Watergeus – Forepeak

16th May 2010 – I continued working in the forepeak, making a wooden frame and drilling holes in the ribs. After many attempts to make something in this area, I believe I’ll finish it this time. At least four times, I tried working in this area. After a few days I start doing something else and I reuse this area for storage. Now, I finally want to make a nice living area for visitors.

Watergeus – Back accommodation

15th May 2010 – I removed all the paint from one side of the back accommodation. That’s the side where the wind is blowing the most and the condition of the ship is the worst…

In t he afternoon, I painted the new woodwork in the entrance and living room.

Watergeus – Living Room

13th May 2010 – There are always small jobs that needs doing. The hold was finished, but a few little details needed doing. One of them was finishing the wood work in the skylight. Well, I’ve just done it.

Frantsis – A first visit

12th May 2010 – A few weeks ago, a friend, one of my neighbours, came to talk about buying a boat together. We talked for hours, had a beer and then all went home. A few days later we started mailing boats we found on the Internet.

Today we went to have a look at a barge, a small Beurtschip. The same shape of hull as the Watergeus but with a small wheelhouse, no accommodation and most likely, she was used as a tanker.

The ship was on land at a yard in Zwartsluis. Zwartsluis has many yards, on one of them the Watergeus was lengthened in 1962. After driving for over 4 hours, we arrived. At first sight, she was looking good. There was not much known on the barge. The engine was there, but condition unknown. The hold was filled with a lot of stuff and there were as a lot of work on the hull. At the other side, the size was good and the bottom of the ship as well. She had been doubled.

Since we were now having a lot of questions, we made no decision, and returned to Bruges. We shall see the next coming days what the future brings…

Another ship, part II

12th May 2010 – A few weeks ago, a friend, one of my neighbours, came to talk about buying a boat together. We talked for hours, had a beer and then all went home. A few days later we started mailing boats we found on the Internet.

Today we went to have a look at a barge, a small Beurtschip. The same shape of hull as the Watergeus but with a small wheelhouse, no accommodation and most likely, she was used as a tanker.

The ship was on land at a yard in Zwartsluis. Zwartsluis has many yards, on one of them the Watergeus was lengthened in 1962. After driving for over 4 hours, we arrived. At first sight, she was looking good. There was not much known on the barge. The engine was there, but condition unknown. The hold was filled with a lot of stuff and there were as a lot of work on the hull. At the other side, the size was good and the bottom of the ship as well. She had been doubled.

Since we were now having a lot of questions, we made no decisions  and returned to Bruges. We shall see the next coming days what the future brings…

Cleaning the Ontario

9th May 2010 – The next day looking at a project is a lot different then the first moment. Now you realise how much energy it will cost, certainly when you wake up with pain in the back, neck and head.

I decided to do it a bit more relaxed today. I made a little mast for the bow of the ship. A boat with no mast and flags doesn’t look right. My parents came to eat so I only worked in the afternoon, starting with making a small inventory of what needs doing in Bruges:

  • Making the engine to run
  • Cleaning the outside
  • Emptying the back accommodation

The more I looked around, the more I got fascinated they way the Ontario was built, the details in the den and boeisel. So I started chipping rust till it came dark.

Also some more water was pumped out. She is no longer having a list, but is now taking my light in the living room.

 

Moving the Ontario

8th May 2010 – The first day of three intensive weeks: making the Ontario ready for sailing after ten years. We started at 8 and we ended at 9 O’clock in the evening. Continuously working, but the result was good to me. Lest start at the beginning.

Since the engine is not running we moved the ship by hand like in the old days. A small boat with a 4hp outboard tried helping. It wasn’t very easy and I had underestimated the strength you need to pull a ship. Jagen, as it is called in Dutch, was very common in the early days before barges had engines.

Watergeus – Deck and front cabin

7th May 2010 – In the evening I started with wood work in the front accommodation. Since the weather was rather looking good, I continued on the deck till late. The I realized I still had to do some preparations for the job tomorrow.

What can be saved must be saved

4th May 2010 – I have mentioned it before and it was an idea that had been playing in my head for the last couple of months: Saving the Ontario from the scrapyard. The Ontario is a 1924 built spits barge from the famous Belgian yard Jos Boel & Zn in Temse. This marvelous ship with a MAN 3 cylinder slow running engine, had been at the scrapyard before.

This vessel later returned to Bruges and had been vandalized ever since. Besides a fire, she was cut loose on several occasions and even made it into the local newspaper a few times…

The last couple of months, I had been in talk with several people to find out more about the history of the boat, yard visits, etc… Since the project would demand me to much time and I didn’t have any budget, A friend of mine bought the ship.

We will put it along the Watergeus for a short period, before it leaves for the Netherlands. At least, she will be saved from the scrapyard and this had been my intention from day one!

Watergeus – BBQ

1st May 2010 – Today was a nice day, the first BBQ of 2010 aboard the Watergeus. The weather was not exactly good, but it certainly didn’t ruin the event!

In the morning I built the party tent and yes, a cheap thing can do its work! Even much better then my construction.