25th January 2007 – This website moved to its new location: http://www.livingafloat.com. ‘Living Afloat’ will also become more then just a site on my boat. You’ll discover more in the future!
21st January 2007 – Today, an extra diesel tank was placed aboard my boat. I sold my spare Lister engine and the anchor from the back was moved forward.
The spare tank will be used for the heater in the living room (has to be build). It is now still the moment to put everything aboard the boat. Once in Bruges, there is no crane barge in the area.
20th January 2007 – Last week, I ordered some rubber to put on the den to protect the hatches. I will put it on just before leaving Bruges when all welding works are finished.
Besides cleaning the bilges, the technical room was repainted in a lighter colour. Last year I painted it black, not knowing what intentions I had with that room. The welder continued putting on the other windows.
In the afternoon, we drawed the lines for the six windows, mentioned in December 2006. those six windows are slightly curved and much more difficult to place. It is hard to miss with a porthole, but those windows, if one is wrong, you’ll notice straight away.
This job took us over three hours. Trying from the inside and from the outside. In the end, we worked from the eye and didn’t measure anymore. If it looks right for the eye then it was good. There is nothing straight on a boat, so what to use as a fixed point…
19th January 2007 – This afternoon I arrived in Sluiskil. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it earlier. There was indeed no damage to my ship. The neighbour had lost his name sign on the bow and some paint. Instead he is now having some blue fishing boat paint…
While I was there, I started working, painting my anchor, which I was planning to move very soon to the front.
18th January 2007 – There was a big storm in Europe, especially in Great Britain, France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. I was at home, so I could only hope that my hatches would hold it. My neighbour called late in the evening to let me know that the trawler in front of us broke free and had hit our vessels. There wasn’t much damage.
14th January 2007 – Continued to clean the bilges and build the wooden floor. It is starting to look nicer now.
13th January 2007 – Today, I mainly cleaned the bilges.
In the afternoon, I cleaned my deck and upper structure with a high pressure cleaner. A lot of the rust and graining dust came of, including the paint on the deck. This wasn’t such a big problem, since everything needs to be painted again before leaving to my mooring in Bruges.
The evening, I connected some cables to the generator. Earlier that day,Andy started the generator for me. He managed to do it without start pilot. Now the generator is ready for the trip later next month. In case something badly happens, the pump can now be connected in no time. Also during the trip, the battery charger stays on.
12th January 2007 – Earlier this week, the welder continued making holes and placing the windows. It is a very precise and time consuming job. As can be seen on the following picture, on one side, the four portholes are already in place.
When both sides are finished, a nice coat of paint will make it look much nicer. A green deck, dark red den and white portholes.
Today, the lights in the mast were connected to the control panel in the wheelhouse. All the lights are now working. A new 24v cable had to be placed from the beginning to the end of the ship.
I had to drill some holes in the ribs to place the cable temporarily. The cable will be put in a tube when the cargo hold will be converted. During the drilling exercise, I lost three drills. So, I was convinced of the quality and thickness of the ribs… (or it were cheap drills).
Later in the afternoon, I started cleaning the bilges, removing the water from the conversion works, where there was no roof. So, most of the bilges at the back are dry.
30th December 2006 – All the big portholes are now marked on the new den. In the next couple of weeks a friend of mine is going to put them in.
All wooden plates from the side of the ship were placed on the floor, created two days ago. Between every plate I put some smaller wooden pieces, so air can pass between them. Since all plates are now properly stored, I get a better impression on the space that needs converting. My neighbour’s wife was painting her interior and I was hoping I was already as far as they are now…
29th December 2006 – A sunny day today. Perfect for painting the new entrance to the cargo hold with the gray paint.
In the afternoon, we placed the stairs to the cargo hold. My crane was just strong enough to hold it while cutting and positioning.
28th December 2006 – Two more portholes were placed today. I also continued cleaning the bilges, with graceful help of my parents.
In the afternoon, a part of the floor has been laid in the front of the cargo hold. It was placed properly, but not fixed yet. Since I had no electric saw, everything was done by hand.
27th December 2006 – A friend came today for helping me with the big portholes. They can’t be burned since the heat will damage the plates of the den. Therefore all holes will be grained. A job that is going to take some time.
Today we have started removing all rain water that had entered the boat during its construction works. With a hoover, all bilges were cleaned from water, dust and other rubbish.
15th December 2006 – I had to be in Terneuzen today, so I quickly jumped aboard to have a look at my crane and take a few pictures. While I was in Terneuzen, I took some time to take pictures of the remaining ships of the water company fleet that once owned the Watergeus.
12th December 2006 – My electrician had some time today, so we drove back to Sluiskil. He connected the navigation lights, while me and my neighbour worked on the remaining jobs, such as fixing the hatches, putting the crane in position and drinking a beer…
The crane will be placed on port side, so it directly suitable for my mooring in Bruges. Another reason for choosing this site is the place the blue board. It wouldn’t look right having everything on one side.
The weather changed to quickly, so we didn’t have any time left to place the stairs.
9th December 2006 – Still adopting to live left handed, I decided to go to my boat anyway.
When I arrived, my neighbour was finishing the door entrance. It is starting to look good! Later that day, my stairs and railings arrived with a friends barge, the Benjamin.
The stairs come from an old sport fishery barge, the Hardy. This boat is now a houseboat in Sluiskil under the name Harte 1 (and my other neighbour). They are perfectly adjustable for my ship. My entrance is around 85cm and the stairs 92cm. They fit perfectly. Since they are so heavy, it is a perfect ballast for my boat.
No matter how much I like wood, I think it’s better to have the critical parts in metal.
At the end of the day, I visited some friends and went back home. It’s always nice to see the progress that can be made in one day.