Project Boat

Or *what* the hell was I thinking when I bought this :)

Last update : 21th of july 2009 (bottom of page)

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Finally! she is in the drydock, since end of April 2003

Belle is a 6m50 by 2.30 1965 lifeboat (sloop) that somebody converted into a sailingboat years ago. The boat itself is polyester, tho everything built on top is wood and plywood, now well rotten. Projectboat is all about making it the beautifull boat she can be! Bought her a couple of years ago, often lazing my way tru the Amsterdam canals, but now... gotto fix her before she falls apart. Mast, gaffel & boom I fixed last year, they are in mint condition, as are the brown sails, that I got from another lifeboat, together with the mast and boom. Everything needs to be made to fit yet. Can you see what I got myself into ? :)

Here she is, withouth masts :

Done this weekend (26th of april ); sanded down the blue line outside the ship, painted portside a nice baby blue :) is to go nice with orange red which will come on the top layer ; slightly lighter then it is now. Am going for the impression the boat gave me when I bought her, slightly meditteranean.

Took of half the upper deck on the back, with hammer (very enjoyable :) so within two weekends it should be clear and ready for a new deck. Getting the wood there (large 2meter40 panels is still a challenge, since I only have a bike, and its waaay out of town, including a bridge over the open water, not to mention 3 flights of stairs down, with the bike...

Now check out these next three pix. I wanted to see some results so I painted the blue rim, which I sanded down earlier. If all you do is demolish, its nice to see at least a wee bit of what it might end up looking like.

This is as far as I got this weekend, 26th of april 2003

05 may 2003 Liberation day in Holland, and I'm working, tho not on the boat. Had some help from a friend (tnx Tom! :) this weekend, and together we took of the rest of the gangways and the topdeck on the back, plus some of the standing up rims backside. Boatie now looks half demolished, uh oh. Am thinking about how to build up. Am collecting large sheets of paper to make the shapes, before sawing them out of wood (waterproof glued plywood i think) Forgot camera, will take pix next weekend.

06 may 2003 Have large sheets of paper. Working for MSF ( has its advantages, as they have lots of old campaign-posters :)

10 may 2003 new pix, less and less boat.Something wrong with my html skills, (in the way there is something fundamentally wrong with human behaviour) but the links work.

11 may 2003 My brother and me took the motor out. Motor broke, spins fine but will not go into forward or reverse. Handy brother will fix the handle. :)

21 may 2003 aaah how a fine set of spanners does get the nuts and bolts off I've been previously hammering at with 2 pliers, as a complete girlie. Much better. Took off big round thingiedingie surrounding the rudder, enabling me to hammer and chisel away at the bits I couldn't get at. Need grinding machine and powerjigsaw. Lots of rust everywhere to grind off, and the jigsaw to make the replacement wood for the therapeutic demolition earlier this month.

22 may 2003 bought the grinder and the powerjigsaw. Tied mast to hangar, can now close off the cabin, safely lock tools away.

Covered back bit of boat, to prevent grinding dust from getting to freshly painted neighbouring boat.
time to take this rust off with new grindingtool. Takes a bit of getting used too, its quite scary and fast grinding. Must be carefull at all times.
and its off!
half done with grinding all the paint and rust off the rudderprotecting rail.
One hour later, all done. Total of 6 hours of work done today, far above average :) Am tired and will allow myself slacking time on the couch with a movie or two. Mibbi a glass of wine or two.. :)
Am now self appointed certified grinding machine handler. Must stay carefull and never do any juggling acts with it.

24 may 2003 tic tic tic with a hammer at the keel, bashing all the rust away. Hard work, will be built like brick shithouse if I would be doing this for a couple of weeks. Only half way tru, other side of boat tomorrow. And that's just the half of it, need to go at it with grinding machine afterwards, to finish it off. Not looking forward to that, as pressure needs to be applied upwards...
Painted rudderprotecting rail in red lead yesterday. One more day tomorrow, then work and off to Ardennen (belgium) for a weekend of debauchery with friends :) This means no more work for 2 weeks. Maybe therapy.

25 may 2003 tic tic tic, arms feel like lead, I'm completely zonked out, but almost finished the keel. Accidently made hole in keel. Must find way to fix this. Keel is massive at front, but hollow at back, getting thin. Probably needs welding.
More in 2 weeks time! Now off for a well deserved pint of cider, possibly some fish (in beer-batter) & chips :)

04 june 2003. Survived weekend. Brought back lots of interesting memories and first flu/cold in 2 years. Meanwhile a heatwave hits Holland, double fun... got sent home from work mondaymorning, am hero for going in in the first place.

25 june 2003. Despair not! I've had a long flu, and I'm now doing some extra work in the weekends so I'll have money for boatmaterials (not to mention the ibook that's now in the post coming my way and a new pair of glasses : I'll be back on track in a couple o weeks time. Unless the ibook doesn't let me =]

13 december 2003! Been more bizzzy then motivated. Anyways, last weekend I got some big flat plates of waterfast glued wood there, so it's time to start repairing the deck. Got 2 people coming to help me this coming thursday, hooray!

