Registering Hornblower

3rd November 2011 – I went to the Federal Office for the paperwork of the Hornblower. Those people were looking confused when I told them I wanted to register my yacht from 1901. The term ‘Groningse snik’, the type of vessel, was new to them. I showed them a picture and they started laughing.

This made me think we should preserve more of these small ships. The Hornblower is maybe not the perfect example with her new bow, but at least she is part of an old traditional fleet of Dutch built small vessels.

Boats passing in Bruges

22nd October 2011 – I have been working all day on the Hornblower. I was surprised to see how many boats passed by, knowing the season is over. One of them was a nice klipperaak from Boezinge. Sadly enough, I was to late to take a picture.

In the evening, their was a small concert of a band on one of the boats. I enjoyed it very much. It is sometimes great to be on a boat without having to work or talk about boats in general. Thanks Anna for the invitation!

Visiting a boat in Sluiskil

11th October 2011 – Another visit of a barge was planned for this evening. I knew the boat, since it has been moored in Sluiskil for three years. My best friend lived on it, after he had done the conversion. This ship was built as the Java in 1928. She was used as a tender to bring crew to the larger passenger vessels in the big harbours.

Visiting a boat in Tilburg

9th October 2011 – I often join people to have a look at a ship. Today I went to Tilburg (Netherlands) to visit a Friese Praam of 14 meters. It was the first time I was in that area and found some very nice vessels.

The vessel itself seemed very nice and in a good condition. I was surprised to see how much space was created on such a small surface. Friendly people, a beer and a good chat.

While being in the area, I took some pictures of vessels, like this beautiful tug:

 

Hornblower – Repairing the side

28th May 2011 – On each side of the ship, there are two big holes. They must have been there for years, but I want it to be solved. One one side we cut out the plate, and we will weld a new one in.

In the afternoon I painted the hull. She is looking much nicer now! She was painted with black, white, yellow and red paint.

Only a little bit of each colour was left. Now everything is red, the same red as the Escapade and Frantsis used to have. The Watergeus is also painted in red. It is a good primer that has shown its quality before.

Hornblower – Bollards

27th May 2011 – Today the two old bollards were welded to the ship. One of them was broke before I bought her, the second one came loose during the tow. Both of them are welded on a solid plate.

Escapade – One more trip

26th May 2011 – They will take the Escapade out of the water on Friday. Since I need to work, and can’t have a half day off, I moved the boat this evening. Everything was against me: time, wind, and current! If only I could have done it yesterday…

Since both my neighbour, mother and girlfriend were helping, I didn’t take any pictures.

Her last journey under own power

Sold with clean and dry bilges!

 

Escapade – Sold!

24th May 2011 – The bakdekkruiser has been sold. It is hard to maintain one boat by an individual. Having two boats is become more difficult, three is a disaster. She was one of my favorite ships, but I had no time to finish her.

Since I’m working on the Snik in Sluiskil, it was becoming to expensive to work on two projects at the same time, while still maintaining the Watergeus.

I hope the new owner will convert her and put her back in original condition. I wish him good luck with his new ship!

The short period I was the owner of the Escapade, I learned a lot on bakdekkruisers, yachts and diesel engines. People having questions on bakdekkruisers can always contact me. I have a large collection of information, books and pictures!

Hornblower – Cleaning

22nd May 2011 – I only did one job today, cleaning the living room bilges. All the wood is gone, so I started removing rust, grease, insulation and dust. After 8 hours of this work, you are broken and thirsty. It was a good result to see clean bilges again.

Hornblower – Thunder and rain

21st May 2011 – I decided to sleep aboard and left Bruges in the late evening. I woke up in the middle of the night, heavy lightning and thunder made it impossible for me to sleep. Since it was raining heavily, I switched on the lights and went looking for possible leaks. Beside the hole in the deck, it looked reasonable dry.

Hornblower – Cleaning the bilges

16th May 2011 – A major job aboard the Hornblower is cleaning the bilges. I firstly removed the wood by driving a few times to some people with a wood fire. The rest, I took to my parents in Ostend. It is sad you need to remove the wood, but it is rotten and badly damaged during the last conversion.

The bilges haven’t been cleaned for years!

Everything you remove makes you think. It had been put there for a reason, people spent money on it. If it had been better maintained, it could have lasted much longer! Now I need to remove everything, clean the metal again, etc…

I’m pretty much convinced the ship has been doubled, I found to many tiny holes in the original bottom of the ship.