Watergeus – Cleaning the bilges

13th January 2007 – Today, I mainly cleaned the bilges.

In the afternoon, I cleaned my deck and upper structure with a high pressure cleaner. A lot of the rust and graining dust came of, including the paint on the deck. This wasn’t such a big problem, since everything needs to be painted again before leaving to my mooring in Bruges.

The evening, I connected some cables to the generator. Earlier that day,Andy started the generator for me. He managed to do it without start pilot. Now the generator is ready for the trip later next month. In case something badly happens, the pump can now be connected in no time. Also during the trip, the battery charger stays on.

Watergeus – Electricity

12th January 2007 – Earlier this week, the welder continued making holes and placing the windows. It is a very precise and time consuming job. As can be seen on the following picture, on one side, the four portholes are already in place.

When both sides are finished, a nice coat of paint will make it look much nicer. A green deck, dark red den and white portholes.

Today, the lights in the mast were connected to the control panel in the wheelhouse. All the lights are now working. A new 24v cable had to be placed from the beginning to the end of the ship.

I had to drill some holes in the ribs to place the cable temporarily. The cable will be put in a tube when the cargo hold will be converted. During the drilling exercise, I lost three drills. So, I was convinced of the quality and thickness of the ribs… (or it were cheap drills).

Later in the afternoon, I started cleaning the bilges, removing the water from the conversion works, where there was no roof. So, most of the bilges at the back are dry.

Watergeus – Portholes

30th December 2006 – All the big portholes are now marked on the new den. In the next couple of weeks a friend of mine is going to put them in.

All wooden plates from the side of the ship were placed on the floor, created two days ago. Between every plate I put some smaller wooden pieces, so air can pass between them. Since all plates are now properly stored, I get a better impression on the space that needs converting. My neighbour’s wife was painting her interior and I was hoping I was already as far as they are now…

Watergeus – A few more portholes

28th December 2006 – Two more portholes were placed today. I also continued cleaning the bilges, with graceful help of my parents.

In the afternoon, a part of the floor has been laid in the front of the cargo hold. It was placed properly, but not fixed yet. Since I had no electric saw, everything was done by hand.

Watergeus – Cleaning the bilges

27th December 2006 – A friend came today for helping me with the big portholes. They can’t be burned since the heat will damage the plates of the den. Therefore all holes will be grained. A job that is going to take some time.

Today we have started removing all rain water that had entered the boat during its construction works. With a hoover, all bilges were cleaned from water, dust and other rubbish.

Watergeus – Crane

15th December 2006 – I had to be in Terneuzen today, so I quickly jumped aboard to have a look at my crane and take a few pictures. While I was in Terneuzen, I took some time to take pictures of the remaining ships of the water company fleet that once owned the Watergeus.

Watergeus – Electricity

12th December 2006 – My electrician had some time today, so we drove back to Sluiskil. He connected the navigation lights, while me and my neighbour worked on the remaining jobs, such as fixing the hatches, putting the crane in position and drinking a beer…

The crane will be placed on port side, so it directly suitable for my mooring in Bruges. Another reason for choosing this site is the place the blue board. It wouldn’t look right having everything on one side.

The weather changed to quickly, so we didn’t have any time left to place the stairs.

Watergeus – Stairs

9th December 2006 – Still adopting to live left handed, I decided to go to my boat anyway.

When I arrived, my neighbour was finishing the door entrance. It is starting to look good! Later that day, my stairs and railings arrived with a friends barge, the Benjamin.

The stairs come from an old sport fishery barge, the Hardy. This boat is now a houseboat in Sluiskil under the name Harte 1 (and my other neighbour). They are perfectly adjustable for my ship. My entrance is around 85cm and the stairs 92cm. They fit perfectly. Since they are so heavy, it is a perfect ballast for my boat.

No matter how much I like wood, I think it’s better to have the critical parts in metal.

At the end of the day, I visited some friends and went back home. It’s always nice to see the progress that can be made in one day.

Watergeus – Planning portholes and rooms

3th December 2006 – Last week, at home, I started cleaning some of the 11 big portholes. Today we did the rest aboard the vessel. We will place them probably next week if the welder has some time left.

I drew the rooms and windows position on the metal, to get an impression of the size of the rooms. After drawing my first plan, it needed some adjustments. For example: a room of 4m by 3m is quiet big for a sleeping room. My living room, which intentionally would have been 7m by 5m looked rather small…

Drawing a boat on paper / computer is easy, but often far from reality. The rooms are now drawn and looking much more acceptable and realistic.

Because of the bad weather, there is still over 10cm of water in the bilges. One of these days, I’ll pump it out, so I can start working on the floor.

Watergeus – Ribs in position and door mounted

2nd December 2006 – Since all metal work was finished and the last ribs were welded, it was time to cover it with a fresh coat of primer. The only primer I had was gray, so it looks a bit like a Navy vessel, but at least, it can’t rust anymore.

Painting two sides took us some time. It looks so much better then the wooden construction.

In the afternoon, my door was placed, a heavy job. The door has a weight of over 150kgs. She was carried by four men aboard my ship. The four of us had to walk over the two other ships first. Since it are all different ships moored next to each other, we had to be carefully of the difference in height of each of them. We had to strengthen the construction, so it could hold this door.

During the welding works on my door and it’s frame, my parents and I cleaned the cargo hold, sorting out the wood and removing the rubbish left from the construction works.


Watergeus – Portholes

30rd November 2006 – The most worrying job I had left for this year was finding windows for my boat. A lot of people told me it would become a very expensive job and so it was. I didn’t have many options, since my den has a height of 62cm. The hatches are cut in and take 10cm, so 52 cm were left for windows.

I started looking two months ago for windows of an average height of 40cm. I didn’t want the small portholes, since the don’t offer me enough light; also I didn’t want house windows, like so many houseboat barges. Windows can ruin the whole look of a boat.

I bought 11 portholes from a friend and received six other windows for free. Windows I helped removing from another ship for him.

The portholes are 40cm height and have bronze storm hatches. They need a lot of cleaning, a job for the next couple of days…

Watergeus – 24v system

19th November 2006 – Today, the electrician fixed the rest of the 24 volts power, switched on the navigation lights and made the 220v system to work, finally, again power on my boat!

I helped again with the spits barge and also bought a watertight door for the entrance of my boat. I can no travel over the IJsselmeer without having to worry if water would get on my deck. The door is heavy, so we might have to strengthen the door entrance.

In the late afternoon, I took some pictures of my boat from Lore’s boat. Here are a couple: