Month: May 2006

Watergeus – Cleaning the engine room

21th May 2006 – I started cleaning the engine room. In December, when I first started working on the boat, for the previous owner, all the water, contaminated with oil, was pumped into the engine room. Now I stated putting everything in empty cans. At the end of the day, I ran out of cans, already filled all of them for nearly 300 liters. At least another 600 liters are in the bilges…

Watergeus – Next day on the yard: the survey

16th May 2006 – The yard has so many lights, the barge in front of me has a very nice search light in his mast, so does the one next to me. This made it impossible for me to sleep. Another hard day for me, so seemed later.

Early in the morning, I made a walk around my boat. The skipper from the Remi showed some weak places on the hull. It worried me a bit. At 9 o’clock, I started cleaning the anchor winch.


At 11 O’clock the man who had to measure the hull thickness (and give me a certificate) arrived. He needed nearly six hours to measure the whole boat. After only half an hour, he discovered the first bad area, a couple more would follow…

At the end of the day, two plates at the bottom and four on the sides needed to be replaced. Looks like a small job, but expensive enough.

Watergeus – Going to the yard

15th May 2006 – A major step in her preservation and conversion to a houseboat is her dry-docking in Sluiskil. During the night of 14th-15th May, I had to stay up all night to refill the generator every three hours. The batteries were so flat, the main engine couldn’t start anymore…

The quality of the picture is not good, due to the smoke of the broken exhaust of the generator in the cargo hold.

At 8 o’clock in the morning, we started the engine without trouble, something that didn’t work the day before. The ship had to turn in the Canal before she could set sail to the yard. Since she has no cargo, her propeller was halve above the water. This made it very hard to navigate her.

We arrived half an hour later at the yard. When contacting the yard to know if we could go to the slip, they told us to wait, there were problems with the slipway, a rail and a cable were broken. We moored next to the 1957 built Remi, another inland barge. The delay was 4 hours. In the meantime, to save fuel we turned off the engine, a decision we regretted later…

When the previous ship was launched and some of the slipway repaired, our ship was allowed to go to the slip. While trying to start the main engine we discovered the batteries were flat again. So we drove to a ship, asking for their power charger. In no time the engine started and the Watergeus went on the slip. 15 minutes later, the boat was dry-docked.

The ship was cleaned in the afternoon and I returned to the boat in the late evening to take some pictures of her hull.

Watergeus – Cleaning the bilges

5th & 6th May 2006 – Two days of hard work, in which I decided to put some paint on the hull of my boat, so she didn’t look that rusty anymore. She used to be sand blasted four years ago and had been put back in the water without any coat of paint.

I also cleaned some of the bilges of the cargo hold. They were still partly filled with oil and old leaves.

Watergeus – Belgische meetbrief

4th May 2006 – Today, two employees of the Belgian Government came to measure my boat, so I could register it again as a Belgian boat. The whole operation took three hours. It was a kind of a joke, they re measured the boat three times and had three different results.

After they measured the boat, the new BR-number was bashed into the hull on four locations, twice on the side, one on the bow and one on the back.

Watergeus – A weekends work

28th April – 1st May 2006 – The first of a couple of long Weekends in Sluiskil. This weekend, marked by Queens Day and bad weather, was a success. A new generator was placed aboard and the back accommodation cleaned. My mother and her girlfriend cleaned the whole accommodation removing everything that had become useless or hopeless to clean. Most of the furniture was disinfected and the old mattresses were thrown away. I’m still sleeping the wheelhouse and will continue to do so till there is a new mattress.

With Queens Day, there was a street selling in Terneuzen. At 4 o’clock most people go home and leave their unsold stuff behind. Andy and me drove their and took what was usefully. In no time, I had some decoration stuff and several kitchen accessories, such a s bread box, a rack for bottles, etc…

The new generator is a Petter 1 cylinder air cooled, delivering 4.4kva. Its connected to the exhaust of the previously generator, which broke in January 2006.