Watergeus – Floating again

2nd August 2006 – The Watergeus is finally floating again. Fully repaired, she was launched from De Schroef at 10:00am. I visited her a couple of hours later and she looked very good. I believe today is a very important day in the history of the Watergeus, or at least to me.

It is not buying the boat that is important, but the maintenance and the yard visits that make her special (and valuable)!

Watergeus – At the yard

21-22-23th July 2006 – A long weekend, three days of hard work with an average temperature of 42°C. Since Tuesday the rudders had been repainted. They look much better now!

 

The second part of the Technical room was painted. I put the metal floor back in that space. Since this area is clean now, I decided to move my engine spare parts from the engine room. Everything looks clean now, so it gives me a more comfortable feeling. I don’t like working in a messy engine room.

At the other end of the boat, the bilges were cleaned and painted. Next week, I put a floor in that area as well. It is to dangerous to walk on the ribs, one moment of not paying attention is enough to fall and break a leg.

Watergeus – Welding at the yard

11th July – I checked the repair works at the yard. They had started mounting some plates to the bottom of the ship. At noon, the yard called me. Since their was a risk of fire and the men of the yard saw smoke coming out of the boat, they wanted a key, so they could inspect the boat if their would be a fire risk…

Watergeus – Living at the yard

7-8-9th July 2006 – The boat was dry-docked on 4th July 2006 for repairs. She was still looking good. Since my neighbour was on holiday with his boat, I had plenty of time to work on my ship. I started cleaning the part of the cargo hold, closest to the engine room. This section was also covered with oil from her period pre December 2005.

 

After cleaning the bilges and the sides, the old electricity was removed and a new coat of paint was added. This part of the boat will become the Technical space with water tanks and generator.

Sleeping was again no option, so I worked all night. That’s the good thing about shore power, even when it is dark, you can continue to work. Some lights and music were enough for me to finish one corner.

Watergeus – Cleaning the bilges

1-2nd July 2006 – I didn’t work that much this weekend. I had some problems of a shoulder injury. The previous owner came by and it was to hot to work. At least, I cleaned the last parts of the engine room floor. It was a bit more then I thought, another 300 liters… Now you can eat from it!!!

I cleaned my deck, tidied up my ropes and started the engine. The best advice I could give to you: run your engine at leas every three months for an hour or more. That should keep her running for a long time!

The weather was so nice, I decided to take a swim around my ship. She looked so massive from the water. Sadly I don’t have a water prove camera.

 

Watergeus – Cleanup weekend

17th-18th June 2006 – A ‘clean-up’ weekend, in which I got rid of most of the oil in my engine room. After cleaning most of it, I could again see the rivets on the bottom of the vessel. More then 600 liters of old fuel and contaminated water were hovered out and put into oil tins. A job that took most of the time during that weekend. A total of over 1200 liters were removed and I’m pretty sure, there is still some left!

Furthermore, the front cabin was painted. I chose a light color to make it look bigger. Because of the temperature, the paint dried very quickly. At the end of the evening, I was already able to put all my stuff and ropes back.

Watergeus – A lovely weekend

9-10-11 June 2006 – A lovely weekend, very hot. Outside 29° C and inside… 48°C. It was just that bit too hot to work inside. Anyway, I removed the old electricity of the cargo hold and the front cabin. These wires were working, but no good for the future. They took a lot of space and became a problem for painting. The tube was welded to the side, so I would loose a lot of space, when finishing the sides with wood on a later stage.

The front cabin was painted on the outside in the cargo hold and the floor of the front cabin.

It was also the first time I saw the vessel painted. She looked great. She definitively needs another coat, but the first layer was good! I wish they would have repaired her before putting the boat back in the water. At the other hand, now I will be able to see her dry-docking twice.

Watergeus – Cleaning the engine room

21th May 2006 – I started cleaning the engine room. In December, when I first started working on the boat, for the previous owner, all the water, contaminated with oil, was pumped into the engine room. Now I stated putting everything in empty cans. At the end of the day, I ran out of cans, already filled all of them for nearly 300 liters. At least another 600 liters are in the bilges…

Watergeus – Next day on the yard: the survey

16th May 2006 – The yard has so many lights, the barge in front of me has a very nice search light in his mast, so does the one next to me. This made it impossible for me to sleep. Another hard day for me, so seemed later.

Early in the morning, I made a walk around my boat. The skipper from the Remi showed some weak places on the hull. It worried me a bit. At 9 o’clock, I started cleaning the anchor winch.

 

At 11 O’clock the man who had to measure the hull thickness (and give me a certificate) arrived. He needed nearly six hours to measure the whole boat. After only half an hour, he discovered the first bad area, a couple more would follow…

At the end of the day, two plates at the bottom and four on the sides needed to be replaced. Looks like a small job, but expensive enough.

Watergeus – Going to the yard

15th May 2006 – A major step in her preservation and conversion to a houseboat is her dry-docking in Sluiskil. During the night of 14th-15th May, I had to stay up all night to refill the generator every three hours. The batteries were so flat, the main engine couldn’t start anymore…

The quality of the picture is not good, due to the smoke of the broken exhaust of the generator in the cargo hold.

At 8 o’clock in the morning, we started the engine without trouble, something that didn’t work the day before. The ship had to turn in the Canal before she could set sail to the yard. Since she has no cargo, her propeller was halve above the water. This made it very hard to navigate her.

We arrived half an hour later at the yard. When contacting the yard to know if we could go to the slip, they told us to wait, there were problems with the slipway, a rail and a cable were broken. We moored next to the 1957 built Remi, another inland barge. The delay was 4 hours. In the meantime, to save fuel we turned off the engine, a decision we regretted later…

When the previous ship was launched and some of the slipway repaired, our ship was allowed to go to the slip. While trying to start the main engine we discovered the batteries were flat again. So we drove to a ship, asking for their power charger. In no time the engine started and the Watergeus went on the slip. 15 minutes later, the boat was dry-docked.

The ship was cleaned in the afternoon and I returned to the boat in the late evening to take some pictures of her hull.

Watergeus – Cleaning the bilges

5th & 6th May 2006 – Two days of hard work, in which I decided to put some paint on the hull of my boat, so she didn’t look that rusty anymore. She used to be sand blasted four years ago and had been put back in the water without any coat of paint.

I also cleaned some of the bilges of the cargo hold. They were still partly filled with oil and old leaves.

Watergeus – Belgische meetbrief

4th May 2006 – Today, two employees of the Belgian Government came to measure my boat, so I could register it again as a Belgian boat. The whole operation took three hours. It was a kind of a joke, they re measured the boat three times and had three different results.

After they measured the boat, the new BR-number was bashed into the hull on four locations, twice on the side, one on the bow and one on the back.