Ship's log 2019

(the) Past matters....


Unfortunately, due to various circumstances the project around the steamship ship "Geertruida Margaretha" ran aground. The ship is emptied and the boiler is lifted out of the hold by the "Heibok4" and placed on the pontoon.

We are asked by the organization behind the municipal museum to give a lecture about our foundation. "Corneille meets Schiedam". Hans, enthusiastically advanced by our chairman, observes the honors for this and tells us about our fleet with the help of a photo report. Hanneke de Man puts the spotlight on birds, one of Corneille's sources of inspiration, and together with the audience they look for any similarities between the two subjects.

For the bi-annual inspection, Lloyd's comes by for periodic examinations.


With pain in our hearts we see the "Geertruida Margaretha" leave alongside the "Schrootbaron" towards scrapyard. A dream falls to pieces, we would have liked to see this differently.

It took a while to be patient because of the workload on the shipyards because of the mandatory Certificate of Research, but finally the time has come and the H4 goes to the drydock. It had been many years since the "Heibok4" had last been dry, but the bottom still looked good. Two strips are welded on the waterline, after which everything is recoated.

With a large part of our volunteers and partners, we visit their special location at the invitation of Loopuyt and enjoy the atmosphere, mysteries and delicious cocktails.

Unfortunately, after years of good service, we have to say goodbye to "Kleppie", beenakkervlet. The vlet was bought years ago from Guus Klepke after lying on the bottom of the Buitenhaven for a long time. The water had been leaking on the waterline for a while. When the men tried to take care of her, the steel detoriation appeared to be so far already that nothing remained but to scrap it with own hands.


The reserve grids are fitted to rebuild the fire beds in the Hercules boiler. New fire bridges are constructed. Fitting, measuring and welding is a difficult and inconvenient job in the tight, cold and hard furnace.

The "Heibok4" has been invited to the opening of the renovated "Genever Museum" next month, and before Lloyd's comes for the hot boiler inspection, a few things still need to be tested. It's all not easy. Gaskets are cut and placed but various times the lids continue to leak and everything has to be done all over again. And there is even a leak in one of the Field pipes, which means that it must be replaced. Fortunately, there are spare pipes in stock and our chairman has the knowledge to replace this pipe quickly and professionally.

Did you know that the Hercules can soon be admired as a Lego model? A hobbyist has recreated the boat in scale 1:40 with the help of photos. To be admired during the Harbour Days on 14 and 15 June in Woerden.


We are present with the "Heibok4" at the reopening of the Jenevermuseum. This is not without a struggle. The low water tide is a problem with getting out of the Voorhaven and, to make matters worse, the Argo's V-belt breaks and it breaks the cap of the cooling water tank. Fortunately, we can count on Alex and his boat to help us out. When testing for the opening operation, the steam horn gives unexpected problems and requires improvisation. Fortunately, we can still hear from us. The way back does not go smoothly either, but eventually everything is back in place. Hans will install beautiful new signs on the coal box, including the one with the Europe number. Another point in front of the CvO checked off.

For the Goudvisch, a start is made on dismantling the steam engine. The blued plate and insulation are removed. The high pressure column is stripped from old coating and the throttle valve is disassembled. The cylinder covers are removed and attempts are made to move the piston rods. Which so far only partially succeeds. In the "Goudvisch" itself, a floor for the coal bunkers is made and the openings in the boiler seats are cut out.


The mast support appears to be in bad condition and is being renewed. This requires hot work, for which the paneling of the adjacent bulkheads is removed in the front entrance. Also a part below the threshold of the toilet and a part of the wheelhouse prove to be bad and are being renewed. A large surface of the superstructure is sanded. In the engine room the air pump and the yoke are being worked on and the four bearings are made fit. The pump gets new Kinghorn valves and is therefore a lot quieter!

From the steam engine for the Goudvisch, the plating of the cylinders is removed, as well as the pistons, slides, piston rods, cross heads, connecting rods and crankshaft. The foundation of the machine is chipped.
In the "Goudvisch" itself, two frames for the after peak are made and the after peak is cemented partly. The bottom plate of the after peak bulkhead goes into place. Here two pipes with flanges are made for grease and water connection. The crankshaft is sanded and the steel staircase in the aft is cut off to be moved slightly.


In the run-up to the first event of the season, a lot of work is still being done. The wheelhouse is sanded and stained. The toilet is provided with a new threshold and the floor with a new color. The structure of the ship gets a fresh layer of Swedish red. There is so much rust under the guides of the hatch of the aft quarter that it hardly opens. The whole hatch goes loose and due to time constraints, one side is being tackled for the time being to make things go back to normal. We will repeat with the Heibok4 at Loopuyt. The bbq goes to the other side again and the Argo is again a shuttle boat. We combine the return trip to the Voorhaven with coal loading for the Hercules. More than seventeen tons have been ordered and not all of it fit in the bunkers. About six tons go on deck of the H4.

