Watergeus – Back aboard!

7th January 2006 – Andy made his payment to the yard, so officially the boat became his today. It was a cold day, where I also nearly slipped in the water because of the frozen smog on deck. The first thing he did was hanging the British flag and getting something to eat. With no furniture, we sat on the ground in the back accommodation.

I started reading the documents that were left around, such as the River Rhine Certificate, Oil delivery books, some logs, etc… I promised him to do an effort in tracking the history of the ship.

The pictures here show in what state the vessel was. She had no roof over her cargo hold. The engine room had flooded and the water was starting to fill the cargo hold as well.

 

Watergeus – First time visit

27th December 2005 – Andy, a friend of mine, was looking to buy a new boat for conversion into a house boat. Since, I knew the area and spoke the language, I looked for several places, most of them were scrapyards. A few exceptions were places were a lot of boats were being converted privately.

We first stopped in Ghent at the scrapyard. They only had one barge, the Avrachain. It was already completely stripped and used as a fuel barge. Disappointed, we drove to Sluiskil. There was a small fishing boat, the Z. 501 Tac Horne. People told me it was the property of the yard, so I went to the yard and asked if we could visit the boat. The told us that they also owned an old Luxe Motor at the other side of the dock, the Watergeus.

We had a look at both ships. The Luxe motor looked nice, so we went back and offered them a price. They wanted more, so we asked their price and agreed straight away. We made up the paperwork, which took us three hours.

After the paperwork, we got the keys for a first visit of the inside. Here are some pictures taken on 27th December 2005:

Or view the full set of pictures:

Varta – Working in the hold

27th May 2004 – The problem of working in a ship is often the space. You are buying tools and materials for the job, but where to store them. We cleaned the hold to get a better view of the current situation.

Ross Leopard – First meeting

15th April 2004– I read in the newspaper another shipwreck had arrived in Ostend, so I went to have a look. I met two nice people with a historical trawler, converted as a club for nightlife in London. We had a great chat and I was allowed to take some pictures. A visit to remember…

 

Varta – Leaving Ostend

26th August 2003 – The plan was to move the Varta to Ghent. The Varta was a spits barge which had been dry-docked at the IDP yard in Ostend.  We left the yard and at the end of the dock, the engine wasn’t cooling. We couldn’t stay since the lock just opened and moved on. While in the harbour, the engine started smelling badly.  We made it through the big lock into the Houtdok.  We started dismantling the cooling system of the engine and figured out the internal cooling unit was blocked by dirt.

At the end of the evening we had to leave the harbour and moved the ship, in the dark, without navigation lights to the canal Ostend-Ghent. The rest of the journey will be for another time.

Watergeus – Launched

7th August 1929 – Today the Watergeus was launched as ‘Jantje’ from the shipyard A. Apol in Wirdum, Groningen.  The ship was 27.03 meters long and 5.27 meters wide. The engine was a Climax ruwolie motor giving 50 hp.  The Jantje could carry 130 tons of cargo and was build for the skipper H. Sannema  from Groningen.