Month: May 2012

Watergeus – Survey

30th May 2012 – When I woke up, people of the yard were measuring the propeller and the amount of space between the bus and the shaft. It was to much so they will have to put a new bus on the shaft.

At eleven o’clock I had a visit of the surveyor. It took us a few hours to go around the ship and check the thickness of the plates. Cleaning the metal with a slap tool is a very hard job. I didn’t like it!

In the afternoon I heard the verdict. The ship was sound, but I had to double one plate and one rivet needs welding. So besides the propeller there are no other major costs. They will weld some anodes to the ship to prevent the boat from rusting quicker.

The yard wants to weld the plate tomorrow. I have two options, cutting open the floor or filling up the ship with water in the bilges. I choose to cut open the floor and do fire guarding myself.

My parents started painting the hull in the evening, when the temperature got just below 25°C.


Watergeus – On the slipway

29th May 2012 – At ten o’clock they started pulling up the first ship. One hour later, two tugs came to pull up the Watergeus. In no time, I was dry docked and they started cleaning the ship. At first sight, she looks in a reasonable good condition.




Watergeus – Going to the yard – day 2

26th May 2012 – Driving your barges through Bruges is very annoying since it takes a lot of time with all those bridges. We left at 8.30 to be sure that, if something would go wrong, we have enough time to find a solution. And yes, it went wrong again. Now Steenbrugge would not open. If they would only maintain their bridges a little more…

Sadly enough, something went wrong. Yesterday the lock, today a bridge. After several attempts it opened in the end. They want us to have a survey for the ship, but their own equipment is useless…

I moored along two friend, had a nice evening, a BBQ and we talked for hours! At least, I had the feeling of being on a holiday!

Watergeus – Going to the yard

25th May 2012 – We left at 8 o’clock in the morning. The first part, approximately 1km had to be done backwards. The ship has no reverse since the propeller is partly above the water. The wind was blowing us to the wrong side. It took a lot of effort, time and man power to get her trough the first bridge.

Once turned in the big dock, we heard on the radio that the lock was broken. A hydraulic pipe burst and the oil was in the lock. We moored along a tanker for a while and then decided to put the ship in a corner near the lock. This is a lovely place to put a ship, totally surrounded by green.


In the afternoon when the lock was working, and my skipper went home, they asked me to move my ship. I called another skipper who helped me moving the boat. Once in the lock, the doors wouldn’t close.

After two hours we were able to leave the lock and get a mooring near the mills. I didn’t make the planning, I’m starting to worry. The first day is gone and I live only moved the boat 3 kilometers.

Relaxing day

20th May 2012 – I could call it a relaxing day. I scheduled a lot for today, but haven’t started yet. I’ll probably wont do much except updating my blog…

I’ve seen a friend in the morning who is working on inland cruise vessels. I took some pictures and that’s it for today…

A tjalk in Oosterhout

19th May 2012 – Next week, I’m leaving with the Watergeus to the yard. It has been a while since her last dry-docking. Most of the things have been prepared the last couple of weeks. A yard visit takes a lot of preparations and money! I still need to do the fuel and then I’m ready!

Today I secured my workshops, making sure everything can’t fall down. I cleaned my deck. I often use my deck as a storage space since I don’t have enough room… The cables for the mast were lowered. I only lower the mast on the last day. A boat without mast looks so sad…

In the afternoon, I went to see a yacht for a friend at the yard. He wanted some advice and in the end he decided to buy it. It gives me a good feeling when you know when a boat fits the profile of the buyer! The seller had a nice tjalk, also for sale. I had a look at it. From the moment I saw this ship, I started making plans. Only I don’t have the time to do this project.

Hornblower – Welding

16th May 2012 – I continued welding the floor in the wheelhouse of the Hornblower. It’s taking a lot of time and it becomes boring. I want to finish this job before I go to the yard. I’ll see how far I’m getting…

Hornblower – Welding and fire

12th May 2012 – The bedroom is divided from the wheelhouse. Since I want the ship to has it strengths again for when another ship would more alongside, I’m extending a part of the bulkhead to the ceiling of the bedroom. A second reason for this metal part of the boat is that it can now carry some floating cabinets for my clothes and other stuff.

While welding the plate, some sparks must have touched dust in the engine room. The bilges were on fire in no time. Gray and black smoke started appearing out of the boat. I had nothing else but some buckets of water to kill the fire. It is certainly not recommended pouring water on oil, but it helped. The damage is reasonable seen to the flames that appeared.

A few pipes of the engine melted and everything is in black smoke. It will take some time to clean the engine room. It could have been much worse!

In the afternoon I gave up welding and cutting. I did some wood work for a while till I had enough of it for the day!

Hornblower – Metal profiles

15th May 2012 – Converting a boat is expensive. Last weekend I had to buy some L-shaped metal profiles. When you look on second hand sites, you find a lot of stuff. I found some profiles, but they were meters long. I bought eight of them for half the price of what I paid last weekend in the shop. It was not very practical carrying them on my roof rack but I made it safely back home!

Hornblower – Welding

8th May 2012 – The plates in the floor of the wheelhouse are welded. I now need to cut the remaining pieces and put them in. Since the weather is terrible, I’ll have to wait to cut the sheets in the right size.

Hornblower – Painting the engine room

6th May 2012 – I’ve painted one side of the engine room with a white primer. They told me it is a good paint, the smell made me really sick! I had to empty the old fuel tank and got some diesel in my moth while trying to fill a hose. Working on a boat is not always pretty!


With some help of my neighbour we lowered the fuel tanks in the engine room. Since they didn’t fit, I had to cut one support of the wheelhouse floor.

The engine room is 3,10m long, the fuel tanks are 1,50m each. Not much room left, but they are the maximum I could get in! I know have around 800 liters of fuel storage for the engine. This should take me somewhere!

Welding can start again! I’ve just rewelded the support and stitched the plate in position. the rest will be done later this week.

Hornblower – Cleaning the wheelhouse

5th May 2012 – Since I need to lower the fuel tanks in the engine room, I started by cleaning the wheelhouse. After working a few months on the front area, most of the stuff was stored in the wheelhouse.

In the afternoon, I worked in the bathroom. Sometimes, I like to work with wood instead of always welding and cutting sheets of metal. I did a little of t&g to finish the bathroom walls.