Ship's log 2020

(the) Past matters....


During a stormy January, when we must check our mooring arrangements quite often after heavy wind gusts, the focus is doing maintenance to our fleet. The engine room pressure-gauges board has been refurbished and is replaced. The hydrophore is provided with a new pump and is ready for re-assembling and installation. Since it will take quite a while before events are scheduled requiring to stay overnight on board, and because we have a well skilled carpenter in our team, it is decided to execute something what was on the planning for a long time already, renovating starboard side cabin in the forward quarters of the Hercules. The whole interior is stripped.

On board of the "Goudvisch" the aftdeck is re-riveted. The crankshaft is put back in the engine and the bearings are adjusted. The high pressure piston is heated for disassembling its piston rings, unfortunately not successful. The low pressure excentrical rod is scoured and brushed and the air dampers of the pumps are stripped and primered. The high pressure connecting rod is shiny polished.


One could find the youths in the bilges of the engine room frequently. Not realy a nice job but also here the vessel requires a proper conservation. Carpenter Rob is working energetic. In no time the cabin is provided with new basic frames, bulkhead linings, a cabinet frame and a new ceiling.

The sheerstrake is becoming loose since after end of 2018 another vessel collided into it twice. The loosening is solved by cutting out a piece.

For attending the annual meeting of the "Vereniging Stoomvaart" we travel to Den Helder, where is discussed in detail about the follow up of the complex rules and regulations around the CvO (Certificate of Examination).

A special hole saw is purchased for removing the last end pieces of the flame tubes from the boiler for the "Goudvisch". The throttle slide of the engine is disassembled as well as the high,- and low pressure pistons, what is successful this time. Various parts of the engine are painted nicely red.


The cabinet frame in the forward quarters is provided with doors and the two bunks are progressing. The sink is alligned. The funnel of the Hercules is stripped whereafter it is primered.

Steelplate number two is made fit in the aftdeck of the "Goudvisch" and it is pre-drilled for riveting later. Two flanges are torch cutted out of a steelplate for the purpose of a drain valve whereafter it is made fit on the hull for installation on starboard bilge. For the layman, the bilge keel is the curve between the bottom and side shells of a vessel. The last flame tube ends are removed from the boiler front tube plate. The whole saw is on its end. As the job was progressing it was loosing its teeth more and more like an old man.

And then the coronavirus was there.....


Fortunately the foundation has various vessels for jobbing on and to. This way the 1.5 meter rule is causing not that much of a problem for us. After the Hercules funnel has been primered with Owatrol by the youths, a joke is made with the colour scheme. It is painted very blue under the funnel band, the colours of former 'Wijsmuller'. It actually shows a colourful picture but the opinions are of many kinds. One likes it, the other one absolutely not. After two weeks brightly blue the funnel is transforming to its original black, well known but in fact secretly a bit dull.

Via a sliding cover entrance is purchased whereof the previous owner said that it requires some "loving care". This "love" consists of welding three new steelplate inserts. In order to replace a part of the wheelhouse deck a large steelplate is hoisted upwards. 103 holes are drilled herein, whereafter these are countersinked, what means that the hole is made conical.

This month it is announced that "Dordt in Stoom", one of the biggest events of this season, where we all were very looking forward to, is cancelled because of corona.


Since the refurbishment of starboard cabin in the forward quarters of the Hercules is completed and there is no outlook to future events yet, it is decided to continue with portside cabin. Herein is some kind of high bunk, just too narrow to cosy lay together in it. That’s why the idea is to create two bunks above each other. Hans is painting starboard cabin.

Aboard the "Goudvisch" the foredeck is renovated for creating the foreward quarter entrance. The sliding cover is positioned, alligned, pre-drilled and fixed with bolts whereafter 157 rivets are riveted in it. A small doorstep is made for the entrance what requires 50 rivets for this only. The bilge of the engineroom is brushed and coated with two component Baril. The first part for the aftsides of the coalbunkers are riveted. The starboard side fore bits and part of the deck underneath is very bad and is removed. Two new frames are made and a new deckplate is made fit. The bottom plate of the quadrant is primered as well as the aft entrance hatch. The engine throttle slide is completely overhauled and installed. The feedpump is taken care of as well. The engine foundation is chipped and primered.


The hydrophore on the Hercules is filled with oil and tested. Rob continues with refurbishing the portside cabin. The sheerstrake is coated with lineseed oil.

Aboard the "Heibok4" an electric boiler is installed so that we can use warm water there also. The wooden lining of the coal store is primered with lineseed oil.

The activities on the "Goudvisch" are progressing. The aft quarter is brushed and primered. The starboard bits are repaired whereafter these are re-riveted to the deck and bulwark. The bulwark is painted with finish black and the foreward quarter entrance sliding cover is primered. The portside bits are bad also and are removed together with the deck underneath. Various knee brackets in the engineroom (what have been removed in the past) are made again and re-riveted. The height of the propeller shaft is alligned.