31 december 2003 The boat has a new back-deck and gangways ! This is the first time I actually got to do something else then demolishing :) Two times 8mm waterfast glued plywood is beaming at you :) Pictures next year, party time now!

13 january 2004 Woohoo, happy newyear and congratulations to me for having screwed on & glued on the aft deck and the left gangway! 4 hours on a tuesday evening, am very proud, mostly of the fact that I went to the pub afterwards and ONLY HAD 1 (one) BEER!

23 january 2004 Might this boat actually go in the water this year ? Am getting my hopes up, aft deck n both gangways secured
and did some cleaning up. (Totally out of caracter, yes) Started making molds for floor in bun.

5 february 2004 Pictures at last.

These people, KJ and Rene have helped me with the boat, things really started to happen then.
I'm not *that* fat! I swear, it was 2 degrees above zero Celsius.. :)
aaaaw, I dunno, these last two pictures bring a tear to my eye. Beautifully curved new back deck..

20 february 2004 A beautifull crispy sunny winterday, too cold to work on boat, but there's new wood at the boat now, so next week I can make a new floor, outside where you stand when sailing.
Be nice to the man with the car who can help you get wood to the boat :)

3 march 2004 Bunfloor-parts half done. El cheapo powerjigsaw holding out nicely. Me getting good with powerjigsaw. I could dangle a cigaret from the corner of my mouth, ooze Clint Eastwood and say 'Do you feel lucky, punk ?'

28th of April, I'm still here, only I'm renovating my new house, fulltime. Breaking down 2 walls, building a new one, breaking down a stone masoned fireplace with a normal hammer, fixing floor, woodwork.... 11 hours a day for the last 2 weeks, moving tomorrow. I need some time off :)

24th of may 2004 Just came back from a sailingrace on the Waddensea. the mast broke and the boat keeled over! Crew fine, boat fine. All in all a great adventure :) This has not put me off, I'm ready for more!

31 of may 2004 Acrylate kitted the new bunfloor and gangways. When the sun burned on the hangar the repressed memory
of last years tropical temperatures flashed back in a near fatal, very real sweat. Must remember to bring surviving water next time. Maybe I just want to be someone's hero :)

4th of june 2004 Ticked the rust of the mastfoot. Powergrinded the rust and paint off and gave it a base anti-rust coat. Out of money error...

25th of november 2004. I'm still alive! I got carried away a bit and quit my job as a sysadmin, I'm now mate on bjootifull old sailing vessels, been doing it voluntarily first on and then for a month and a half payed work on . I'm back on shore since Oktober, and am now going to Nautical College (for sailingboats till 40 meter) in Enkhuizen, Holland. (no-one told me it would involve maths, urgh..) The resultante is that I'm completely pennyless and cannot buy boatrepairing materials at the moment, or the next 2 months. Cooking and eating like a student. Learning to study again, slowly getting into gear. Next spring I'm off sailing for 6 months, to get experience and time on the water. Eventually, if all goes well, with papers and enough time on the water I can skipper passenger sailing vessels till 40 meter. Goodbye computers, hello pwitty pwitty boats :)

30th of march 2005 Finished school, results the 8th of April. Leaving on the 15th for six full months of sailingi on a two mast old skool sailingboat, a Tjalk, now if that won't practically match the theory I've learned in school this last winter... Have also started working on the boat again yesterday, so far 2 layers of ground paint on the new deck, and 1 layer of finishpaint. I've decided to sell her, reluctantly, because I need to pay my school-fees, but I must say it gets harder and harder with every new paint of coat..

31th of march 2005. Feeling rather brilliant, might be the beers after a full 7 hours of work on boatie. Fixed hole in keel, and several holes in mast-holding. Two layers of ground paint on bare wood in bun, and one layer of stinking black tar on keel. Boatie is starting to look good, at least in the places I've worked on, don't look at the rest of the deck, but it feels so good to come home tired and sliiiiiiiiightly drunk. It's a nice place to work, especially with the sun shining on me, and then there's the old men who buy me beers. Pictures tomorrow. Measered up size and wideness of holes I need to drill for the mooring holds, to put on new shiny shiny deck

First of April 2005 and I'm not kidding ;

Second of April, the new deck, I proudly present :)

5th of April, early morning, just about to head off for lots of grinding, sanding and painting. The deck is groundpainted twice now, and yesterday I've filled the little holes that became apparant. Also put the clamps (for mooring with ropes) back on and started bickering the glue off the up-edge that will be re-attached to the back end of the boat, on the shiny new aft-deck, even tho the wood is not in super-state, it'll need replacing in the coming years.
Oh, and I'm not selling the boat. NOT NOT NOT :)

6th of April, not feeling up to going to boat. Instead I've spraypainted the copper windows gold, here at home. Seems a far better idea than constantly brushing up copper, which will blacken otherwise. Yesterday I've tarred the bun, completely sanded and painted the whole deck. Pretty tired afterwards!

