have the right equipment for cutting the sheets to the right size. It took me more then one hour to cut a plate in half with a small grinding disk.

Hornblower – Sheet in position

24th January 2012 – My father came to give me a hand for the metal sheets, each of them around 100kg. One had to move 4cm but I could no longer do it myself, since it started bending and sliding underneath a rib instead of above it. The other sheets had to switch side of the boat.

I cleaned some more of the bilges. I’m starting to doubt whether I’ll make it for a trip in March. There is still so much to do and I don’t have that much time.

Hornblower – Spending € 100 for one box of engine room stuff!

18th January 2012 – One of the first items in the engine room that need to be done is mounting a cable to switch of the engine. Now I need to grab a small piece of metal and lift it. While you lift it, the diesel pump no longer gets any fuel and the engine stops. It works fine, but this little leaver is next to the exhaust. It caused me already a few burning wounds on my arm.

To guide the cable I need some wheels and their supports. I also need a steel cable, preferably rvs. The gearbox need changing oil again, the cables from the starter motor towards the batteries need replacing. The water pipe from the engine to the outside is rotten. All these small things cost me over hundred EURO, without mounting them. So I was right, their is no such thing as a cheap boat (Blog, 16th January 2012).

Before I can mount the wheels, I need to weld some more ribs. I believe when the engine room is finished, she will be one of the most solid boats I’ve ever owned so far!

Hornblower – Bilge cleaning and measuring

17th January 2012 – Making a plan behind a desk is a common mistake. You often have to base yourself on how you think it looks like. With a tape measure in the hand, you are often surprised.

I made a few drawings for the supports of the cooling system. The electricity needs to be redone as well.

The big sheets that cover the engine room are bending a little bit since their are not enough supports to hold them. When the Hornblower was converted for yachting, they bolted a rib every meter, which is not enough. On the side of the sheets, I’m mounting a L-profile to strengthen the plates. It is another job that will take a few evenings.

Last night I made a checklist of 12 items I still need to do before her first trial in the canal. I want to make trip at the beginning of March, probably the 3rd or 10th March. Their is only one condition: everything must work reliable and the weather should be fine!