Month: April 2011

Hornblower – Cleaning

30th April 2011 – As I did with the Watergeus, Frantsis and Escapade, the first job is always cleaning the boat. Depending on the condition, this is a job that takes several days to several months. The fore peak was filled with wood for the wood burning stove and rubbish. I cleaned out this space, since I want to put a generator in this area.

I pumped out the water in the afternoon and closed the remaining holes around the windows and on the deck.

We started the engine, not expecting it to run. After turning the key, the engine ran nicely without any major problems. Oil needs to be changed and some grease added to the pumps.

Hornblower – From Antwerp to Sluiskil

29th April 2011 – An important day for me, they towed the Hornblower from Antwerp to Sluiskil. Sadly enough, I could not join the trip since I had to work. I made it to Terneuzen, where I jumped aboard and continued the trip to Sluiskil.

The towing went well, I only lost one bollard and some water came in during the trip. That was reasonable, since the tug was sailing at full speed, 21km an hour!

After a few drinks and congratulating the skipper of the tugboat, I decided to sleep aboard my new boat.

Escapade – Ready for scrap

26th April 2011 – I started removing most of the items from the Escapade that can be reused for the Hornblower. Once this job was finished, I filled up my car with tools, pumps, ropes and other useful items for Antwerp.

Watergeus – Plumbing and painting

23th April 2011 – There was one area on the hull that looked bad. After three ships being moored on that spot for a longer period, the paint was thin and dirty. I cleaned the hull and put a good coat of paint on the side.

Most of the plumbing was finished today, including drilling a hole in the side of the boat.

At five o’clock the bridges in Bruges were closed. A British yacht moored next to the Watergeus, the are planning to stay till after Easter.

Towing, meeting and driving around

22nd April 2011 – Yesterday evening, a good friend of mine called. They had towed his old tug to a new mooring in Ghent. In front of the Evergem lock, he was stuck in the mud. The towing company left him on his own. With a small yacht we tried getting him out. It took three hours, but he was freed and brought to the mooring.

In the afternoon, I had a meeting with the local Government concerning the houseboats and their mooring. The evening was divided in driving around to find a tug for my new boat, the Hornblower, and a meeting with our members.

Hornblower – A forst visit

21st April 2011 – I visited a small houseboat in Antwerp. It is for sale, but with a broken engine, no interior and a few smashed windows. It was another project people started working on, but were never able to finish it. After a visit of more then two hours, I left it behind and visited a pub in Antwerp…

Watergeus – Mirror

20th April 2011 – It looks like a small job to hang a mirror on the wall of the bathroom. In the end it took me a long time!

Later that evening, I took some pictures of barges in Bruges.


Frantsis – Recording the sound of the engine

15th April 2011 – The new owner was working on the engine, a perfect moment to use my camera and record the sound of the engine. The last eight years, I tried to capture as much as possible of engines with my old camera. The quality wasn’t good, but at that time, there was no other option. My new camera has a High Definition record function.

Hallingdal in Ostend

13th April 2011 – No matter what planning I’m making, it is always ending up the wrong way. I had to do some more painting on the back accommodation of the Watergeus. A friend of mine, which I once helped before I had the Watergeus, just came back from dry dock in Ostend. I drove there to say hello…

Watergeus – Engine room

12th April 2011 – A small wall had to built for the water pipes running from the tanks to the pump. I made a wooden construction. It was painted together with the rest of the woodwork. The lighter the engine room looks, the nicer to work in!

Watergeus – What else but painting…

10th April 2011 – I wanted to mount my curtains in the back accommodation. A small job that took nearly all morning, together with putting the door handles.

The afternoon was far more busier to me. I raised the little work boat that sank last Friday. A neighbour gave me a hand.


After she was raised, we put her alongside my ship.

The front deck was painted and a few little spots on the deck and upper structure. My father redid the railing on the back accommodation.

I continued working till it was dark. Some more pluming for the back accommodation was done as well. The stars were also mounted on the bow of the ship.

Watergeus – Plumbing

9th April 2011 – I had to empty the water from my water tanks in the back accommodation. New fittings have to be made, since the previous connections are rotten. They were last filled in June last year with 200 liters of water. Since there was no other option, I had to let them ran empty in the bilges. It gives you an impression of how your engine room would look when you have a whole of 2cm in your hull below the waterline…

Last week I bought some outdoor furniture, my girlfriend unpacked them and put them on deck. Both skylights in the back accommodation are back, the end of the conversion is very near!

A nice evening

8th April 2011 – With the boat people of Bruges we had a nice gathering on one of the boats near the Sint Jan Hospital. We watched a movie, had a drink and a laugh. It was a great evening! One of the neighbours learned the dog of my girlfriend to swim!

Escapade – Paperwork

6th April 2011 – When you buy a yacht, you need to have the correct paperwork, especially with older boats. If you can’t prove the boat is a registered as a pleasure craft before 1998 in Europe, you need to have a survey done. This is a very expensive happening.

Some of the documents, when I bought her, were not correct. Since I had an old registration number, they found her back as a yacht. I now have a Vlaggenbrief and Immatriculatieplaat. This means I can finally move around with the Escapade.

In the end it took me nearly a month to get the paperwork right!