12th of April 2005 She's going in! Time for my boatie to go back into the water, without being nearway finished, but its too expensive to leave her there for the coming 6 months I'll be away sailing.

Oh and I passed my exams :) 1e leerjaar: Kleine Zeilvaart (KZV) Met het diploma KZV kan, afhankelijk van de vaartijd en medische keuringen, een vaarbevoegdheidsbewijs verkregen worden voor: * Kapitein voor zeilschepen tot 40 meter Voor het vaargebied Noordzee, Oostzee, Middellandse Zee (tot 30 mijl uit de kust) * Stuurman voor wereldwijde vaart.

Yes. That's Dutch. Go figure it out yourself :)

Later, the very same day. She's in the water. The dockmen put her in before I got there in time to take pictures and run around nervously. First thing I did was check the bun for leaks. 40 centimeter of water was not what I wanted to see, I'm sure you can imagine. Hosed the boat dry (good exercize that is) and looked for the leaks. Two little holes pissing a fine upstanding stream of water. Fixed that with kneadable steel, boat fairly waterproof now. Then the new engine needed to be tested, with help from my friend Johan. Motor runs, but doesn't get any cooling water. Decided after a couple of hours trying to repair it, that trying to get into the Amsterdam canals, by crossing and motoring on a bizzy canal with 100+m boats, it wouldn't be wise, so next attempt with other engine this saturday. This means lots of travelling time, as I'm sailing with my skipper on friday, from the middle of nowhere to another middle of nowwhere. At least three hours to get with bus, bus, boat and train back and fro Amsterdam. Trying to hold on to the idea that things tend to sort out, and good things come from little setbacks :)

22th of April. I'm off! Been off since the 15th, working on the ship I'll be sailing on for the next six months. Belle is in the water, with my friend Johan's purry new 4stroke engine.. :) This summer Johan's gonna take her to Rotterdam, to fit her interieur with bed, and I'll be joining him there sometimes this summer for a holiday, some sailing, and a very lazy time :) I'm off to the school graduation now, unfortunately I shan't be able to put up more pictures of Belle till sometimes in Oktober. Nor stories, nor updates, since I'm not gonna be able to work on her the next six months. Toodlepip! Emmy. mail me @ : emmy *AT*

2th of June 2005 Sailing sailing sailing. Every day, no internet. Boatie is in Nieuwerkerk aan de Ijssel. OH! the mast is standing up, the gaffel has been hoisted and she's looking good. When I can (prolly end Oktober, I will upload some photo's)

2th of August 2005. While I'm sailing 7 days a week, Johan has build a bed in the cabin. Big enough for 2 :) Got a week off, sleeping lots, and in between naps we've filled up the rusty keel with PU compound, a 2 component filler, which has stopped some of the leaking. I've got photo's, but no time or place to scan them and put them online untill somewhere in Oktober, when the Dutch sailing season is over.

7th of August 2005 Fixed some small holes in the keel that still leaked after filling up the gaps with PU compound. Off sailing again tonight, this time on a somewhat smaller ship than the last one (34 meters, 28 beds is quite something to handle).

12th of January 2006
finally! An update :)
nothing happening to boat this winter, as she is still in the south of Holland, and I am not. A new engine is expensive... Meanwhile I'm loitering with intent, having an easy winter, looking for a job untill I set sail again in March/April. Since I had some time on my hands, I've helped out some friends with OddJobs. You have to do it first before you can actually believe you're up for this kind of job ; being hoisted up in a mast, 15meters above the deck, freeing up 6 flags and a spinaker line. Half an hour of mixed emotions later, I was back on deck, enjoying a cigarette :) I was very much reminded of the fact I couldn't fly, but I'd go again, at least I know that now. Meanwhile, a friend and me started drawing up a Plan for Belle ; what do I need ropewise, blockwise, etcetera. s'Gonna take a whole lotta cash for rigging... A well, gimme 10 years :) Next friday, the 20th, I have my Marcom-A exams, bizzy studying now.

16th of Octobre 2006 Made the Marcom-A exams, and just got home, after 6 months of sailing, recovering and sleeping lots. Belle is back in the Amsterdam canals, waiting for me to find time and money to fix her up some more.

Out of money error 327 :)

12th of November 2006 Here's a little stormstory, in Dutch. Fret not, underneith this tale I continue in English.

Kantje boord op de Waddenzee

Het is de laatste avond van oktober 2006. Ik vaar als maat op het charterschip Risico, een tweemastklipper van 24 meter lang. Het is de tweede dag van de Slag in de Rondte zeilwedstrijd over de Waddenzee, waarbij we in een periode van vier tot vijf dagen en nachten in willekeurige volgorde Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland, Schiermonnikoog en Noordpolderzijl aan moeten doen. Het gebruik van motor of moderne navigatiemiddelen is niet toegestaan; we mogen alleen de marifoon gebruiken. Het is een intensieve race met een ervaren 16-koppige bemanning. Rust pak je bij droogvallen of ankeren en verder is het een kwestie van dag en nacht doorgaan.

