Aquarel – Closing leaks

20th October 2013 – There are still some holes in the roof of the back accommodation. Around a mast support, the previous owners used filler.

I removed the support, filler and chipped away most of the rust. I put a new plate on top and welded the roof. it wasn’t easy, since every few centimeters, I burned another hole.

Aquarel – Removing sleeping accommodation

10th October 2013 – I’m happy the sheets were on earlier this week. I haven’t see that many rain for years coming out in one day! I didn’t have a look yet inside, but some water will have come in. I still need to weld the metal plates.

Welding near wood can cause fire. Welding and fire are well known to me after last year’s incident aboard the Hornblower. I removed the sleeping accommodation at the back of my ship. It was rotten and to close to the bulkhead where I have to weld.


Aquarel – New roof

8th October 2013 – After a week of hard work, it was time to put the metal sheets in position on the roof. This was an easy job. We moved the boat several times and lowered the sheets with my neighbour’s crane.

Once everything was done, we had a drink and moved the ships by hand. I’m now near to land and my neighbour alongside. Since none of the engines worked it took some time and a lot of effort to swap the vessels.

Aquarel – Entrance

7th October 2013 – Owning a boat and maintaining it as a hobby is suffering when there are deadlines!


The last bits have to be done today. Welding another four small pieces and some gaps. That was the plan for this evening. The last effort and energy I had left was spent today. I managed to keep my deadline. If I would ever do it again on such a short time period: NO!

Aquarel – Continuing with the roof

4th October 2013 – Knowing I can’t save the hatches, I decided to remove the roofing felt and hatches with a crane. This means, ripping everything apart. I put a rope through the skylights and pulled the hatches of with a crane. The only risk was that the roof could fall into the ship or my neighbours boat. Once everything was on land, I could start with the cleanup and the welding. It will probably take three days to make the ribs and supports. No time to lose!


Aquarel – Removing the old roof

1st October 2013 – I have to remove 44m2 roofing felt from my wooden hatches. I want to save them for later. The roofing felt was burnt on the hatches and on the den. This makes it totally water proof and solid. It also makes it a nightmare for me . With an axe, I tried to separate the den from the hatches…


28th September 2013 – Time to go around with my camera again. So many ships ends up at the scrapyard, so many nautical heritage get broken down…. At least I want to save some memories by taking pictures…


22nd September 2013 – We had our harbour days today. In Zeebruges, Ghent and Antwerp you could visit some vessels and company buildings related to the harbour. I decided to go to Antwerp. There were some historical vessels to visit.

Aquarel – Insulation

15th September 2013 – Everything starts with a plan. During the journey concepts and plans can change. Where I initially had in mind to keep the rivets visible and show the ship as a cargo boat, I have now made up my mind to insulate her. The costs to put insulation is worth it. Otherwise I will have to heat her in the winter, cool her down in the summer and have trouble with condensation. I will remake or reuse some of the original fittings in her new interior.

Aquarel – A proper fusebox

14th September 2013 – Where to start. In my environment, people know I live with chaos. It was time to clean the hold. I spent most of the day cleaning the hold and wiring my fusebox. I now have power through a fusebox with proper fuses!

Aquarel – Painting the bow

9th September 2013 – When you are back, it is hard to pick up where you stopped. So much work, where to start?

I painted the bow of the ship with a coat of primer. It had to be done at some point. the back accommodation was touched up where it was becoming rusty. She looks good again and I can concentrate on the inside.

In the afternoon, I started working on the engine. There will be a lot of work, but it is savable.

A few minutes before leaving my boat, a big tanker hit me badly. The bowthruster had failed, while every crew member was standing outside the wheelhouse…. I won’t post any pictures but I was lucky to have little damage. I could have been the end of the Aquarel. It made me think, I might start with the metal work on the inside (bulkhead and supports).

Just back

8th September 2013 – It has been a while again since the last update. I was on holiday in Ireland to relax, to get away from boats and to clear my mind. Now I’m back and already working again on the Aquarel.

Aquarel – Cleaning out the hold

18th August 2013 – Cleaning out the hold after breaking down a ceiling into hundred pieces. This is how I could describe my day. The only thing I liked was the result! A clean floor and wooden hatches. The smell is now nearly gone. I still have to clean the bilges, but that is a job for next week!

Aquarel – Removing the kitchen floor

17th August 2013 – A heavy job was to remove the kitchen floor. Tiles and cement made it extremely heavy for me. By the end of the day, I filled up my car twice. Not only was I broken, but so was my car. Since she was slightly overloaded, I lost my exhaust….