Month: October 2018

Watergeus – All night rain

27th October 2018 – When I woke up and went to the engine room, water was dripping from several places. I put three buckets trying to catch most of it.

While walking outside, one of our neighbours left, the tug. He had no metal work at all to be done and was looking happy. The other boat they started sparing tar to, was looking rusty on the sides. I wonder how that is possible.

I was cleaning my living room when I found out that some of my old blue prints were wet. The chimney pipe is leaking. It hasn’t leaked for years and now being on a slipway makes a difference.

Some friends came in the afternoon, was good to see some people and to have something to do. With this weather nothing can be done.

Watergeus – Another day of welding

26th October 2018 – Welding continued. At lunch time he finished. When I asked him about the joins between the rivets and the rivets around the welding, he suggested me silicone. Welding was to dangerous. But the silicone was included in the price.

I drove to Antwerp to get some grease for the shaft and a new belt for the automatic greaser. When I got back my anodes were taped and they were spraying tar to my neighbour while it was raining. Sometimes you just wonder if it can be taken seriously….

In the evening, I filled my manual grease pump and went to bed. To dark to cold and to rainy to anything else.

All the plans I made to do all these things in the evening, when you are tired, nothing happens. I will be glad I’m not here next week.

Watergeus – They started welding!

25th October 2018 – I got the price for the work on the ship in my mailbox. Half an hour later, they started welding without me even confirming his offer. After ten minutes of welding, and I was still sleeping, they stopped. A yacht had to come out of the water and the welder needed to help. One hour later, they started again on my ship and so it went on and off. I asked the welder what his plan was. I wanted to be there when they are welding. He answered me in a bit of a broken English: ‘Technically there is no chance of fire”. There is a small chance in life you win the Lottery. The same can be applied to fire and welding if you look through his eyes. 

At some point, two people were welding. One at the front, and one near the engine room where I was standby. It is not possible to take the situation seriously, but at the end of the evening, the first out of three plates was welded! Once he continues welding and doesn’t get interrupted, you see he can weld at a good speed.

During the day, my parents managed to get the bow of the ship painted. Late in the evening, I helped them putting some more tar to the sides of the ship. The only part that didn’t get any paint so far is the stern. I can only wait for the weather to be good.

Watergeus – No more rust on the Waterline

24th October 2018 – There are four houseboats at the yard, three on the slipway and one in a dock. Every morning we wake up around the same time and then we guess on who’s boat they will work. There was no welder yesterday.

This morning they started on the steilsteven again, but then the other houseboats have to wait again. The idea of finishing one ship and then starting on another one has clearly not come to their mind. What about getting more welders in?

So I finished starboard side and put a coat of primer on it. While my father did the sides of the ship with tar, me and my mother did a second coat of primer.

In the late evening, I cleared all the tar where they have to weld at some point. It was some advice I got from a skipper. If there is to much tar, they burn it away and if the plate is weak, they create holes.

Watergeus – Removing rust on the waterline

22nd October 2018 – While my parents removed the paint from the bow, I continued chipping rust from the waterline at the stern of the vessel. I did around 7 meters and both rudders. Once finished, I put a coat of primer on it. She starts to look like a red hull.

While chipping rust from the rudders, I made a hole. It has to be welded as well.

Am I happy about the Tercoo discs? Yes! They do their work as promised. In some areas where there is a lot of tar, they fail, but I think most methods would get stuck in it. For removing hard rust, I have the feeling you need to push a little harder, but this not good for the disc itself. If you have a flat surface and you want to remove paint quickly, Tercoo is good. If it is an area with a lot of pitting, sandblasting would be better.

Watergeus – Rotterdam and cleaning the waterline

21st October 2018 – In the morning I went to Rotterdam to visit the skipper who used to own Tordino when she was a sleepschip. He had several objects and documents for my museum. During his years of working with cargo, he collected a sample on every cargo that was ever in the hold of his boats. He gave me around thirty boxes with that cargo. It will become a center piece in my museum. On the way back I picked up a ship model for my museum. It is a model of a sailing klipper. A hand made model, nearly 100 years old.

In the afternoon, there was only on job I could do: remove rust from the waterline. It is not a job I can do when I’m Bruges, it is not a nice job to do, you are dirty in less then five minutes and it is a noisy job.

Watergeus – Cleaning the waterline

20th October 2018 – Realising I won’t have enough zinc primer, I drove back to Antwerp to get some more. I bought everything they had to make sure I have enough. Since I also cleaned the decks with their high pressure machine, I can paint them as well.