Het waait hard die avond, windkracht 8. We liggen voor anker bij Noordpolderzijl, wachtend tot de wind gaat liggen, om de volgende morgen de race te kunnen voortzetten. .s Avonds om 20.30 uur krijgen we opeens bericht via de marifoon dat er storm op komst is. De wind zal gaan toenemen naar windkracht 9 Beaufort, met vlagen van 10. We hebben weinig keus: de haven van Noordpolderzijl is geen optie, want dat is lagerwal bij noordwesten wind. We hopen dat we veilig liggen achter de zandbank waar we geankerd zijn. Voor de zekerheid maken we alvast het noodanker klaar en stellen een ankerwacht in.

Terwijl de wind in kracht toeneemt stijgt ook het peil van de Waddenzee. Er is zoveel verhoging dat onze zandbank de steeds hoger en heftiger wordende golven niet meer breekt. Ondanks de omstandigheden probeer ik een beetje te slapen. We hebben heerlijk gezeild de afgelopen dagen. We hebben vlaggetjes geplant op Vlieland en Terschelling en ik heb de afgelopen nacht op de boeg gestaan met een zoeklicht en walkie-talkie, uitkijkend naar boeien op onze weg naar Noordpolderzijl op het Oostwad. Ik ben nu al twee dagen aan een stuk door wakker, dus een beetje slaap gaat er wel in. Maar als ik net een uurtje in bed lig gaat het mis.

Het hoofdanker, met 40 meter ketting, houdt het niet meer. .s Nachts om 0.30 uur slaat het los. Ik had nooit gedacht dat je een krabbend anker zo duidelijk kunt voelen, maar terwijl ik in bed lig voel ik meteen dat het niet goed gaat. Ik rol direct uit mijn kooi, spring in mijn zeilpak en ren naar boven.

Het noodanker wordt gezet. Aanvankelijk houdt het, maar dan breekt de ketting en verdwijnt het anker in het inktzwarte zeewater. De bemannig reageert adequaat: de reddingsboot wordt opgeroepen en de motor gestart. De situatie aan dek is verre van prettig. De Risico stuitert op en neer op de enorme golven, terwijl de wind aan ons rukt en het zeewater in onze gezichten striemt.

Om 01.00 uur klapt het zijzwaard op de grond en breekt doormidden. Op pakweg een derde mijl voor de kust liggen we eindelijk stil, met de motor op vol vermogen aan. Ondertussen begint de motor warm te lopen wegens gebrek aan koelwater. Door de extreme golven komt de waterinlaat boven de waterlijn uit en hapt lucht. Dit schip is gekeurd voor de binnenwateren en normaliter valt de Waddenzee daar ook onder. Deze omstandigheden echter, zijn zo verre van normaal als ze maar zijn kunnen.

Om 2.30 uur maakt reddingsboot Koning Willem I contact en wordt de sleeptros vastgemaakt. In het zoeklicht van de reddingsboot zie ik overal om ons heen grote golven met witte schuimkoppen die ik helemaal niet wil zien. De wind neemt ondertussen nog steeds in kracht toe.

We krijgen het hoofdanker niet omhoog. We proberen een volle 15 minuten lang om het te lichten, waarbij ik op een haar na overboord sla. Dan besluiten we het op te geven. We maken een joon aan de ankerketting vast en slijpen hem door met een slijptol. Ik ben me wezenloos geschrokken. Ik sta letterlijk te trillen op mijn benen als ik een stap wil zetten. Gelukkig kan ik mezelf een beetje afleiden door te helpen om het stroompunt voor de slijptol te vinden in deze heksenketel.

De reddingsboot begint ons te slepen met vijf en een halve knoop, wat te snel is voor ons schip. Als de snelheid is teruggebracht naar twee knopen gaat het beter met schip en bemanning. De wind is inmiddels aangewakkerd tot 11 Beaufort, alle vingers zijn verstijfd van de kou en het zeewater striemt met zoveel kracht over van de boeg naar achter dat sturen alleen nog kan met een veiligheidsbril op.

Om 03.00 uur knapt de bezaanmast. We zagen het al aankomen: de houten keggen trilden los en waren niet meer terug te stoppen en de las van de borgpen knapte. De mast klapt door borgpen en verstaging heen naar achter, komt bovenop roef en stuurwiel terecht en blijft geknakt op de achterste reling liggen, gebroken, een deel hangt in het water. De dreun die ik verwachtte viel mee: het lawaai kwam nauwelijks boven het geraas van de ziedende storm uit. Gelukkig is niemand gewond geraakt, maar nu het stuurwiel is uitgeschakeld zijn we echt compleet onmanouvreerbaar.

Vervolgens valt de marifoon uit, zodat we ook niet meer kunnen communiceren met de sleepboot. Via gsm kunnen we gelukkig contact leggen met de Brandaris, die de sleepboot kan bereiken. Op het Lutjewad valt vervolgens vrijwel alle stroom uit, op een enkel peertje in de roef na. De mensen in het dagverblijf worden nu in het pikkedonker door elkaar gehusseld. Sommigen zijn inmiddels zo zeeziek dat ze amper meer reageren.

