Watergeus – Painting the anchor winch

12th august 2007 – Yesterday a coat of primer, today it was the moment for the nice paint, red, white and black. It took us all day to paint the anchor winch. Yesterday evening I Looked at various combinations on Internet to have an idea how do let it look the best. I made a simple drawing to remember it while painting.

Watergeus – Primer on the anchor winch

11th august 2007 – The big day for the anchor winch, or rather so I planned it. Instead we continued cleaning it till the afternoon. In the afternoon it was painted with primer.

My uncle came in the morning cutting the grass at the side of the boat, now I can see my hull again. Since I lived their, somewhere in February 2007, I had never seen them cutting the grass from the sides of the canals. It was a perfect space for rats and other unwanted living species.

My grandparents have an old garden with a few greenhouses. They are dating from before the war and are in a very bad condition. One of them had only the supports left and some concrete. Since I need some metal supports for the roof, I decided to take those. Cast iron, simply built with no decorations, but cheap! It took my father and me two hours to remove them, using a grainer and some garden tools. Both our hands are full of scratches! In another greenhouse I discovered some old tools I took with me. The old growing product supply was an galvanized thin. At the bottom there is a tap. So I can use this for separating water and oil from the bilges. The nice lamps need cleaning. Since they are in a bad condition, certainly the wires I’ll use them as 24v lights instead of 220v.

Watergeus – Talking about another roof

10th august 2007 – If everything goes as planned, in September, the boat will have a new roof over the cargo hold. For the outside everything stays the same, but it will be dry from the inside, a huge amelioration!

Since the gaps between the hatches and the den had been filled with every possible filling product, this has to go again, sad in one way, but it will become better, so why worry? It was a waste of time and money, and now it will cost me more time undoing what had been done.

So I tried with one hatch and it worked fine removing the stuff. I’ll wait till the contract is signed and a date has been planned, before I remove all stuff.

Watergeus – Cleaning the anchor winch

4th August 2007 – One of the first sunny days with over 30°C. Lovely, to hot for working outside and don’t even think on going inside. But why complain? The buckets with water in the cargo hold lowered by at least 6 cm during the day. Why would I need another roof if it stays so hot?

Well, besides sitting outside, I continued cleaning the anchor winch. All bolts are replaced by rust free iron bolts and nuts. No matter how rusty they were, I could undo all of them (except one that I used the grainer for).

One of the new ropes in the mast got stuck next to the winch in the mast, so I can(t move that rope. Since I decided to hang out all my flags, I had to stand on a stair to get to the rope and hang my flag. Lowering the mast, as you could read in the last post of july, is not an option. So, now I have a Belgian, Dutch, Amsterdam, Bruges, Assurance company and freight company flags hanging on the boat. Flags can make look a boat nice, believe me!

Furthermore I extended my kitchen furniture, so I have some more place to put a coffee machine. I measured more in detail the cargo hold so my drawings fit nicer to reality.

In the late afternoon, for the first time I know, a narrow boat passed, so small! I had seen a few in London and once one in France, but now, it passed so closely. Nice boats, but to live in it, no way!

Watergeus – Planning

30th July 2007 – Since I need to know every pipe and exhaust that comes out of the roof before the works start, I’m designing the final stage of the cargo hold. I had finished putting the rooms and dimensions in September 2006. I ameliorated it for the windows in January 2007 and am finishing it now for the roof.

In the meantime, I continue to look at several barges for sale to have a look at what interior I like and what I don’t like.

I decided to keep the bathroom and kitchen next to each other, so all water is at one place. This makes it easier in building and maintaining the water system. It is also cheaper, water needs to run less far and in case of a leak, you don’t need to break open the whole boat to find the problem.

The red dots on the last drawing are air vents, one for the kitchen, one for the heating and one for general air vent. The gray colour indicates where the metal roof will come and will be recovered by hatches. The black pieces are the two cabins.

Watergeus – Painting the mast

29th July 2007 – Replaced the ropes in the mast. While lowering the mast, I decided to put a new coat on paint on it. The flag of Amsterdam is hanging in the small mast on the bow of the ship. Further, I worked a bit more on the anchor winch.

The mast is in not such a good condition as I thought it was. besides the hole in the side, the top was very rusty. I’ll put another mast in mt list of equipment to buy in the next couple of years.

Meanwhile my mother painted the two tables in the wheelhouse. It is starting to look much better now. I can’t wait to see my roof over the cargo hold.

Watergeus – Wheelhouse table

22nd July 2007 – Already since I had the boat, I wanted to have a small table in the wheelhouse. In the meantime I had all the stuff, some wood from a scrapped barge, a table from an old trawler and wood from the cargo hold. Today I finally decided to make it all look right. While looking for some more wood, I found enough pieces to make a nice %plint% around the wheelhouse. So everything starts to look good, without costing me any money!

Nearly every boat has a small mast on the bow, mine hasn’t and never had one. Yesterday in Sluiskil, I got some rvs steel pipes. Since I could not drill in it, I burned a hole with the drilling machine. Yes this is possible but it costs you at least two metal drills. They just melt and create a hole through their heat. It is not the right way, but the bolts now nicely fit in it! So my boat has a mast as well now!

The new boat owner of two boats further came by. I believe we might have a small community of boat owners in the end! That would be great!!!


21st July 2007 – Sluiskil, a small village, I just can’t leave it. Went to say hello to everybody. A friend of mine has bought the spits barge from the other side of the dock. Used to be a total wreck, but he is going to make it into something nice.

His spits barge was built in 1912 as a towing spits, motorized after the war. She is still so original from the outside with her low den and original back-accommodation. No more engine, but he will place one in the boat! Another boat has been saved and I wish him all the luck he needs!


Antwerp and scrapyard in Ghent

14h July 2007 – Decided to do some new ideas for the boat. I visited Antwerp. I was very disappointed in finding boats. So little boats were left there. Two years ago, there were plenty of boats, now I could easily count them on one hand.

When returning home, I stopped at the scrap yard in Ghent. There is, what used to be a nice, spits barge. It was moored in Bruges before. I don’t believe there will be any hope left in saving the boat.

Nomade back from the yard

13th July 2007 – The boat from two moorings further then mine came back from their five yearly dry-dock and repair session. Like every boat, they also need to have a new hull survey every five years. I drank a glass of wine and we talked. It feels so good to see an old spits barge still sailing, and what is most important, the boat still looks original, but is a very nice house boat.

Watergeus – Deck and rust

12th July 2007 – It started as a sunny day, so I decided to threat the whole deck with oil to protect it from rust and to make loose the rust there is. By the noon clouds were coming, so I quit. Furthermore, most of the anchor winch is cleaned. Some pieces already move again!

Watergeus – Air vents

10th July 2007 – Yesterday I bought four air vents for engine rooms. Two of them are my engine room, the two other ones for the new kitchen in the cargo hold. One of them was already cleaned and could be placed straight away on the engine room pipe, wasn’t it from the fact the tube was 0.5cm to wide. Looked easy to solve, but with bashing on the pipe It didn’t go as fluently as I thought. In the end the pipe became smaller and the air vent fitted nicely on it. The whole neighbourhood was awake!

I moved my front anchor and welded it to the side of the boat. It takes less space, looks nicer and now it can be used as a decoration piece.