Walking in Ghent

7th April 2007 – I have the boat exactly one year. The biggest problem of house boat people with a partly converted boat is finishing it. They can only work in their free time and often then is the moment to visit friends, going on holiday, etc… So instead of working, I went to Ghent to take pictures of the barges and how they were converted. It was nearly a year since I last visited Ghent by camera. It was sad, really sad to see how barges are being converted into floating lighters. Everybody has his own taste and comfort often is the primer concern above the look of a ship.

In the afternoon I visited Philippe, a man who lives on a converted spits. I wanted some advice and he was kindly enough to take time to explain how he built his interior. He certainly loved his vessel and that’s the first rule for converting a boat!

And in the evening I went to a birthday party…

Watergeus – Cover electro motor

1st April 2007 – Finally made a cover for my electro motor of my crane. It is common for skipper’s to leave their electro motors outside without a cover, but their lifetime gets shorter. To prevent my electro motor from having a short live, I decided to put a small cover on it.

Painted the mooring posts on land. Will start making use of them next week. Besides ropes, I’m going to use steel cables as well.

Boeieraak Rival

31st March 2007 – Instead of working on my own boat I visited some friends in Sluiskil and helped working on a boeieraak. It is a lovely boat. If I had some more money I would have bought her for using as a workshop. She has such a nice original looking line, a real museum piece!

I also bought a new rope for my boat, since a few of them had their best life…

Watergeus – Taking a break

25th March 2007 – Besides going to the engine room and discovering the stairs were still wet I didn’t do much on the boat. When having a house boat under construction, you need to take a break from time to time. I think that’s the best advice I can give…

Watergeus – Securing the hatches

24th March 2007 – Today we fixated already some of the hatches. First put some rubber under the hatches to protect them. The metal is sharp and can cause damage to the hatches. After that, we drilled a whole in the handles of the hatches through the metal of the den. We bolted the hatches to the den. Afterwards, the hatches were bolted to each other, creating one big roof.

Watergeus – Securing the ship

18th March 2007 – The weather was changing quickly yesterday, having a big storm this night and most of the day. I decided this morning to put a car tier under my gangway. Now the only noise I’m hearing is the tier and no longer the metal.

I cleaned some more of the front peak. All stuff I will likely never use again has been moved to the technical space. Since the floor was not dry yet everything is on the water tank.

In the afternoon I put some strong ropes with small winches on my hatches to make sure they survive the weather for the next couple of days.

Watergeus – Second hand stuff

17th March 2007 – In the morning I went to a second hand shop to look for some more storage,but couldn’t find much, actually nothing that would suit in my technical space. I prefer buying stuff second hand, first of all the price but secondly in a second hand shop you often find the good old furniture hand made with a lot of charm and strength.

In the afternoon, I painted my waste water tank and the floor around. It is an old metal engine room floor I reused. There was some paint left, so I used it for painting the support of the engine. That little bit of paint makes my engine room looks much nicer.

Watergeus – Sorting out bolts and nuts

12th March 2007 – In the morning I started sorting my nuts, bolts, screws and nails. For every type I used a glass of jam. Whenever I need one, it will make it easier to find one.

My power cable is expensive, so It was locked through an opened window with a chain. A very secure system, only when it was raining, water came in through the window. Therefore I drilled two holes with a metal piece to hold my cable. It is more secure and I can keep my window closed…

Later I hovered out the bilges of the cargo hold. It was very sunny yesterday, so it was today and will probably be tomorrow. When most water is gone, the rest can evaporate.

In the afternoon, I had visit of a girlfriend who plans to buy a boat. We talked on some boats. Later I painted my future bathroom and corridor. I stopped painting when the paint was empty and the sun had gone under. A perfect timing. I just didn’t have enough for the railing of the stairs, but I’ll figure something tomorrow.

Watergeus – Help for the hold

11th March 2007 – My family came today for solving the problem of leaks through the gaps. I started working on the railing for my boat. When they arrived they finished the job. With what was left of that railing, it was to big, we made a small space for putting the rubbish bins.

In the cargo hold there is the big red stairs in metal. Since we were working on the railing anyway, we decided to  make one for there as well.

Since we didn’t have the right stuff to close the gaps, we decided to do it next time.

Watergeus – A good night with a concert!

4th March 2007 – Went with Andy to a concert last night of a group called ‘The John Lennon’s Rifle Club’. It is a retro-punk group with some very good songs. It made me forget the mooring troubles I have.

In the afternoon, we placed some curtains in the wheelhouse. It looks much nicer, not only having some more privacy, but it know shows it’s a real house boat.

Watergeus – Cleaning the back accommodation

3th March 2007 – Didn’t sleep well at all, at the other hand we had a very bad storm, one of the worst in the last couple of weeks…

We cleaned the back accommodation in the morning. In the afternoon I had some visits and my mother continued working on the wheelhouse. I started cleaning the front of the boat and making an inventory of what I have left.

Watergeus – Mooring Posts

2nd March 2007 – My first night at my new mooring. Whether I should put this online or not, no idea. Again my gangway ended up between the quay and my boat. One day it will be in the water. I called this afternoon to hear more about the mooring posts on land and it seems obvious, I will have to pay for them, a 1000 euros each! Depending on how I will sleep the following couple of nights I might place them!

So when I arrived I had to make a power cable from the front of the boat to the back. In the front there is the fuse box where the 380v arrives. It is split up in two 220v plugs. All my cables are German type of socket  with no hole for the earth. After looking I managed to create 26m  cable by taping several cables together. It was already dark so tomorrow I’ll try to make something nice out of it! At least I had power in the back accommodation.

It feels relative strange, knowing that in Sluiskil my neighbours were there to help me. I now need to cook for myself, look for food and find something to keep my busy. Working on a computer is, since my accident in December last year, relative hard. I am starting to feel lonely here in Bruges!

Watergeus – Gangway and electricity

1st March 2007 – In the early morning I went to Bruges to pick up some stuff for Sluiskil. There had been some heavy storm the last couple of days, so the gangway had fallen of the concrete wall pushing my boat from land. It took us some time to solve the problem.

In the afternoon we went back, since the electricity would be connected to the boat.