Nu we gesleept worden kunnen we even weinig anders doen dan afwachten. In de roef zet ik me schrap tussen keuken en barblok om niet voortdurend door het vertrek heen en weer gegooid te worden en probeer op de laptop met gps de tocht te volgen, tot ook daar de batterij van leeg raakt. Ondertussen moet ik al vier uur ontzettend nodig naar de wc! Ik trek pijlsnel mijn reddingsvest uit en vestig het absolute record .snelplassen op het Oostwad.. Met pijn in mijn hart, want ik moet er wel eerst een verschrikkelijk zeezieke collega voor opzij schuiven. Wat ben ik blij dat ik daar geen last van heb! Een van ons kan niet binnenzitten met zeeziekte en heeft de hele reis op het achterdek gezeten, licht onderkoeld maar in orde.

Langzaamaan begint het te schemeren. Ik zie de gele palen, die de schiettereinen van Defensie markeren, tot aan hun platformen in het water staan. Normaal steken ze er, zelfs bij hoog water, zo.n vijf meter bovenuit. Later horen we dat de storm zorgde voor een verhoging van het waterpeil van 4,83 meter. Geen wonder dat de golven zo hoog zijn en dat de zandbanken, waarachter je normaliter kunt schuilen bij storm, geen golfbrekend effect meer hebben.

Rond 6.30 uur draaien we rondjes voor de haven van Lauwersoog. De Koning Willem I wacht op assistentie van een tweede reddingsboot. De bemanning wil ons niet met één schip naar binnen brengen omdat de haven aan lagerwal ligt. Alle reddingsboten zijn echter druk bezig en daarom worden we naar de veerdam op Schiermonnikoog gebracht.

.s Morgens om 9 uur komen we aan in de haven van Schier en worden met behulp van trossen en een wipperploeg aan de kant getrokken. Echt een klasse staaltje werk! De wind is wat afgenomen, maar mijn benen trillen nog steeds. We bedanken de bemanning van de reddingsboot met een fles Berenburg en gaan zelf richting koffie. Na drie koppen koffie doen ook de benen weer leuk mee en ruimen we de ergste ravage op. Slapen gaat nu toch niet meer.

Het schip is een grote chaos en niemand heeft nog droge kleren. Ook mijn kleding die nog gewoon in mijn hut lag is zout en nat. Zelfs de glaswol waarmee het dagverblijf geisoleerd was ligt nat en wel op de vloer. Maar we zijn eindelijk aan land en iedereen is nog heel! De opluchting is enorm. Tot onze vreugde kent een van de bemanningsleden via via iemand op Schiermonnikoog en bij wie we al onze kleren mogen wassen en drogen.

Wij blijken bepaald niet de enigen geweest te zijn die assistentie nodig hadden. Later horen we dat de Overwinning nachts is losgeslagen van acht trossen en de Ouderzorg nog net aan één tros is blijven hangen. De Najade, die bij ons in de buurt lang, is losgeslagen van zijn twee ankers met 60 meter ketting en De Boreas is, door het hoge waterpeil, over zijn palen heengeslagen en op de kade terechtgekomen. Achteraf, als we alweer op eigen kracht door zoet water varen, gaan we er even langs. .s Nachts bellen we een taxibus, rijden er heen en steunen de bemanning met knuffels en rum. Wat een ongelofelijke aanblik! Sommigen van ons slapen zelfs nog een uurtje voor we om 7 uur s.ochtends weer aan boord zijn om met het schip door de sluis te varen, via de Friese binnenwateren terug naar thuishaven Harlingen. Ons schip is dan wel flink gehavend uit de strijd met de weergoden gekomen, maar de bemanning is nog heel en daar gaat het om. Tijdens de hele reis is er geen moment paniek aan boord geweest. En hoewel er de hele nacht mensen bovenop het bakblik gezeten hebben, heeft de onderweg gebakken appeltaart de reis wonderwel overleefd. Hij smaakte zelfs heerlijk!

Emmy Meester Maat op de Risico

De genoemde tijden zijn plus-minus. Het verslag is persoonlijk en de gebeurtenissen werden door iedereen aan boord anders ervaren

9th of may 2007 aaaah, I'm so back on the land this summer. Finally now what the weather has turned warm, I've got some time to spend on my boatie! Now working as a freelancer, not making very much yet, but enough for some sandpaper, polyesterplaster, primer, deckpaint and anti-slip. Done the whole deck :) Very pritty indeed, and ever so rewarding. No pictures ; Lost my camera (probably somewhere in the pile of stuff that occupies my house-floor, waiting to be sorted out, lets hope my mom doesn't come to visit before i finally find some time to do so,.. )

