Watergeus – Quick paint job!

3th – 4th February 2006 – The first thing you do when buying an abandoned bad looking vessel is showing the environment new people have arrived. Andy decided to paint the ship, so I helped him. We had in mind using the colors of a nice Luxe Motor moored in London. Dark colors to look her smaller.

The boat had been well maintained over her 75 years of commercial life span. There wasn’t much rust. Where the old paint was still good, we sanded it and started painting over it. Where there was rust, we removed it and first put some anti-rust on it. The final coat would finish the patched look.

In less then a week, the wheelhouse, after-cabin, deck and front cabin were painted.

Watergeus – Shortening

30th January 2006 – Back in Ostend, I sent an e-mail to the shipyard in Terneuzen about shortening the boat and arranging a meeting to talk in detail about this project. One of the annoying things in Sluiskil is no Internet. These days you really need Internet to make things happening!

 

Watergeus – an update

28th & 29th January 2006 – In the last week, Andy had cleaned the engine room and repaired the central heating; an essential part for the next couple of months!

Repairing the engine

Some paintwork was done to protect the weakest places on the back cabin. The engine was started for the first time and ran for nearly one hour, propeller turning. No smoke came out of the funnel, a good sign or a job well done!

Engine running!

We also discussed the option of shortening the boat. It is not an idea, I would like to support, but this ship has a better value in Great Britain, when she’s shorter.

We took a look at the dry-dock facility in Terneuzen and talked with the man of the yard.He didn’t look very positive.

Watergeus – Working in the hold

14th & 15th January 2006 – We placed a generator aboard for making power so we could use the tools needed for cleaning. We also got a gas bottle for the heating.

We decided to start cleaning the cargo hold. Removing leaves, water and rubbish from the bilges. In one day time, most of it was cleaned and with the wooden planks left in the hold, a floor was created. We hadn’t enough for creating the whole floor. A few were missing, but the result looked satisfying.

The next day, the wooden floor was cleaned with a high pressure machine.

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:

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