Watergeus – Removing some more wood

24th September 2006 – After two days of hard work, we found it was time for some fun, some amusement, so we decided to break down some more of the wooden construction.

The next phase will be the construction of a new entrance, but in the same style of the boat. Therefore, we lowered the metal plates in the hold of the ship. This part will be fabricated in the hull and later put in position by the crane.

Watergeus – Deck built

23th September 2006 – The deck was placed on the boat, from the hatches to the compartment. A very precisely job, since the plates had to be placed as close as possible to each other. The bigger the gap between them, the bigger the risk that water will stay where the weld is.

Watergeus – Working on the bulkhead II

22th September 2006 – When I arrived, the plate at starboard side was also put into position. The plates to the sides of the ship are the hardest. You have to take care of many aspects. The sides are not straight, the ribs are constructed with multiple plates. Some of these ribs have been damaged during her commercial career. The gangway goes slightly lower at the end. Some parts of the plate had to be burned away, what causes the plate to change shape of the heat.


That evening the third and fourth plate were placed. A small stroke was cut of a new plate, so the final gap was filled.

The watertight compartment has been created. It should be fixed properly with ribs in the next days. It will also become stronger, when the deck will be placed.

Watergeus – Creating a bulkhead

16th September 2006 – The Watergeus has always been used as a water supply vessel. The cargo hold was well protected with a white stuff, some kind of cement. Where the new watertight compartment will come, this stuff had to be removed. A job that took me all morning. It was so much dust that the area around me (including myself) was completely white. A bit of good advice, never do it without a mask. I still have difficulties breathing.

In the afternoon, we cut the first plate of the compartment, a job that took three hours. Nothing is straight on a boat…

Watergeus – Day 2

3th September 2006 – After a hard night we started working again. I didn’t sleep because of the loaded spits barge next to me. The boat was only connected to my boat and not to land… Ropes were loose and it was heavily loaded.

In the morning we created a first rib that should hold the plates. The ribs had to be rounded to keep curve the platform. We used metal strips and curved them ourselves.

Watergeus – Removing the first wood

2nd September 2006 – The plates for the new construction have arrived. It was quite hard getting them aboard my neighbour’s ship. He had already done the ribs and U-supports. Each plate had a weight of nearly 150kgs.

That same day, we broke down the first part of the original wooden construction. Breaking it down was a reasonable quick job. Once this was done, we all had a nice meal and started working again, now with the more heavier stuff, metal.

During that evening, the main rib and support for the flat roof had been welded. It was getting to dark to continue working, so we drunk another beer and went sleeping.

It is now a phase with no going back!

Watergeus – Anchor chain

27th August 2006 – I didn’t feel much better, but decided to do a hard job, one I’ll never do again. In my front storage space, there was a spare anchor chain. Since I want to move my anchor from the back to the front, I needed the chain to be placed on my winch. The spare chain was all rusty and rather looking like a spaghetti.

It took me three hours of continuous work to put the chain in place. My deck is now a big mess, full of scratches and rust. Whenever I have the time I will pour some oil on the chain.

Watergeus – Getting a Lister engine aboard

26th August 2006 – Today was a hard day in many ways. I was ill, the weather unstable and I had a Lister 2 cylinder to move from my home place in Ostend onto my boat.

We needed the crane boat of Rinus to get the Lister on the front deck. On that same moment, we also placed two water tanks aboard. They will be used as dirty water tanks. They were free, so I took them. I’m not sure where I’ll put them in the end, but they are useful anyway. In the worst case, I just use them as ballast tanks.

Andy bought a new boat. It is a spits barge from 1924 with GM engine. A typical barge. The accommodation was in front of the wheelhouse, and was in line with the den of the hold. Some more accommodation was added. Some part of the hold was converted, but most of it had to be redone. A nice ship in some ways. The bottom was replaced in 1992 with a 8mm plate.

On his deck he had a small garden. I took some of it and placed it on my deck. At least some green. A Dutch barge can always be recognized by flowers and a bike somebody once told me.

Watergeus – Painting engine room

12-13-14th August 2006 – I painted the engine room today. This was the last part, besides the cargo hold, that needed to be repainted. Next week, we’ll start rebuilding the roof and den, now in metal.

The new construction will be a flat deck at the wheelhouse, an entrance at about 1,45m and then the original sides for the hatches. These works will take around 2 months. During this period the boat will rather look sad, rain coming in and no roof, just like I found her in December 2005.

Watergeus – back on her mooring

11th August 2006 – The ship has been moved under her own power from the yard to its mooring a bit further in the dock. She is now alongside my neighbour Harte 1 and ready for a further conversion.

My neighbour did the job while I was away. I wanted to be there, but sometimes you need to work to earn some money or just have a boss that will not allow you to take half a day off…

Watergeus – Floating again

2nd August 2006 – The Watergeus is finally floating again. Fully repaired, she was launched from De Schroef at 10:00am. I visited her a couple of hours later and she looked very good. I believe today is a very important day in the history of the Watergeus, or at least to me.

It is not buying the boat that is important, but the maintenance and the yard visits that make her special (and valuable)!

Watergeus – At the yard

21-22-23th July 2006 – A long weekend, three days of hard work with an average temperature of 42°C. Since Tuesday the rudders had been repainted. They look much better now!


The second part of the Technical room was painted. I put the metal floor back in that space. Since this area is clean now, I decided to move my engine spare parts from the engine room. Everything looks clean now, so it gives me a more comfortable feeling. I don’t like working in a messy engine room.

At the other end of the boat, the bilges were cleaned and painted. Next week, I put a floor in that area as well. It is to dangerous to walk on the ribs, one moment of not paying attention is enough to fall and break a leg.