8th of june 2007. Been to Hoorn and back with Belle! Together with my best friend we sorta hoisted the mast up, secured it with nylon rope, and off we set, motorsailing with the jib. No mainsail yet, as there is no attachmentspot for the sheet yet. Trough the canals up to Edam, and then uh-oh, Nord-East 5Beaufort, boing boing boing on the waves. Taken into consideration that is was the first time in 5 or 6 years I sailed anything smaller than 20 meters... Anyway, up went the jib, and down in the back I sat, sorta hanging on to what needs more grip to hang on to ... ;) The trip went ok, we even did 4 tacks! Proud as I ever was we arrived in Hoorn, joining the 20 or so other old sailing sloops, for the Pinkster-reunion weekend. (a regatta, lots of fun and the beertap...) Didn't join the regatta, as 1 sail is not enough to sail on without a motor, so Peter and me spent the day fixing things on deck ; some extra blocks, a shiny new rope to hoist the jib, a new portlight, a new toplight, some wiring in the cabin, namesigns improvised from bits of carpet and a black marker, light in the cabin (the luxury :) etcetera. Have made impressive list of stuff that needs fixing/making/attention etcetera, and am now looking for mooringplace in marina, as I've decided it's time to leave the mast up! *swoon*

11th of Juli 2007
Am hero. Feel hero. I'm co-skippering a delivery to Paris, a 13meter old boatie, probably a 100 years old approxomatily. Taking it from Den Bosch, up to Luik (Liege) in Belgium, where I had to leave, coz I've got 2 days of work in Amsterdam. Friday I shall train back to whereever the ship is, and then (gulp) I shall skipper it alone all the way to Paris, with the owner, she's just bought the houseboat (parlevinker) but has no experience on the water whatsoever. The hero-bit comes forth out of doing looooaaaads of locks, steering the ship into locks, and out of it, with no damage ;) I really got a kick out of the fact that I now feel so confident ; I can do this, and finally put all my theories, and watching other boats do it, into practise. There are a lot of smaller expensive motoryachts, with skippers not taking the river-currents, nor the wind into consideration. Nevertheless, there are loads of manually operated locks coming up, and I won't be suprised if I don't hit a few of them uhm.. unproffesionally. My co-skipper friend is still onboard untill I arrive friday, and she had a few problems with a leaky connection from the engineroom to the propellor, after just having fixed the engine coming loose of its mooring.... while on the road. . My body is in Holland, my heart is with them. There is something really nice about travelling with 2 girls, and they are really sweet =]

13th of juli 2007
Happy birthday to me :) Just about to leave Amsterdam, train to Belgium, for the final part of the trip to Paris. Studied loads of maps and advisory websites, while the boat is on a wharf at the moment, stern out of the water to fix the leaky propellor-propellorshaft connection. It's a small rubber that's gone oval, and has to be replaced. Then ; Namur (Namen), Maubeuge, Compiegne, Conflans aaaaaand then, ease our way throught the heart of Paris, all the way to South-Paris :)

1th of August 2007
Back home. Aaaaaw the joys. Hardship on one end, and the balance on the other end is that I now am the proud owner of a small diatonic harmonica I got as a present along the way to France, by a very nice helpfull person that helped us when we sorta stranded with a leaky proppelorshaft. Stayed there for 3 days, while there was a party going on to promote clean swimmingwater. We needed the time off, schedule or not. My nose is deepdelved in to googling the ins and outs of this small musical instrument that only weighs about 4 kilo's. I'm separated from it for 2 days, as it's getting a carrying belt surgically fit to it by a proffessional instrumentbuilding lady. Hope she sedates it before perforating it... Have two books and a CD now, with practising songs. Determined to become virtuose, as I've always wanted one of these. Besides, it' fits the whole me-on-a-boat-thing :) I'm back in Amsterdam, having delivered the ship in France, 40km before Paris, where we found a wharf that would fix its continuing problems, last being the welding of the engine-supports coming loose. This is well after the bolts themselves came loose. Never a dull moment. One simply has to have a nice sturdy beer after an Eventfull Day, and there were lots of them :) We spend a lot of long days, ready for the opening off the locks at 8, till 6 in the evening, when they closed. It can be very tiring to be outside all day and hear the engine roar. We weren't spared of the rain that hit Europe. Once even in the mountains, , I was steering the boat into a lock, in the midst of an opening of the skies rain surplus, in which I wasn't sure what came first, the lightning bolt or the bellowing sound of thunder. Quite scary, and I couldn't even see the front of the ship tru the cascade of rain. I yelled at my shipsmate not to leave the ship, in case thunder would hit her, instead opting for keeping the ship mid-lock with a bit of engine-force, trying to see the lockwalls. Bit of a mess. On the other hand, the landscape on the French river is breathtaking, bendy and a new scenery afer every turn. With all the rains, the average current was about 5km and hour, and taking on the locks (about 200) has left me feeling very confident about doing them properly. Even mooring the boat, and leaving in the morning had to be tought about, which i thourougly enjoyed. Feel good. French waters are messy, lots of wood and bits and ends bobbing in the water, just waiting to get into your propellor. Had to untangle it 3 times. We also encountered dead in the water 2 rabbits, one dog, two dear, lots of dead trees and a surfing plank, the latter we hauled aboard and kept. Might come in handy,

