Author: frederic - page 182

Watergeus – Inspection holes

1st February 2009 – During the conversion of the Watergeus, the real first project I did by myself, I made a few mistakes in the beginning that could become a problem later. I talked to a few people and they showed me where I made the errors. My floor exists of two levels of wood on top of a wooden frame. Between the two layers, there is insulation. When they are welding, there is enough space between the bottom of the ship and the first layer of wood. Even the wooden frame is high enough. When there would be water in the bilges, I could not be able to reach to it. Therefore I will have to make some inspection holes. My intention was to make two of them, but now I’ve decided to build several ones.

The sides of my interior are around 17cm away from the metal hull. Far enough for in case they need to weld. At the other hand I noticed this week when they were welding some of the insulation started melting a little and smoke appeared. I can look between the hull and the wooden sides, but can’t reach it. Therefore I’m now making side inspection hatches as well. I’ll hope I will never need them, but I like to have them instead of ripping out my interior if something would happen.

Besides making plans for the above adjustments, I cleaned the engine room.

With the Julie to the yard

30th January 2009 – Today we sailed the Julie to a shipyard in Zelzate. In the morning I had to ran a few times from my ship to the Julie bad back. You start realizing the distance of the dock after a while…

We left at 08:20 and arrived at 16:00 in Zelzate. We had no problems and were able to pass every bridge and lock with no waiting at all! A beautiful trip on a nice but cold day! We broke the ice on the canal and lost a part of the rudder. We had no other issues.

Watergeus – Wood delivery & welding

27th January 2009 – Today was one of these days you have to work very hard, be carefully because a lot is happening. In the morning the wood was delivered to finish the hold. While my parents were loading the sheets of wood aboard the ship, I started working with the welder on a new bulkhead in the front of the ship.


By the end of the evening we finished the job. One meter high and five meters wide, with the ribs in place, just a little less then 400kgs of extra metal in the ship.

Watergeus – Working around the entrance

24th January 2009 – Again a day for the Watergeus, where further finished the entrance to the ship. while doing so, I decided to make a small storage room underneath the stairs. By finishing those little areas you realize work is nearing its end. At the other hand, you realize a lot of specific work still needs doing.

Watergeus – High water

23th January 2009 – When I got home, I hadn’t seen my ship that high on the water. Looking closer, I noticed water level had raised with more then 40cm’s.

The engine of the Julie was started today and ran nicely. Two weeks of work, and she is ready for a big trip to the yard. In some way it’s good she is running and I can concentrate again on my ship, but at the other hand, I started to learn something about engines.

Helping someone else is learning

18th January 2009 – Instead of working on my own ship, I’m having the habit again of helping others instead. Why? I’m learning more when working on their ship then working on mine. At this moment all I have to do now is repetitive, on the other ships, everything is relative new to me and therefore more interesting.

Watergeus – Electricity

17th January 2009 – We mainly worked on the electricity, finishing the kitchen and living room. All sockets are working now.


In the afternoon, I cleaned the technical room where the water tanks are stored. Somewhere next week, they have to weld a bulkhead, so I had to cover my tanks and create as much space as I could.

Working on the Julie

12th – 13th – 14th – 15th January 2009 – Mainly watched some people working on the gearbox of the sleepspits Julie. The next days I helped a little on their cooling system. When helping on such a project, you realize how little you know about ship engines. I learned more in those four days then I learned at school…

Watergeus – Cold!

10th January 2009 – This night was one of the coldest, having around minus 11° C, and my main heating system went out, so I had to continue on my small electric heater. By the morning, all pipes in the engine room were frozen. It was a happy day, little sleep and no water. I wanted to have an inspection in the engine room, but the lock was frozen. No products helped opening the lock so I had to use a crowbar to get access to my engine room.

Why did I choose to live on a ship again?

The good thing was that we made some progress in the hold today. I didn’t work that quick as usual, but the entrance has a roof and insulation. The electrician can now finish his work on the entrance next time he comes.

Watergeus – Frozen canal

7th – 8th – 9th January 2009 – The cold weather must not have been that good, since I’m ill in bed. When I woke up this morning, ice was all around the ship, the canal being nicely covered with ice. Yesterday evening, it was getting close, but now it is closed!

The next two days were identical.

Watergeus – Furniture in sleeping room

3th January 2009 – We did a lot of work today. Not only has the furniture been mounted in the sleeping room, we also insulated the corridor to the living room and started the engine.


In the morning I started insulating the corridor, one of the last places with no insulation. The other one is the bathroom. In the afternoon, with the help of my parents, the furniture was put in position.

In the evening I put some anti-freeze in the engine and ran it. Why? Well it was not freezing today (around 6°C), so I could easily ran the engine. Maybe I should have taught about this last month…