Watergeus – Removing rust on the waterline

22nd October 2018 – While my parents removed the paint from the bow, I continued chipping rust from the waterline at the stern of the vessel. I did around 7 meters and both rudders. Once finished, I put a coat of primer on it. She starts to look like a red hull.

While chipping rust from the rudders, I made a hole. It has to be welded as well.

Am I happy about the Tercoo discs? Yes! They do their work as promised. In some areas where there is a lot of tar, they fail, but I think most methods would get stuck in it. For removing hard rust, I have the feeling you need to push a little harder, but this not good for the disc itself. If you have a flat surface and you want to remove paint quickly, Tercoo is good. If it is an area with a lot of pitting, sandblasting would be better.

Watergeus – Rotterdam and cleaning the waterline

21st October 2018 – In the morning I went to Rotterdam to visit the skipper who used to own Tordino when she was a sleepschip. He had several objects and documents for my museum. During his years of working with cargo, he collected a sample on every cargo that was ever in the hold of his boats. He gave me around thirty boxes with that cargo. It will become a center piece in my museum. On the way back I picked up a ship model for my museum. It is a model of a sailing klipper. A hand made model, nearly 100 years old.

In the afternoon, there was only on job I could do: remove rust from the waterline. It is not a job I can do when I’m Bruges, it is not a nice job to do, you are dirty in less then five minutes and it is a noisy job.

Watergeus – Cleaning the waterline

20th October 2018 – Realising I won’t have enough zinc primer, I drove back to Antwerp to get some more. I bought everything they had to make sure I have enough. Since I also cleaned the decks with their high pressure machine, I can paint them as well.

The rest of the afternoon, I spent chipping the hull and removing rust. I did a part of the stern and a lot of rust came off. I even discovered another weak rivet.

Watergeus – Survey

19th October 2019 – At 10 o’clock, the surveyor arrived. He had a look at my paperwork, went to see the wheelhouse and the engine room. Then he came back in and started writing. my navigation lights had to be replaced and I need to mount an AIS.

Then we continued on the hull survey. For the first time, I didn’t use a grinding disc but a disc used to remove paint from cars. Since cares are built thin, it doesn’t take metal, just paint. A disc costs around 9 EURO. I bought two discs, and they were each mounted on a grinder. So I could easily swap without having to use a spanner or anything else.

Halfway my ship I ran out on the first disc. With the second disc I didn’t get that far since the surveyor marked more points at the back of the ship. It was understandable since the back of the ship looked very bad. A lot of rust and some deep pitting in the plates. At the end I used a big grinding disc. Once the grinding was finished I walked away and started talking with my neighbours. I didn’t want to know the values of the measuring. Halfway the hold, I did have a look and all the thickness measurements were above 5 mm. Great! The more he got to the back of the ship the happier I became. I didn’t have to remove any interior. Even the engine room was good. The first plate I had to mount was around an old pipe. I could live with it. The next plate was above the tunnel of the shaft. Fine to me. The third and last plate was where I made a hole in the hull. Besides those three plates, I had to weld five rivets. I never had such a good survey in my life!

Part of his recommendations was to clean the waterline thoroughly and protect it well. Something I started doing that evening after I called a few friends and told them the result of the survey.

I am using a Tercoo disc on a drilling machine to remove the rust and old tar. On their website, the company calls it the best thing after sandblasting. It are expensive discs, so I hope it will be worth it.

Watergeus – Removing rust

18th October 2018 – The surveyor had another job, so I started hammering the hull. I removed the biggest parts of the rust until I went through the hull in the engine room above the shaft tunnel.

In the afternoon, I continued cleaning the hull with the waterblasting machine.


Watergeus on the slipway

16th October 2018 – What should have been an easy day became a long and slow process of getting the Watergeus on the slipway. I arrived at 8 o’clock, my skipper one hour later. The engine was running, I woke up my neighbour and he also started the engine.

The fridge and freezer were off because some skipper had decided to unplug me in favour of his ship. I can throw away all my food.

First, they had to move a spits barge with a dismantled engine, then they had to block a steilsteven, , unblock a spits and launch it in the water. Halfway the operation, it was lunch break. It took another two hours before they pulled the Watergeus out of the water.

Cleaning the hull is a job they will do tomorrow. There is to much work on the yard.
When I got back from the shop to get some new food, I started chipping the bollards. Since there are no ropes around them, it is the perfect time.

My new neighbour has a lovely steilsteven. A very nicely shaped vessel. Nice to look at and friendly people.

Tordino – Open in the afternoon

14th October 2018 – A bit of relaxing today, I spent most of my time aboard Tordino, who was open to the public. I was working in the Library sorting out magazines and making a plan for extending the exhibition space by adding a few walls.

Terra Nova dag

13th October 2018 – Some more sleep would have been better, but I didn’t want to miss the Terra Nova Dag in Maassluis.

Besides being aboard on Hollands nicest Luxe motor, I went to visit the tugs Hudson and Furie. Maassluis is a small harbour with several tugs open to the public. In the old town hall is a museum about the Dutch towage history. I was short in time, but it was very interesting to see. Everything is run by volunteers and this makes it even more valuable.

We had a good meal aboard the Terra Nova before heading home. A nice and successful day!


Pictures of both tugs will follow when I’m back from the yard.

Arma – Towing to the yard

12th October 2018 – At 6 o’clock in the evening I got a phone call that the tugboat would arrive in half an hour. I was still aboard the Tordino, so I drove to Bruges. I was just in time to climb aboard, undo the ropes and see how the tug pulled us off as we left the mooring.

The rudders were not straight and there was no option in turning them since the hydraulic and electric system were dead. After removing the hydraulic pressure by cutting the pipes, we managed to move the rudders with a wooden beam.

Once Bruges was behind us, we went aboard the tug for the rest of the journey. Rob, the skipper, gave us some food and seven hours later,we arrived at the yard.

A nice journey, just enough time to drive to Bruges, pick up my car and return to Tordino.

Arma – Small jobs

11th October 2018 – There is a chance the Arma will go to the yard tomorrow. I still had to tighten the shaft as it will be towed. The people working on the Arma took most expensive objects in safety and removed the railing around the ship and the gangways. Saved me a lot of time!

Trying to fix the engine of the neighbour

7th October 2018 – The Watergeus is not the only ship that needs to get to the yard. My neighbour in Beernem tried getting to the yard at the beginning of September, but had some cooling issues with the engine. 

We had a second look today, but with no success. At least we know how the pumps work, but we didn’t manage to get enough air into the bottles.

If only we could turn this factory into a maritime museum. So many levels, so much space….

Watergeus – Didn’t sleep at all

7th October 2018 – I didn’t sleep at all! To many boats passing by, to many waves, to much shaking around. When I was back from Aalter, I started working on another content project for Museumschip Tordino. I didn’t have the energy for working aboard the Watergeus. Maybe tomorrow evening.