Cargo hold, den & hatches
The cargo hold has a length of 26 meters. You can see where the ship has been lengthened in 1961:
Old part has more rivets then the younger piece.
Since the Watergeus will be used as a house boat, the cargo hold will be the main place for living. I decided not to shorten her for many reasons, such as costs, space and mooring. It is costing money to shorten the boat. Wit the amount I need to spend shortening her I can do a big piece of the conversion. I love to have a lot of space and therefore a 38m barge was a minimum for me. There is no problem to get a mooring for a 38m barge in Belgium.
Between September 2006 and December 2006, the den has been rebuild in steel, like she originally used to be. (see also: technical drawing). The den has a height of Approximately 62,5cm. We used 6mm steel, since she has never to carry cargo again.
The new den, built in steel
Approximately 4,4 tons of steel were used to build this new den.
Windows in the den
The den contains around 15 portholes and 6 other windows. They should give enough light for the whole cargo hold. 11 portholes are coming from an old Belgian dredger and have a glass size of 40cm. Three others came from the Kempenaar Mousson and the six other windows came from a 42m spits, the Rafale. All three vessels were scrapped, the two barges two years ago.
Windows aboard the lengthened spits Rafale
The same windows now in the Watergeus
After the windows were placed, I discovered not having enough light. Therefore I'm looking for a good solution of having light from the top, through the hatches.
Originally, when built, the cargo hold was covered with wooden hatches. They had been replaced by a fixed metal roof for the water tanks. Today, she has again a Friese luikenkap, but in aluminium. The hatches were second hand and came from a spits-barge and were delivered to me in October 2006.
Hatches, as seen in the beginning of December
The brand of the hatches is Blommaert, a very common make on the inland vessels.