13th May 2007 – Went visiting a spits barge for sale of a friend of mine. She had seen the boat before and planned to buy it. She made a temporary contract, both parties signed. She made a nice deal. I’m hoping her barge will be moored in front of me. It is a nicely maintained Plaquets spits from 1944.
12th May 2007 – Besides the wood we also need screws and metal plates for holding the structure. We went looking for them in the afternoon.
In the morning I was in Merelbeke for taking pictures of spits barges and others a the locks. We also started thinking on skylights in the hatches. A few months ago I have written an article on this subject, but I haven’t done it myself, so I’m afraid of the expenses that will follow.
11th May 2007 – At four o’clock they brought the first load of wood, for the supports of the floor. Two of my colleagues were kind enough for helping me. We slide the wood true a porthole in the cargo hold. It didn’t look much wood for the price I paid. We will start next weekend creating the floor.
10th May 2007 – I helped making up a contract for a friend. I’m always used in making contracts for selling a boat, it was a bit harder to make one for buying a boat that will become available in the next few months. An article on how to make contracts will follow in the next couple of weeks on Living Afloat.
9th May 2007 – Last night was great, until the burglar alarm of the Aldi shop at the other side of the dock went off, at 2 O’clock. It continued working for over an hour, I never noticed police. Yesterday was a disturbed night, today again, I’m starting to feel it, but hey I have chosen to live on a boat in Bruges.
When I got back from work, I noticed that two boats behind me, the spits had returned from a holiday, as I taught. I went talking to him and discovered he went to the shipyard for his 5 years periodic dry-dock and cleaning. The price was so high, he decided to go to another shipyard in a few weeks time. In the mean time he returned back to his mooring. I found it really sad for him. So far, I’m one of the only people that didn’t have any major problems with a shipyard.
He also told me shipyard Caron in Zelzate, well known for his repairs on house boats and commercial vessels as well, doesn’t take boats that are to heavy ballasted. I had heard that before and therefore find it interesting mentioning on this website. See also my article on dry-docking the Watergeus in May 2006.
In my cargo hold, I discovered four leaks, three of them relative big. Water came in quickly. The porthole didn’t leak anymore.
While writing this section, I heard a boat in the background. Again it was a replica, but the owner seemed to have known the boat while she was commercially. Sadly they opened the bridge, or I would have gotten more time to talk with him. Vaguely, I think to know that man, but I’m not sure…
8th May 2007 – The storm went down in the morning but was in the evening again as worse as yesterday. It might not have been necessary for me to put an extra rope at 2 o’clock in the morning.
After getting back from work I made a temporary floor for the people coming on Friday to help carrying in the wood. It took me a small hour to shift some plates and lay them down, stable enough to walk on.
7th May 2007 – A big storm is coming up an when i got back from work I noticed it. I certainly moved backward a 40cm. If the weather continues like that I might even start changing the ropes.
I also checked the cargo hold for possible rain but only two places were leaking, porthole that wasn’t closed to well and a window or a small leak in the filler. Not sure yet. At the other hand, it really didn’t rain that much.
6th May 2007 – Mainly enjoyed the last day of nice weather. April was dry, so were the first days of May. No rain at all!!! But tomorrow it will change, they say. I found this a good reason for relaxing outside…
Since I was feeling guilty I continued in the bilges and removing some more of the original floor. The whole kitchen living room and corridor are clear and cleaned.
When I start my generator, normally I can’t, I need to give myself completely and after a few times trying she starts. This time, I turned the handle once and she started. I nearly hadn’t enough time to remove the handle. I think the air filter is the problem. This time I sprayed the start pilot straight in the middle and not through the air filter. I let her ran for an hour. Why? Since those fishermen at the other side don’t give me any privacy.
5th May 2007 – Last week I contacted several wood stores to check their prices for the wood needed for the floor. Today I visited the two cheapest ones. Since the first one changed his prices from the one discussed over the phone and because they have always been so friendly I went to the other shop and ordered the wood straight away. It will most likely be delivered on Friday.
I estimated, and so I planned the budget, that the floor would cost me around 3000 euros. At this moment, is nearer the 4000 and I still haven’t everything…
Again several boats have passed since I was aboard. I’m thinking of creating a section on this website called ‘boats spotted along my barge…’. I’m not sure yet.
In the afternoon I cleaned the cargo hold and made some free space for the 75 wooden studs that will be delivered. In the meantime my parents painted the inside tube of the big portholes. We took white as colour so the light can easily shine through and give more light. They also finished the holes between the deck and hatches. The whole process of closing this holes will be written in a separate article in the near future.
4th May 2007 – In the late evening the floor of the back accommodation was cleaned with a special wood product, so it shines again nicely.
1st May 2007 – Finally, the electricity has been finished, taking up some more hours then expected. A small light in the kitchen and two more sockets were placed today.
In the afternoon, we finished closing the holes between the hatches and the den. After Pe and polyester, we closed the remaining gaps with some kind of filler.
29th April 2007 – Cleaning the cargo hold is a boring job, but it needs to be done. In the afternoon the electrician came for finishing the electricity.
28th April 2007 – Last weekend we filled the holes between the hatches and the den with PE. Today we continued on the other side. From the outside we added polyester to make sure everything is nicely closed.
In the afternoon I cleaned some more of the cargo hold. In the evening I placed a chain and a door bell on the gangway.
In the evening I ran the engine for about 15 minutes. it’s good to run your engine from time to time, unfortunately I had stop since wooden planks were drifting to the propeller.
31st March 2007 – Instead of working on my own boat I visited some friends in Sluiskil and helped working on a boeieraak. It is a lovely boat. If I had some more money I would have bought her for using as a workshop. She has such a nice original looking line, a real museum piece!
I also bought a new rope for my boat, since a few of them had their best life…
25th March 2007 – Besides going to the engine room and discovering the stairs were still wet I didn’t do much on the boat. When having a house boat under construction, you need to take a break from time to time. I think that’s the best advice I can give…