Watergeus – Painting

27th October 2007 – Since tomorrow a few people are coming I want the boat to be looking as clean as possible. Not only did we repaint the wheelhouse with primer, the foot of the crane, the inside of the portholes and a few other items were painted. With all the light colours, the ship looks much bigger. I have a big ship again 😉

Watergeus – Painting the den

26th October 2007 – The den didn’t look good, several different colours of paint, rust, dirt, remaining of tape, writings with measurements, etc… It was a big mess. The perfect time to paint the den again. The only primer I had was again Navy gray… So we pained the den, it took us half a day to paint it nicely. With the paint that was left, I painted the air vents that will be placed in the coming week.

Watergeus – Exhaust

24th October 2007 – This evening I removed the insulation of the exhaust to find out how badly it is damaged. While hitting the noise reducer with my head it felt down. So I discovered water must have entered through the deck into the exhaust making it rusty and fragile. As far as I could see, it must have taken years to become so bad.

Picking up Tine’s boat

20th October 2007 – Today I sailed aboard the Sermar, my new neighbour in Bruges. The ship came from Merelbeke. We sailed around 6 hours to Bruges. A very nice spits barge, just out of service, but perfectly suitable to start again!

The spits was built in 1944. She had been sailing with the same owner for 42 years.

The skipper moored the boat in a small spot in front of my boat in no time. The water in the canal was green, had never seen it so bad. While I were sailing, my parents had cleaned the cargo hold and painted the inside to make it look a bit nicer.

Watergeus – Hatches and skylight

13th October 2007 – This morning we tried to put back the hatches, but since my hand has become worse, we had to stop very quickly. The boat looks much nicer anyway, but I would have loved to put them all back. It will be for another time.

The skylight is painted and looks very nice. I’m glad I placed it, but if I had more money I would have put a few more!

Watergeus – Fixing the door

6th October 2007 – The man of the yard came to discuss the further plans on the boat, building a skylight, redoing the door and making a price for my exhaust pipe the broke sometime during last week.

Since the exhaust is broken, I just can’t start my engine anymore. Everything needs replacing once, not that now is the right moment, but hey we shall see.

Barges for the UK

1st October 2007 – The only event worth mentioning today, besides heavy raining, is the passing of a Luxe Motor called Zorg en Vlijt. The owner was underway to England. A lovely hull, such a nice shape and length, I believe priceless.

As so many Luxe Motors, they go to England and get sold their so expensive, no one over here is ever going to the UK to buy it back, believe me!

Later that day another two barges passed along. I believe it were two aken, but don’t ask me any details. Both together next to each other, they passed at a reasonable high speed.

Antwerpen onder Stoom

30th September 2007 – Today we went to Antwerp to visit some Dutch vessels in a steam event. Well indeed we organise a steam event, but don’t have any steamboat left as far as I can remember.

I made a trip on a Dutch steam tug. I didn’t have any words after I left the ship. Unique, magnificent, wonderful. A tug powered by coal. It was over 35° in the engine room and I stayed there to watch the man working. He could talk about it with so much enthusiasm, I wanted to do it myself straight away. I know what I’m missing on my ship….

Next to the grain elevator, I noticed a friend of mine. He was there with his (commercial trading) barge, loading grain to show the people how it used to work. We started talking. Last year I wanted to buy his old coal cabin, but he didn’t have the time removing it. He plans doing it next year. Sad, but hey not many spits barges from 1927 are still trading!

Watergeus – Buying paint and cleaning the bilges

29th September 2007 – Paint is one of the most expensive costs on a boat. Since I have the boat, I had used several brands of paint, all what I found and got has been used by now. The final coat needs to be good, so I bought some paint. Didn’t have much paint for a few hundred Euros.

In the afternoon I continued hovering out the bilges and removing some more of the floor to get to the bilges. There are still a few buckets left. Most of it is drying out nicely, but if there is too much, it just stays.

While walking along the quay I noticed the boat in the front is back after nearly a year. A Dutch tjalk called Arriver is back. A small, but nice ship. It has a sign for sale. Nice, but to small to live on I believe. So this makes us three Dutch barges in the dock, the tjalk, my neigbour with his Katwijker and me with my Luxe Motor.

Watergeus – Some more welding

25th September 2007 – The man finished most of the roof by now. He welded the other end of the roof, so by now if it rains, it should no longer enter the boat. Next week he will weld the other side where a strip of 10cm was welded. Also the inside needs a second weld. I can already see the end of phase 1.

Watergeus – Emptying bilges

24th September 2007 – I don’t have the feeling for working today, it was too good yesterday…. Besides my stomach, the weather was terrible as well. A lot of rain, so no option for welding. The weather tomorrow is even worse, so I’ve decided to work again and change my holidays to another period, maybe next week.

I hovered some of the bilges, most of it is drying quickly, not bad. But I forgot to close the portholes, so I t rained again inside. Oh what do I love to be summer again…

Vlaamse Woonschepen

23rd September 2007 – Today, there was a big event for the Flemish House boat society in Ghent. They did not only change their name to Flemish instead of Ghent, there was a brunch and a list of items that will change as the negotiations with the Government go along. If these are positive, I don’t think so, but we will have to wait. I did have the chance to meet some nice people.



In the afternoon we moved along the docks and Canals in Ghent through little boats with outboards. So I have a nice collection of pictures from ships seen from the waterline. While sailing, taking pictures, there was still some time for drinking. Fun was over when batteries of camera were empty, just like the bottles.

I noticed a luxe motor being converted; I’m holding my heart to see how it will be adopted to the 21st Century. I agree on modernism, but often in Ghent it goes way to far. This is also an argument of the Government. Once a houseboat has a mooring, the owners often convert the boat and it makes a complete change in view, for the landscape, the boat and the people living around in the houses. People like me, who only built a roof under the hatches are having trouble doing these works on location because of the other people. It also causes more paperwork and we need these days permission before changing the boat.