9th of August 2007. Finished work today, all day tomorrow to potter and pack. Off for a week sailing in Greece. Imagine the horror. White sandy beaches, clear blue water, snorkeling, pwitty wee islands, meandering thru them on a 14 meter brand new shiny yacht with 6 other people. Poor me =] I haven't actually got much experience on boats that arent over 25 meters, a 100 years old, rusty and set up traditionally, while drilling a teenage schoolclass or a company of sail-2-hours-get-drunk-for-the-rest-of-the-time(while sailing)-adults. Most of whom never sailed before.. MaKing mental note to do very little except asking the skipper the same questions I heard every week ;) Kidding. Really curious on how things work in Greece, how the actual mooring is done, since its very different compared to what we do over here, weather conditions, the perks of a practical flashy new sailingboat, with shiny rig and ropes that looks trustworthy. By reading the brochures, these skippers have it more easy in the sense that their previous guests leave at 09.00 hours, while the new guests arrive at 17.00 hours. And a cleaningcrew that cleans. In the last 2 and a half year, on the big old sailingvessels, it was more like say goodbye to your guests at 17.00 hours, after a full sailing day, clean ship, undo and make 20 to 28 beds, rinse the salt of the dirty deck, clean fridge, toilet, shower, floors etcetetera, and welcome your new guests at 20.00, trying to eat in between. The only cd on board was Abba's greatest hits, between the two of us we most of the time managed to get halfway tru before the cd was finished, unless we had a particular non-domesticated kind of schoolclass, with equally indifferent teachers.

2th of March 2008. I done it! Been skipper for a weekend on a 20meter Tjalk, a 109 year old steel sailing lady. Thats 66 feet in length. It was very intense, 5 to sometimes 6 Beaufort on saturday, a river with currents and a big lake, lots of decisions to make, but I was so ready for it and I think it took me about a week to get off that cloud :)

Today I cleaned out my sailing sloop, found some water near the keel, dried it out completely, checking later this week to see if it was just this winters accumulation of rain, which can get in tru the door, with certain wind conditions and direction. Found a small wharf, on 5 minutes walking from my home, not the cheapest, but I find the closeness to home very motivating :) Unless I find something really cheap, Belle's gonna be out of the water for a week, or two, in May, so I can work on the underside, and repair the weakest point on the boat ; the steel bun where the outboarder sits in. Its an open connection in the back where you stand whilst skippering, to the water and has leaked before. Plan is to tick off all the rust, primer it with epoxy, and put some glassmats on it. Okay not very environmentally friendly, I know, but ever so effectively, whilst not costing me an arm and a leg. Renewing the steel bun, or rather, have an expert do it, would require me to be fairly wealthy.

9th of April 2008. Yesterday put up the mast, to see where things should go, like the main sheet and fortifications. Also started devising a system to be able to put up the mast single-handedly, have ordered a custom steelpipe which should do the trick, together with ropes and pulleys. It was still cold when the sun didn't shine, 8 degrees celsius. Today I took off, with some violence, the thingie clinging to the mastfoot, where you fasten your lines on, 'pennenbank' in dutch. It was bolted with three sturdy rusty bolts, but a day of soaking in teflon does wonders. Am gonna make new one, as wooden thingie is rotten. For this I'm gonna use a large peace of old oak I've got laying around, waiting to be chopped up in things for the boat.

15th of April 2008
Custom made steel pipe for hoisting mast was ready, so first attempt at pulling up the mast with some levy and rope. Turns out the fitting for the pipe on the mast itself, is not attached properly anymore, needs some welding. But the system itself looks good, like its gonna work a treat.

22th of April 2008 Pennenbankje is soaked in preservative, some kind of 2 component nasty stuff. Cleaned it first, took it apart, sanded it and left it to dry for a co uple of days in front of the gasheater at home. Today ; drilled out the old holes in the mast, where the mastlevy attachment goes in, glued in some new wood, when it's dry I shall drill new holes for reattaching mastlevy device. It's spring! It's dry! It's warm. Progress :)

7th of may 2008
Painted around the outside, a colourfull 'mediteranean' red-orange and blue. Very pritty, if I do say so myself. Bought a 12Volt pomp, just in case, because I've planned a trip this weekend. More antislip were direly needed, all ready to leave saturday ! Weather's gonna be beautifull, and altough it's gonna be sort motorsailing with the jib only, it should be fun. Sailing to meetingpoint in Hoorn, to reunite with other old skool sailingsloops, for a weekend of sailing and examining the beertap at close hand.

14th of may 2008
t'was great! meeting all the other sailing sloops. While they were sailing and doing a small regatta, I painted Belle's name on the side, fixed the flag to the back and generally did some small things. Here's a picture, taking in the full sunlight, as I was alone on the way back, with only one sail, I got a tow from friends.

