Ship's log 2012

(the) Past matters....


The appearance of the Hercules is a step closer again towards her new building period; after some checks the anchor davit has been placed on its location.

The winch on the stern of the floating crane has been lifted away and quite some rust is appearing. New steelplates were standby already but even without the rust the old steelplates are millimeters more thick than the new ones. There is space now to lower the generator and the compressor.

By using the "Argo", Kees is bringing a log to our part-time volunteer Fred in Vlaardingen. He is going to create a new foremast of it.


It’s freezing during the early part of the month and there’s even ice in the Voorhaven. The jobs are suspended temporarily. After the freezing period it is obvious that not every boat owner did what he had to do and boats are lying deeper in the water than meant to be ever.

We are attending the annual meeting of the "Vereniging Stoomvaart" which is held on board of the "Succes" in Almere this year. It is nice to see everybody again and to hear how things are going on other boats. We do realize that we have no reasons to complaint regarding the number of voyages this year. There are a lot of boats which do have less voyages scheduled in their agendas.


Aernout and Vincent are visiting and Aernout is testing the vacuum meter under full vacuum.

F & L Powerrental is assisting to lower the generator in the hold of the floating crane. Kees did succeed to get down the compressor himself already. The steam winch is delivered and positioned. Needless materials are removed and stored elsewhere. Lots of old steel is disappearing. All of a sudden the deck of the floating crane has quite another appearance than before (more tidy…).


Lots of activities are happening on board this month. Dennis is visiting on board with his class of boatmen. Watertanks are lowered into the hold of the floating crane. The generator and compressor are positioned on a foundation and partly welded and vibration dampers are placed thereunder. The funnel of the Hercules is painted. There is chipped and brushed on deck. A pipeline for the steam pump is bended along the coalbunker. The 24 volts dynamo is positioned in the side. And a three way valve is placed between the exhaust pipe and the condenser. Cables are pulled for the GPS. The exhaust steam pipe is welded and grinded. The superstructure is partly painted in "Swedish Red".


The bulwark is painted. The tarpaulin is removed from the wheelhouse. The oil tank is placed. The ladies are painting green half the deck. The manhole cover of the boiler is closed. The waterboat arrives and fills the boiler with 11 tons of water. Another 7 tons is pumped into the afterpeak for drinking water. Lubricating oil of the collar block and the slide bars is refreshed. The wooden grating astern is painted with Owatrol. The main and auxiliary steam engines are tested. Johan is attending for installation of the AIS. And then finally towards the first event of 2012 Vaardag sleepboothaven Maassluis. Unfortunately due to lots of rain with less paint on decks and superstructure than anticipated in advance.

The engine room sky light is painted brown. The "mushrooms" for GPS and AIS are attached on the upperdeck of the wheelhouse. An additional 13 tons of coal is bunkered. New antennas are attached to the mast. Kees is arranging emergency flares/signals in preparation of the seapassage to Oostende. And after bunkering coal the decks are painted green again. (The previous paint was not coal bunkering resistant obviously). The liferaft, required as well for the seapassage, is collected, at one of the lifebuoys a 20m line is attached and a light at another one. So ready for departure to sea bound for Oostende. Watch the photos.


Three events in a row, full of adventures with voyages at sea. It is navigation season and we do not have any reason to complaint about voyages this year. Back from the far away "Oostende" we are preparing for the bi-annual event "Dordt in Stoom". And thereafter for the "Havendagen Terneuzen". Both events do not excel in fair weather. But despite of that we do enjoy. In Dordt we are participating the fleet parade on Friday evening and are sailing passenger trips during Saturday and Sunday. We are challenging the "Adelaar" and "Maarten" for a race and we win. Perhaps we have to inform them in advance next time that we are planning a race…?

Bound for Terneuzen we are working with a complete new engine room crew. That is to get used to (especially to the jokes of Sjaak) but it is business as usual soon. On our way back we are sailing along with the "Rosalie" and stay overnight together at the Krammer locks. Arriving back home our fixed engineer Willem is waiting for us, glad we’re back again and that everything went well with these strange lads on board from far away.


This month three events as well. The first one is towards Oud-Beijerland. Cousin Ron joins. He did assist with renovating the Hercules during the first 2-3 years and it appeared to be that he never joined one voyage ever since. He likes it very much to see how the dream of Kees has been come true.

The second one is a domestic voyage. The "Maasboulevardfeest" in Schiedam.

The third one is heading for Zierikzee/Veere. The weather looks similar of that from previous year. Then the bunks in the forward quarters were even wet due to the very rough weather. We decide to berth the boat in Bruinisse to have diner and to monitor the weather situation. This opportunity was used also to have a look at the upper damper in the funnel what have problems. Thereafter we do attempt after all and we’ll have no regrets. We arrive in Zierikzee well before darkness. The following day is the "aanbrengwedstrijd" (sailing regatta) and there’s even lack of wind, as a result of which the race is shortened. Bound for Veere. The Saturday is assigned for the sailing regatta’s on the Veerse Meer always. On Sunday a long homebound voyage with family on board. The weather is lovely and therefore it is busy at the locks. Because of that we spend 12 hours to get back home again. A long haul, especially for the engine room crew.


The upper damper in the funnel appears to be corroded through completely. This one was renewed never, what is really unavoidable now. Quite a dirty job.

The oil of the collar block and the slide bars is refreshed. New gasket is put in the sight glasses. The GPS antenna cable is replaced completely after continuous troubles. The lids of the boxes on the superstructure are scoured and repainted. The angle bars on deck are painted black. The wooden grating astern is coated with Owatrol again. The aft deck of the floating crane is chipped and painted black. In short, one do not sit still.

Volunteer Peet Kristalijn is attending for the last time this month to our regret. He has reached an honourable age and decided that it is enough now. His knowledge and attendance will be missed enormously. Peet, Thanks!


Together with the Furie and the Dockyard IX we are sailing for the relation day of the company Alphatron. A nice trip between Maassluis and Rotterdam with a stopover in the Schiehaven, where a change of passengers took place. Jeroen, engineer on the Dockyard V, joins. He has a great day, is manoeuvering the engine and stokes with coal. Is something else than an oil fired boiler for a change.

The Argo is fitted with a new lap side. The fire tubes are cleaned. The upper deck of the galley is applied with a new layer of paint. The hold of the floating crane is tied up thoroughly. The stern winch of the floating crane is placed on its foundation and spot welded on deck. The whistles are polished very properly for a change. We are participating the "Wereldhavendagen" (World Port Days) and we even have a small assignment in the show at night.

On a very sunny Sunday we are proceeding to sea for an ash disperse. It is the second time for us and we were deeply impressed again.


The topside of this website shows the name steam tugboat Hercules and therefore it is forgotten sometimes that the foundation is consisting out of more boats. Also these require their maintenance. This month the superstructure of the floating crane is painted colour "Havana brown", and the foundation of the stern winch is welded. Our boatmen vlet "Argo" is taken care of by Dennis and repainted completely. For the bow a tyre is cut and made fit enabling the vlet to be used everywhere without making damage. The "Argo" is even proceeding with an Israelian camera crew through the canals of Schiedam on behalf of our sponsor.

Before departure to the Furieade in Maassluis the engine room skylight of the Hercules is quickly painted in undercoat white. And the cylinder covers in silverpaint. The Furieade is traditionally a sweet invasion of visitors and there’s even a small reunion kept with old colleagues of Kees from his salvage period.


The sunroof is removed already in preparation of the Saint Nicolas inbound parade. The layers are coated with primer. René is fabricating insulation covers on the cylinders of the winch of the floating crane. The days ahead of the inbound parade is quite busy on board. The boiler is heated up, deck washing, and the marks are removed from the funnel. Everything is checked. Nothing can go wrong ofcourse when we fetch the Saint. During the inbound parade Eline is part of the show using the "Argo" and put later on the bow against the pontoon as an experienced tugboat master to assist with mooring in the Werkhaven.

You go Girl!

Since the navigation season has been ended and the winter is nearing water is drained from the boiler of the Hercules and from the boiler of the floating crane. All drains are opened. Valves are cleaned. In order to reduce the influence of the weather to the wood of the wheelhouse it is covered by a tarpaulin during the winter period.


Dennis is alarmed that one of the side pontoons of the floating crane is lying quite deep into the water. It appears to be leaking on the wind/water line. Although he did experience something like that not that often, he is repairing it efficiently with wood and quick cement. In January the boiler survey has been scheduled so the men are coming back home black frequently. Some of them do notice that they are aging when turning in fire tubes and boiler, and although they are proud on coal fired fires, they are a bit less enjoying on this moments perhaps.

Volunteer Paul is coming aboard with a nice gift from his father. His father is not unknown to us as he was chairman for years of the "Zakkendragersgilde" in Schiedam but living in France nowadays. There he ordered for the foundation to cast a nice ship’s bell with the text "1915 ss Hercules" on it. When in the spring the new mast is there it is getting a nice place in it.
Jan Hagendoorn, thank you!

We are steaming ahead to: