18th April 2012 – I quickly went to Sluiskil to see one of the biggest houseboats at the yard. The Rio Claro is 88 meter long ship, moored in Bruges near the old mills.
17th April 2012 – I got my second load of bricks, another 600kg. My neighbour came to help me a hand loading them onto the Hornblower. Once this job was finished, I put some of the bricks in position between the ribs. I noticed with 600kg in the back and 600kg in the wheelhouse, It didn’t make any difference at all.
16th April 2012 – After the conversion of the bow, building the bathroom and living area, putting fuel and watertanks in the boat, she was listing sadly towards the front. The propeller started to become visible. This means I need to put weight in the back. The back area is a sleeping room, so this means I will not have enough weight. In a local concrete factory, I could have free concrete bricks of 15cm by 15cm. Each of them has a weight of nearly 8kg.
I loaded around 600kg in my car for the first run. I dropped them in front of the boat.
A friend from Sluiskil came over, so I had no time to pick up a second load of bricks. I went to have a chat on his boat.
8th April 2012 – There are two more things that need to be done on the bow. One of them is a support for the cable sliding along the deck when the anchor is dropped. The other one is the railing on the bow. I wasn’t expecting to finish this job in a half a day, but we did.
The bow, which has been has been the subject of several discussions is finally looking like I really wanted it to look!
My parents came to help as well. They sanded the original ceiling in the living room and did some wood work.
7th April 2012 – Today we put the railing pipes on their feet. The old feet still need to be cut. It might give a wrong impression, but I won’t use them as a fender or to keep boats away in a lock…
Last week, when welding a bulkhead in the engine room, a rotten pipe felt through the hull. Since this hole is only seven centimeters above the waterline, it is now closed by welding a little patch on it. I could have used fiber or something else, but it would not feel safe.
6th April 2012 – The ship had a railing on only one side. We never had the time to finish this project in Sluiskil. It certainly is not the most important job, but it looks nicer. When I’m going to the yard in May, I don’t want to carry all these length of pipe with me. They are now stored on the hatches of the Watergeus.
Today I cut the feet for the railing and welded them on the boeisel of the ship. A very time consuming job! Welding RVS pipe on metal is not that easy.
3th April 2012 – I continued welding on the bulkhead between the engine room and the bedroom. This is the last part of the metal construction around the engine.
31st March 2012 – My first BBQ this year. As usual bad weather, but I really appreciate my mooring. It has a little field of grass in front of it. I put my party tent and the BBQ. It was all I needed for a great day with some good friends!
27th March 2012 – When I bought the Escapade and later the Hornblower, I always made myself a promise: I shall not work as hard as I did on the Watergeus.
I’m still keeping that promise, but it is fading away. Since last week, I spent every evening (except Friday) working on the Hornblower. Most of the weekend was also gone into working aboard the little ship.
I’m really starting to wonder if this is hobby or just me becoming a slave of all the work on both vessels?
27th March 2012 – There was a big steel plate on the Watergeus. It is in my way for the BBQ on Saturday. Therefore it had to be cut in two smaller pieces. I still need a bulkhead at the back of the engine in the Hornblower. I cut a third of a bulkhead out of the plate. It is now in position with clamps. If I have some time tomorrow I might start welding it.
When this will be finished, together with welding the engine room ceiling, all of it should be a totally sealed room. I bought a hatch last Sunday to enter this area. I will put two air vents from the outside to get some air for the engine and generator.
I still don’t know what to do around the shaft to make it sealed as well.
26th March 2012 – I managed to connect the newly mounted water supply to the engine. I’ve briefly started the engine and water ran through. I had no puddles of water underneath the engine. This means she survived the winter nicely!
24th March 2012 –My father came to help me with te t&g wood in the living room. With two people, a job is done more quickly!
23rd March 2012 – I redid the cooling in the morning. This time everything stays dry!
Some people recommended me to put a filter. When you are moving the boat in shallow water, mud can enter the cooling system. With this filter, I hope to prevent to much coming into the engine.
In the evening I bolted the anchor winch to the deck. When I have some time, I will replace all the bolts with RVS versions. I did the same thing on the Watergeus a few years ago.
23rd March 2012 – The remaining deck underneath the hatches has been cleaned and painted. I also painted the box of the generator to prevent it from rusting. I only had a thin of yellow paint left from the Ross Leopard, so I used it.