The rest of the afternoon, I spent chipping the hull and removing rust. I did a part of the stern and a lot of rust came off. I even discovered another weak rivet.

Watergeus – Survey

19th October 2019 – At 10 o’clock, the surveyor arrived. He had a look at my paperwork, went to see the wheelhouse and the engine room. Then he came back in and started writing. my navigation lights had to be replaced and I need to mount an AIS.

Then we continued on the hull survey. For the first time, I didn’t use a grinding disc but a disc used to remove paint from cars. Since cares are built thin, it doesn’t take metal, just paint. A disc costs around 9 EURO. I bought two discs, and they were each mounted on a grinder. So I could easily swap without having to use a spanner or anything else.

Halfway my ship I ran out on the first disc. With the second disc I didn’t get that far since the surveyor marked more points at the back of the ship. It was understandable since the back of the ship looked very bad. A lot of rust and some deep pitting in the plates. At the end I used a big grinding disc. Once the grinding was finished I walked away and started talking with my neighbours. I didn’t want to know the values of the measuring. Halfway the hold, I did have a look and all the thickness measurements were above 5 mm. Great! The more he got to the back of the ship the happier I became. I didn’t have to remove any interior. Even the engine room was good. The first plate I had to mount was around an old pipe. I could live with it. The next plate was above the tunnel of the shaft. Fine to me. The third and last plate was where I made a hole in the hull. Besides those three plates, I had to weld five rivets. I never had such a good survey in my life!

Part of his recommendations was to clean the waterline thoroughly and protect it well. Something I started doing that evening after I called a few friends and told them the result of the survey.

I am using a Tercoo disc on a drilling machine to remove the rust and old tar. On their website, the company calls it the best thing after sandblasting. It are expensive discs, so I hope it will be worth it.

Watergeus – Removing rust

18th October 2018 – The surveyor had another job, so I started hammering the hull. I removed the biggest parts of the rust until I went through the hull in the engine room above the shaft tunnel.

In the afternoon, I continued cleaning the hull with the waterblasting machine.


Watergeus on the slipway

16th October 2018 – What should have been an easy day became a long and slow process of getting the Watergeus on the slipway. I arrived at 8 o’clock, my skipper one hour later. The engine was running, I woke up my neighbour and he also started the engine.

The fridge and freezer were off because some skipper had decided to unplug me in favour of his ship. I can throw away all my food.

First, they had to move a spits barge with a dismantled engine, then they had to block a steilsteven, , unblock a spits and launch it in the water. Halfway the operation, it was lunch break. It took another two hours before they pulled the Watergeus out of the water.

Cleaning the hull is a job they will do tomorrow. There is to much work on the yard.
When I got back from the shop to get some new food, I started chipping the bollards. Since there are no ropes around them, it is the perfect time.

My new neighbour has a lovely steilsteven. A very nicely shaped vessel. Nice to look at and friendly people.

Tordino – Open in the afternoon

14th October 2018 – A bit of relaxing today, I spent most of my time aboard Tordino, who was open to the public. I was working in the Library sorting out magazines and making a plan for extending the exhibition space by adding a few walls.

Terra Nova dag

13th October 2018 – Some more sleep would have been better, but I didn’t want to miss the Terra Nova Dag in Maassluis.

Besides being aboard on Hollands nicest Luxe motor, I went to visit the tugs Hudson and Furie. Maassluis is a small harbour with several tugs open to the public. In the old town hall is a museum about the Dutch towage history. I was short in time, but it was very interesting to see. Everything is run by volunteers and this makes it even more valuable.

We had a good meal aboard the Terra Nova before heading home. A nice and successful day!


Pictures of both tugs will follow when I’m back from the yard.

Arma – Towing to the yard

12th October 2018 – At 6 o’clock in the evening I got a phone call that the tugboat would arrive in half an hour. I was still aboard the Tordino, so I drove to Bruges. I was just in time to climb aboard, undo the ropes and see how the tug pulled us off as we left the mooring.

The rudders were not straight and there was no option in turning them since the hydraulic and electric system were dead. After removing the hydraulic pressure by cutting the pipes, we managed to move the rudders with a wooden beam.

Once Bruges was behind us, we went aboard the tug for the rest of the journey. Rob, the skipper, gave us some food and seven hours later,we arrived at the yard.

A nice journey, just enough time to drive to Bruges, pick up my car and return to Tordino.