On to the Harbor Days in Terneuzen. Previously we have an ash scattering in Vlissingen. It is an honor to grant old operator Hans his last wish. In Terneuzen we participate in the fleet parade where the "Dockyard III" takes on tough giant 'Multratug 28'. We will once again act as an escort ship for sloop rowing and will sail various round trips where our sun tent is a solution for many passengers during the heat. The journey home becomes a challenge. Just after the lock at Hansweert, the men in the engine room discover a leaking support pipe. What is wise? We decide to continue at night. The next morning we arrive in the Voorhaven around five o'clock with reduced pressure and lots of water supply. Tired but a special experience richer.


A busy month with four trips. The day after returning from Terneuzen, a large part of the coal from the "Heibok4" goes into the bunkers of the boat. When the boiler has cooled down a bit, a stopper is placed in the leaking support pipe and water is supplied. There can be fired again for the Spuidag in Oud-Beijerland. On the Wednesday after this we sail a private party. The weather during the day is not nice but that shouldn't spoil the fun. In the evening there will be a karaoke set on board. The sun breaks through and even a polonaise is walked on deck. Our 'Sonnetje' ventures to the song 'The street boy from Rotterdam'. He gets a medal, if only for his courage. What a party! After another private trip with safety teams from out the region, our annual event follows the 'Hard Sailing Day in Veere' where we are again present as a start and finish ship. The race has yet to be stopped because a thunderstorm breaks out, but luckily it is over as soon as it came up. On the way back we enjoy the fireworks at Bruinisse before we enter the Krammer locks. We spend the night next to a large freighter that unfortunately wants to leave a little early in the morning. Fortunately, they realize that we need time to poke things up again. Slowly after casting off, the steam pressure rises again and we steam back to the home port where immediately the last coal remains on the "Heibok4" disappear into the bunkers.


It is either running or standing still. After five trips it is suddenly quiet again until the beginning of October. Unfortunately, the maintenance of our fleet never stops. It is chipping and sanding on the bulwark of the Hercules where again a rivet job is found. The angle profiles of the bulwark supports are cut loose and new ones are made fit. With various compositions of volunteers, these are fixed in a few riveting sessions with new nails. It is important to apply the hot nails in the hole as soon as possible after heating. One is more handy in this than the other, which slightly leads to hilarity among the bystanders.

Supports are made for the lifebuoys on the Heibok. Another point on the list for the Certificate of Research.

Two frames are riveted in the foreship and in the engine room of the Goudvisch. The future boiler is painted in silver paint. It immediately looks a bit neater on the pontoon. The cylinders of the steam engine are also silver painted. The bolts from the low pressure guide strip are loosened with a torch.


Maintenance continues. On the Hercules, the inner bulwark is touched up with primer, after which it is painted in the same colour just like the wavebreaker. The raised deck is sanded and painted in finish black. There is clearance in the rudder chain and it is shortened. A hole is made in deck on the Heibok4 for an emergency shut-off valve for the auxiliary engine.

The steam engine for the Goudvisch is further taken care off. Crankshaft, bearings, caps and nuts disassembled, brushed and coated with Owatrol. The bottom of the foundation is brushed. The high pressure bearing is cleaned and polished as well as the excentric bearing.


Yes, yet another event ahead. This time we can again go to the Furieade in Maassluis together with the Heibok4. Major expectations for the opening of the 40th edition. It is a mysterious spectacle that, despite the rain, many people enjoy along the quay and on the ships. On Saturday we can take a look at the National Towage Museum where you can admire the Lego models of the Furie and Hercules especially for this weekend. They stand side by side as sisters. Nice to see how detailed they are. We are homebound on Sunday morning.

Work is continuing on the steam engine for the Goudvisch. The bottom of the cylinders are brushed and painted with primer together with the columns.


The funnel marks are exchanged, it is time for the Sinterklaas entries. The Hercules is again transformed into "Spanje". Our boatmen’s boat "Argo" acts as a "Piet" boat. A week later we can repeat for a company in Papendrecht. After this, the sailing season is unfortunately over and winterizing can begin. Then the soul goes out a little. Everything becomes less accessible because of the tarpauline over the wheelhouse to protect the wood. There is no hot or cold running tap water anymore. Fortunately we can move to the adjacent "Heibok4" where it is good to stay inside between the jobs.


The activities are moving inwards. The cover plate goes from the cooling pump. The floor plates are derusted and brushed. The manometer board of the rear bulkhead is being treated. The hydrophore, the pump that supplies the ship with drinking water, is disassembled. In recent months, it was troublesome and had some repairs. The winter months can be used to replace it completely. The accompanying pressure vessel for the drinking water is cleaned inside.

On the Goudvisch, the aft bulkhead is welded and a new piece of aft deck plate is made fit. The two parts of the fore ship frames are welded together and the new cover plate is riveted in the aft deck.

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