The news isn't encouraging all round, I'm afraid, all excepting the wonderful sound of my Vereeniging's engine starting as I press the button and it roars into life - bliss!
The update on my wet bottom isn't good though ;-P. My wonderful daughters came and helped me yesterday. We scraped and cleaned the rust off the area I had pulled up in front of what we discovered were two leaky water tanks (now emptied, thanks to lots of assistance from Koos, too).
In fact, we were all ready to go with the vlak vet, the thick black grease that we use to protect our particular type of bottom. Then I had a thought. Maybe I should check further along the floor, and so Jodie and I pulled up another two boards running down the middle of the barge. I should mention that all these boards were originally screwed down into the ribs, but what with getting wet and all, the screws had rusted, which meant destroying the wood around them to get them out. Still, I said to Jodie (not once but several times)floorboards are cheaper than welding, and so we persisted - and I'm glad we did. The water had crept further than I would ever have thought, and now I have to do the same thing again with the next section....let it dry, scrape it clean and grease it. The next section after that will probably have to be done too, which will be more difficult as there are cupboards built in over the floor, and I can't take all of them out. I will take up another middle board, and hope for the best...floorboards are cheaper than welding...floorboards are.....
The next section I've removed
A close up of the yukky bottom still to be dried and cleaned
And this is what it looks like after it's been dried and scraped free of rust
The other sad news is that the Hennie H was as rotten as we feared it would be and all the inspector could do was sympathise. Everything Koos took off has to be replaced with thicker steel. Still, he seems to be reasonably upbeat about things, as according to his calculations, we should still be able to manage the repairs. The downside is that we cannot do this ourselves, and professional welders costs a lot of money. The negotiations begin tomorrow morning!