Our flagship is laying by somewhat gloomy in her winter outfit during summertime. All attention is not going to the "Goudvisch" only fortunately. The steam discharge vent pipe is taken care of and in the engineroom the smokebox doors are scoured and primered. Rob is nicely jobbing in the crew forward quarters.

Aboard the "Goudvisch" the horizontal bar of the towing bits is renewed. It consisted of an old gasbottle and it was not even straight. The portside mooring bits are taken care of inside and outside and made fit whereafter these are re-riveted to the deck. The complete outside hull is applied with a layer of two component Baril, what gives right another view. René is welding the rudder angle limits. Thereafter the rudder angle drive gear is alligned and mounted to the deck. A test conus is made for the propeller shaft.


Without corona we should have participated with Sail Amsterdam this month. But now we have to do it with a small "Sail" flag in the mast for a photo and recalling previous editions melancholy.

The "Heibok4" whistle let it hear of two times. The first time was a farewell greet to passenger vessel ms Rotterdam, what was departing from Rotterdam with this name for the last time. The second occasion was for the v/d Stelt family who was saying goodbye to their living and work vessel Limburgia after many years.

Aboard the "Goudvisch" the forward quarter entrance is scoured and finish painted with havana brown. Two sea supports and two stop supports are made for under and towards the boiler. For the rudder a bushing is made in the rudder heel. A flange for the intermediate shaft is made in the lathe machine. The pivot spot (the lower bushing where the rudder is turning in) for the rudder is welded. Two angle bars are alligned and height adjusted with a grinder machine for the purpose of the foundation of the main engine. Inland skipper Geert from the "Renova" is assisting with hoisting the propeller ashore by using his car crane, whereafter it is transported to machine workshop A. van Hattem where it is boring out, and where they are fabricating a new propeller shaft also. The rudder is attached and assembled.


The black paint above the waterline of the Hercules is quite discoloured and is applied with a fresh new layer of Baril. The draft marks are masking taped and repainted white. The smoke box doors are applied with a new layer of cream coloured finish and the splashplates of the engine applied with a red-brown colour finish.

The below deck space aft and the forward below deck quarter bulkhead of the "Goudvisch" are spraypainted light grey. Two frames under the foundation of the engine are cut out a bit making space for the bearings of the engine. The second part of the aftsides of the coalbunkers are riveted and provided with strip guides. The starboard coalbunker as well as the below deck quarter forward are primered after chipping and brushing. The future engineroom space is primered. After a part of the wheelhouse floor has been cut out, the angelbar frame for the engineroom hatch is riveted to the deck. A small white line is painted just above the sheerstrake, what gives quite another view.


Preparations are made for lifting the engine into the hull of the "Goudvisch". The engine is shifted from the side of the "Heibok4" to its foredeck. The A-frame derrick is lowered forward for creating more angle. The "Heibok4" is shifted by the "Argo" towards aside of the pontoon with the "Goudvisch" on it. The steam engine is hoisted aboard carefull and put on its place. Hereafter the propeller and shaft are collected at machine workshop A. van Hattem and from out of the car hoisted aboard the "Heibok4", whereafter these are landed onto the pontoon. The propeller shaft is lifted into the below deck space aft right away hereafter. During the following days the crankshaft is disassembled and the engine alligned. After cleaning the sterntube the bearings are put in it whereafter the propeller and shaft are connected. Two days later it is disconnected again because it is not turning smoothly. After some adjustments it is reconnected again. The engine is shifted forward enabling to centre and drill holes in the foundation. The location for the exhaust steam penetration is determined and a hole is drilled in port side bilgekeel for this. During the past weeks various parts of the hull have been primered and finish painted white.


Of short duration there’s little hope for two small voyages for alternative Sint Nicolaas inward parades, but due to more strict regulations around the coronavirus these are cancelled after all. It would have been quite welcome after a season without events, but also a lot of work in a short period, since the boiler is empty and open and a big mess in forward and aft crew quarters because of the renovations. Ok, instead continuing full speed ahead in preparation for the bi-annual boiler surveys.

Aboard the "Goudvisch" a flooring is made in the below deck quarter forward. The stair is removed and adjusted and measurements are taken to see if a bunk, bench and table will fit. The forward entrance is provided with small doors and two portholes. Out of diamond plate a new deck part is riveted.


The boilers of Hercules and Heibok4 are cleaned in preparation for boiler survey and valves and fittings are disassembled. Warm and coldwater pipes for the wash basins are newly mounted and soldered and the mirrors are replaced again.

Aboard the "Goudvisch" the forward bulkhead is painted grey and the hatch above the engineroom is riveted. The engineroom is spray painted in finish white whereafter the engineroom bilge follows in grey. The nameplate, yet with adhesive letters, is fitted and approved. The coalbunkers are provided with bulkheads. The forge is fired up and bends are made for the condensor cooling pipe and spotwelded to the flange at port side.

This month the management is taking a look at the test stand of the renewed "Team Solid". Last year we entered into a cooperation agreement for the project "Iron powder as a circular fuel in shipping", with the aim to support to reduction of the by inland shipping emitted greenhouse gasses and other emisions to the air after a period of time.

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