Author: frederic - page 210

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.

Watergeus – Roofing felt on hatch

15th April 2006 – Today, we’ve put the roofing felt on. I also started cleaning the boat. A lot of old metal was no longer needed. I put a floor in the foxhole and painted it quickly. That space is now clean and being used as a storage for my tools.

Watergeus – Building a hatch

9th April 2006 – It was now time to build a hatch in the same style as the roof, so I could lower my stuff in the cargo hold. This same hatch will become my main entrance.

Since the shop was closed and I didn’t have enough roofing felt, I just coated the hatch. In case of rain, the wood would at least be a bit protected.

Watergeus – 100% ownership

7th April 2006 – I have now become the new owner of the Watergeus. My first plans are to dry-dock her. Since I need a certificate before I can ask for a mooring in Belgium, this will become priority one. Depending on what repairs are needed, I can make up my budget or totally give up the project.

Watergeus – Making the step!

27th March 2006 – Only one day after the add was placed, I called Andy and told him I was buying the ship. I would meet him on Friday and make the deal. Why? I had the chance of buying a spits for 5000 euros more then a real Luxe Motor who’s condition I knew by now and I helped a friend. These two reasons were enough for me to make this important decision.

Watergeus – Painting the bow

26th March 2006 – Since, we didn’t have a picture of the bow yet, I asked Andy to paint the bow, which he did.

That evening, at my place we created the advert.  It took us three hours to choose the right pictures and put it on several websites. While making the add, I started liking what I saw…

Watergeus – Adding roofing felt

18th March 2006 – After a long holiday in Senegal, I came back to work again on the Watergeus. The wooden roof was finished, but roofing felt needed to be added to protect it. Since the weather was good, it was a perfect day for adding it.

We worked continuously to add the roofing felt. We took two short breaks and till the evening, only two more roles had to be added. we decided to continue. After a hard day of work, we were invited by the neighbours at the street side. They live in a typical small dutch house.

Andy told me he planned to sell the boat and asked if I would be able to create an add next weekend. We would clean the boat and take some pictures for the Internet. At that time, I was looking to buy the spits Cawcher-V, an old vegetable oil tanker.

Watergeus – Quick paint job!

3th – 4th February 2006 – The first thing you do when buying an abandoned bad looking vessel is showing the environment new people have arrived. Andy decided to paint the ship, so I helped him. We had in mind using the colors of a nice Luxe Motor moored in London. Dark colors to look her smaller.

The boat had been well maintained over her 75 years of commercial life span. There wasn’t much rust. Where the old paint was still good, we sanded it and started painting over it. Where there was rust, we removed it and first put some anti-rust on it. The final coat would finish the patched look.

In less then a week, the wheelhouse, after-cabin, deck and front cabin were painted.

Watergeus – Shortening

30th January 2006 – Back in Ostend, I sent an e-mail to the shipyard in Terneuzen about shortening the boat and arranging a meeting to talk in detail about this project. One of the annoying things in Sluiskil is no Internet. These days you really need Internet to make things happening!


Watergeus – an update

28th & 29th January 2006 – In the last week, Andy had cleaned the engine room and repaired the central heating; an essential part for the next couple of months!

Repairing the engine

Some paintwork was done to protect the weakest places on the back cabin. The engine was started for the first time and ran for nearly one hour, propeller turning. No smoke came out of the funnel, a good sign or a job well done!

Engine running!

We also discussed the option of shortening the boat. It is not an idea, I would like to support, but this ship has a better value in Great Britain, when she’s shorter.

We took a look at the dry-dock facility in Terneuzen and talked with the man of the yard.He didn’t look very positive.

Watergeus – Working in the hold

14th & 15th January 2006 – We placed a generator aboard for making power so we could use the tools needed for cleaning. We also got a gas bottle for the heating.

We decided to start cleaning the cargo hold. Removing leaves, water and rubbish from the bilges. In one day time, most of it was cleaned and with the wooden planks left in the hold, a floor was created. We hadn’t enough for creating the whole floor. A few were missing, but the result looked satisfying.

The next day, the wooden floor was cleaned with a high pressure machine.

Watergeus – Back aboard!

7th January 2006 – Andy made his payment to the yard, so officially the boat became his today. It was a cold day, where I also nearly slipped in the water because of the frozen smog on deck. The first thing he did was hanging the British flag and getting something to eat. With no furniture, we sat on the ground in the back accommodation.

I started reading the documents that were left around, such as the River Rhine Certificate, Oil delivery books, some logs, etc… I promised him to do an effort in tracking the history of the ship.

The pictures here show in what state the vessel was. She had no roof over her cargo hold. The engine room had flooded and the water was starting to fill the cargo hold as well.