Frantsis – Drawing plans

17th July 2010 –  The bathroom in the Watergeus was finished last year, but a little step to get into it wasn’t made yet. A small job I did this morning.

The good thing about our project is partly we think before we do! With the Watergeus, I did while I was thinking. The more negative side of this is I made another plan for the conversion.

So at this moment, I would need four little barges like the Frantsis, because every plan we make has some potential. To be continued…

Watergeus – Front deck

15th July 2010 – It was getting time to work on the Watergeus again. A ship needs maintenance and somebody to take care of her. The front deck was cleaned and painted, or at least a part of it. Where rust was coming through on the spots I did earlier this year, I brushed the metal and put a new coat of primer.

Frantsis – Cleaning the hold

6th July 2010 – Just like any other day, cleaning the bilges and the sides of he ship. While doing so, you learn to know your ship like no other. I discovered small supports on the ribs that were riveted. Since the ship had been altered so many times, I only base myself on the riveted parts. Through these supports, a metal bar was running. I asked a friend (Pieter Klein from Binnenvaarttaal) why there were used for. These bars were mounted to hold the cattle. The highest bar for cows, the smaller one for smaller animals such as sheep, ….

The emptier the hold the bigger she is looking. The Frantsis has a real special shape. The widest part is the bulkhead between the front accommodation and the hold. Towards the back (and engine room) she goes smaller again.

Frantsis – Taking out a metal box

5th July 2010 – Yesterday evening, four people helped me getting that big box out of the hold. It was now on deck of the Frantsis, but I wanted it on the foredeck of the Watergeus. On the foredeck is a big anchor chain of 80 meters, a spare one in case something happens with one of mine. It was covered under a sail, but there were a few problems. It wasn’t looking nice, rain could still get to the chain (it was greased) and it blocked the passage through the front deck.

I moved the box along the gangway to the foredeck, it took me an hour. Once in position, the anchor chain was put in the box, the box closed and I had an extra bench to sit. The rest of the deck was clean. I still need to paint the box, but my body asked me to stop working.

Frantsis – A perfect deck

4th July 2010 – A few neighbours came over for a drink. Since the deck of the Frantsis is always clear, I don’t like to have a messy boat next to me after the Ontario has left, there is enough space for people to sit comfortable on the water. I’m now pretty much convinced when converting a boat to make sure there is enough space to sit outside!

Frantsis – Cleaning bilges

2nd July 2010 – I continued cleaning the bilges, the fore peak is now cleaned. Some concrete was removed as well. There are three big items left in the hold that are impossible to be moved by one person. One of them is an empty box, used as a storage unit. It is a 6mm thick box I want to reuse on the Watergeus. I tried lifting it out, used a few ropes and a winch but still unsuccessful. In the end I gave up and continued doing what I’m good at: removing rust!

Frantsis – BBQ

30th June 2010 – Working day after day on a barge is long gone for me. I have done it to many times. You need to take at least one evening of during the week where you don’t work on your ship! We had a little BBQ aboard the Frantsis.

Frantsis – Chipping away some old concrete

29th June 2010 – At some point, they had pored concrete in the bow of the Frantsis. during the years this concrete had become loose, or some of it . Because of the rust, some of it was pushed away from the hull. It wasn’t looking right and it could cause problems in the future if water would get to it. therefore I decided to remove most of it. After one evening of work, some of it was gone. The remaining part will be removed with the right equipment..

Frantsis – Forepeak

28th June 2010 – To my knowledge, the fore peak was the dirtiest place on the Frantsis. The engine room may be a bit greasy, but the amount of dust, rust and nails and screws in the bilges is tremendous. By the end of the evening, the front was lifted around 10cm out of the water. My parents will come tomorrow to take as many bags with rust with them as their car can hold.

Frantsis – Removing wood

27th June 2010 – While most wood was already removed, some was still aboard. I took it out and gave it to a few neighbours. Temperatures were high and the wood heavy, so it took me nearly all morning. I had plans to do more, but that will be for another time.

Frantsis – Cleaning the hold

26th June 2010 – There are still many tools and boxes with useful stuff in the hold. I took them out and put them in the engine room of the Watergeus. If I continued to collect stuff the way I’m doing now, very soon I might buy a bigger barge.

Arma – Official opening

25th June 2010 – A longtime ago I helped a few people finding a barge. They would use her as a centre for young people. I recommended them the Arma, a strongly built maatkast with the look of a Luxe Motor. More on that ship, the Arma, can be found here and here.

Today it was the official opening of the barge, and I was invited. It felt good to see a successful project!