Watergeus – Cleaning the bilges

1-2nd July 2006 – I didn’t work that much this weekend. I had some problems of a shoulder injury. The previous owner came by and it was to hot to work. At least, I cleaned the last parts of the engine room floor. It was a bit more then I thought, another 300 liters… Now you can eat from it!!!

I cleaned my deck, tidied up my ropes and started the engine. The best advice I could give to you: run your engine at leas every three months for an hour or more. That should keep her running for a long time!

The weather was so nice, I decided to take a swim around my ship. She looked so massive from the water. Sadly I don’t have a water prove camera.


Watergeus – Cleanup weekend

17th-18th June 2006 – A ‘clean-up’ weekend, in which I got rid of most of the oil in my engine room. After cleaning most of it, I could again see the rivets on the bottom of the vessel. More then 600 liters of old fuel and contaminated water were hovered out and put into oil tins. A job that took most of the time during that weekend. A total of over 1200 liters were removed and I’m pretty sure, there is still some left!

Furthermore, the front cabin was painted. I chose a light color to make it look bigger. Because of the temperature, the paint dried very quickly. At the end of the evening, I was already able to put all my stuff and ropes back.

Watergeus – A lovely weekend

9-10-11 June 2006 – A lovely weekend, very hot. Outside 29° C and inside… 48°C. It was just that bit too hot to work inside. Anyway, I removed the old electricity of the cargo hold and the front cabin. These wires were working, but no good for the future. They took a lot of space and became a problem for painting. The tube was welded to the side, so I would loose a lot of space, when finishing the sides with wood on a later stage.

The front cabin was painted on the outside in the cargo hold and the floor of the front cabin.

It was also the first time I saw the vessel painted. She looked great. She definitively needs another coat, but the first layer was good! I wish they would have repaired her before putting the boat back in the water. At the other hand, now I will be able to see her dry-docking twice.

Watergeus – Cleaning the engine room

21th May 2006 – I started cleaning the engine room. In December, when I first started working on the boat, for the previous owner, all the water, contaminated with oil, was pumped into the engine room. Now I stated putting everything in empty cans. At the end of the day, I ran out of cans, already filled all of them for nearly 300 liters. At least another 600 liters are in the bilges…

Watergeus – Next day on the yard: the survey

16th May 2006 – The yard has so many lights, the barge in front of me has a very nice search light in his mast, so does the one next to me. This made it impossible for me to sleep. Another hard day for me, so seemed later.

Early in the morning, I made a walk around my boat. The skipper from the Remi showed some weak places on the hull. It worried me a bit. At 9 o’clock, I started cleaning the anchor winch.


At 11 O’clock the man who had to measure the hull thickness (and give me a certificate) arrived. He needed nearly six hours to measure the whole boat. After only half an hour, he discovered the first bad area, a couple more would follow…

At the end of the day, two plates at the bottom and four on the sides needed to be replaced. Looks like a small job, but expensive enough.

Watergeus – Going to the yard

15th May 2006 – A major step in her preservation and conversion to a houseboat is her dry-docking in Sluiskil. During the night of 14th-15th May, I had to stay up all night to refill the generator every three hours. The batteries were so flat, the main engine couldn’t start anymore…

The quality of the picture is not good, due to the smoke of the broken exhaust of the generator in the cargo hold.

At 8 o’clock in the morning, we started the engine without trouble, something that didn’t work the day before. The ship had to turn in the Canal before she could set sail to the yard. Since she has no cargo, her propeller was halve above the water. This made it very hard to navigate her.

We arrived half an hour later at the yard. When contacting the yard to know if we could go to the slip, they told us to wait, there were problems with the slipway, a rail and a cable were broken. We moored next to the 1957 built Remi, another inland barge. The delay was 4 hours. In the meantime, to save fuel we turned off the engine, a decision we regretted later…

When the previous ship was launched and some of the slipway repaired, our ship was allowed to go to the slip. While trying to start the main engine we discovered the batteries were flat again. So we drove to a ship, asking for their power charger. In no time the engine started and the Watergeus went on the slip. 15 minutes later, the boat was dry-docked.

The ship was cleaned in the afternoon and I returned to the boat in the late evening to take some pictures of her hull.

Watergeus – Cleaning the bilges

5th & 6th May 2006 – Two days of hard work, in which I decided to put some paint on the hull of my boat, so she didn’t look that rusty anymore. She used to be sand blasted four years ago and had been put back in the water without any coat of paint.

I also cleaned some of the bilges of the cargo hold. They were still partly filled with oil and old leaves.

Watergeus – Belgische meetbrief

4th May 2006 – Today, two employees of the Belgian Government came to measure my boat, so I could register it again as a Belgian boat. The whole operation took three hours. It was a kind of a joke, they re measured the boat three times and had three different results.

After they measured the boat, the new BR-number was bashed into the hull on four locations, twice on the side, one on the bow and one on the back.

Watergeus – A weekends work

28th April – 1st May 2006 – The first of a couple of long Weekends in Sluiskil. This weekend, marked by Queens Day and bad weather, was a success. A new generator was placed aboard and the back accommodation cleaned. My mother and her girlfriend cleaned the whole accommodation removing everything that had become useless or hopeless to clean. Most of the furniture was disinfected and the old mattresses were thrown away. I’m still sleeping the wheelhouse and will continue to do so till there is a new mattress.

With Queens Day, there was a street selling in Terneuzen. At 4 o’clock most people go home and leave their unsold stuff behind. Andy and me drove their and took what was usefully. In no time, I had some decoration stuff and several kitchen accessories, such a s bread box, a rack for bottles, etc…

The new generator is a Petter 1 cylinder air cooled, delivering 4.4kva. Its connected to the exhaust of the previously generator, which broke in January 2006.

Watergeus – Roofing felt on hatch

15th April 2006 – Today, we’ve put the roofing felt on. I also started cleaning the boat. A lot of old metal was no longer needed. I put a floor in the foxhole and painted it quickly. That space is now clean and being used as a storage for my tools.

Watergeus – Building a hatch

9th April 2006 – It was now time to build a hatch in the same style as the roof, so I could lower my stuff in the cargo hold. This same hatch will become my main entrance.

Since the shop was closed and I didn’t have enough roofing felt, I just coated the hatch. In case of rain, the wood would at least be a bit protected.

Watergeus – 100% ownership

7th April 2006 – I have now become the new owner of the Watergeus. My first plans are to dry-dock her. Since I need a certificate before I can ask for a mooring in Belgium, this will become priority one. Depending on what repairs are needed, I can make up my budget or totally give up the project.

Watergeus – Making the step!

27th March 2006 – Only one day after the add was placed, I called Andy and told him I was buying the ship. I would meet him on Friday and make the deal. Why? I had the chance of buying a spits for 5000 euros more then a real Luxe Motor who’s condition I knew by now and I helped a friend. These two reasons were enough for me to make this important decision.