26th of may 2008
Been to Greece, Athens, for a week of sailing in the blue blue water of the Meditereanean. Really nice, warm, all my freckles are more pronounced now and even the rest of my skin has a hint of brown. Meanwhile, my sloop got hoisted out of the water. Today I've taken of the mast, undoing it of all its steel wires. Am gonna let it dry for a week, and then see if it's worth fixing up, might be some bad wood in some places. Someone's given me a new toy, an old VHF radio :)

27th of May 2008
Been a bit bizzy with working in the week, and payed sailing on 30m+ sailing yachts. However, this week I've sanded down the underwaterpart of the hull, starboard side. Sanding upwards, now have a healthy pain in arm muscles. Hull looks good, some minor scratches that can be repaired and only one place where the paint lost its holding to the hull, so a lot less work than I thought. Unfortunately the paint above the waterline is not so good, but one step at a time...

9th of September 2008
Sanded the whole hull. Took out part of floor outside, as I need to get to the steel bun that holds the outboardengine. Its very rusty and in my mind its the weakest part of the boat. Thinking of ticking of the rust and mat it with with glassfiber and polyester. Less than 30m from my boat people were cutting down trees, and as I went to get some drinking water, one fell on my boat, no damage done but a lucky escape! I mean, whatever happened to crying TIIIIIIMBER and making sure there are no people in the range of falling trees, or am I old-fashioned ?? After that they kindly warned me every time a tree came down, and I got the thumbs up when it was safe again. Off to Croatia for a weeks sailing this saturday, and untill then I'm working, I'll put some photo's online if I find the time.

12th of September 2008
Took off rusty steel rings with steelgrinder, ticked of the rust of the ringbolts they were attached to, grinded of the remaining rust and gave it a first coat of antirust groundpaint. Bits of steel everywhere, in the hair, in my bra :) and ears. Here, finally, the pictures of the last few months. Not very encouraging, but nevertheless :

6th of October 2008
Yesterday, with help from Ed, took out the last of the bottom surrounding the engine case. Hoisted out heavy engine, hung up pretty marine radio in the main cabin (well ok, the only cabin) so there was some progress, notwithstanding that it never ceised raining hard. Starting school on the 17th of October, two days a week + home studying + working 3 to 4 days a week, I think Projectboat is gonna have to wait until the end of March.

Make that 22th of may 2009 ; Graduated from school with flying colors, but had some starting up problems considering Projectboat. Yesterday I cleaned the boat, inside and out, which took a while, since the tarpauling broke and the boat was standing under trees. Result ; a half fermented muck of water and leaves. Took me a day to heave out the water and clean the deck. Standing at the back of the place, with no access to a waterhose didn't help. So I had to go back and forth with a small bucket of water on a string... Further, now that the bottomfloor is out of the cockpit, I started ticking of the rust off the enginecase, occasionally hitting a few fingers. Whilst ticking, the plan of repairing/conserving the bun emerged. Went to the polyestershop and bought glasfibre cloth, and all the glue and hardener needed to adhese to the bun. Since after the metal primer, I've got six hours to glassmat the bun, it's gonna be an alldayer to get it done. If I don't get called to go sailing (can't say noooo and besides it's work/money/needed sailingdays to get my license.:) I should be able to the work on the boat next weekend. So! As you see, work is once again in progress.

10th of june 2009
yup, sailing every weekend. Less than 30 days to get my skipperlicense, to sail with guests on sailing vessels up to 40 meters. Getting copies out of the official ships logbooks was a pain (where to find a flatbed photocopier at 17.30 on a sundayafternoon-issues) untill I recently (if a bit late) realised.... I carry a 5 megapixel mobile photocopier with me at all times :) Sigh, never the brightest puppy in the nest... Ah well, from now on it'll be easier to get the needed copies for my skipperlicense application.
Meanwhile, the bun is hammered and sanded rustfree, and I've put the first coat of glassmat with epoxy resin on. Which was a complete failiure because I didn't do it right. There's airbubles everywhere, and the material I used came apart like the angelhairy stuff you sometimes see in Christmastrees. Result, spikes everywhere, airbubbles. Will fix it as soon as my body has dealt with the flu. Bun looks better tho! All the rust is of, I found a few holes, but now that I know how the steel looks and where the holes are, things look fixable. Back to bed with a warm cuppa tea.

21th of july 2009.
Have my days, just need to pick up the last of the ships logbook copies. Yesterday I've poured in a 2 compound polyurethaan resin around the foot of the bun, hopefully conserving it properly (time will tell) Fixed a few holes with kneadable steel, which sets when mixed with a harder compound, also epoxy based. Need to finish it of with a coat of glassmat. Hopefully this will go better than the first attempt (bought the practical handbook on working with epoxy and glass :) For dummies. Really.
Needless to say, my hands are covered in a mixture of kneadable steel, epoxy resin and a builders-strenght glue. Which is quite normal for me, never managed to do any painting withouth getting completely covered in it, before even starting the actual paintjob :) I look well out of order in the office.

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