Port Forum Sant Adria, Barcelona, Spain


Stellendam, The Netherlands - August 2006

Kilquade in Stellendam 2006 After we purchased the KILQUADE in Ireland, we sailed her in 3 days and nights non-stop to Stellendam. After arriving we moored her in the harbor of Stellendam. Next step was to create a plan as soon as possible.

Through a friend, I met two retired ship boulders, who found it nice to help me "some time" with the refit.
Kilquade in Stellendam

First, we decided that everything which was welded on the decks and no longer in use, would be removed. Old ventilation ducts, faulty blowers, salt-and fresh-water tank on the upper deck, rusted iron pipes, window shutters and you name it disappeared in the scrap bin.

Between all those activities we found a designer who would make the construction drawings for the new superstructure. We already had some ideas and in a short time we had the first sketches op paper.

Now we had to find a construction company, and as it was on that moment very busy on the ship yards (no crisis), we received very high lump sum prices.
Finally we found in December a company who could build and place the new superstructure. This super structure build in their factory was brought, by heavy transport to Stellendam when it was ready.

Dismantle and dismantle

Dismantle fleet tender Kilquade They removed parts of the old upper deck and railing, so finally the ship looked as dismantled! Numerous of times people on the jetty, shake their head and asked me if I still believed in a good ending.
I had never doubts about that!

galley of the boat

When the weather became bad, we started inside and removed the entire interior. Even that was a lot of work, I had to label and mentioned every electricity cable into the computer, otherwise it would be chaos later!

Also the inside was completely stripped and de boat looked like an empty casco. It did not even look any more like the Fleet Tender we bought in Ireland.

Before we purchased the boat, we gave a company order to do a technical survey on the engine, gearbox (both Lister Blackstone) and shaft/propeller.

The report made by the surveyor was very positive over the conditions of those items. On the superstructure was a lot of work to do, but we knew that already!

The generators and 1200 meters of cable

generator onan perkins silence packOne of the first heavy jobs was to remove the big 30 KVA 230V DC generator.

I left the heavy 6 cylinder Perkins, maybe I could found somewhere a suitable AC generator.
generators onan perkins silence pack

I was lucky and could buy a 17 KVA silence pack generator set and a short time later a great Onan 27 KVA also in a silence pack, both 400V!

First we had to dismantle the generator sets before we could transport them into the engine room, but finally I had 2 great generator sets instead of an old noisy one! 

Now had only to make a 400V cable network to the generators, fuse box and also a 400V shore power connection!

generators onan perkins After that job I started with the main switch board in the engine room and other old fashion fuse boxes.new generator onan zeise installed

Before I started I scratched myself several times on the head. There was only one way ..... take everything out and started from scratch.

I took away all the old 220V DC material and replaced the electro motors for 400V ones.

At the end of the project I had used more than 1200 meter of new electricity cable. Next to that I had used lots of old cables because the most of them were in good condition.

The carpenters

below deck boat crew NavyNext target was to find some good carpenters (those people are always very busy!!)

They had to make a complete new interior in the old part and also needed to made 3 luxury en-suite cabins in the former holds.

In the meanwhile we had made black water tanks under the floors of the hold and the carpenters could soon start with the floors. Yes! ... after ¾ of a year dismantling we finally could start building up!
greywater tanks sealand sanitation

But before they could start I first had to put in pipes for central heating, air conditioning, hot and cold water, grey and black water, 12V-24V-230V-400V and communication cables.
Most of this work I did myself because I wanted to know where and how everything was fitted.

After some time I realized that this project was a race against the clock to stay on schedule. Between all those jobs I had to make schedules for the other people, seared and bought materials, and next to that solved 1000 and 1 problems!
Sometimes I felled the 139 Ton of the boat on my shoulders.

From ballast tanks to fuel tanks

In the back of the ship there were three ballast tanks, two for trimming and one for cooling of the shaft.

electricity ac dc 1200 meters of cableAs we do not have cargo, we did not need the 2 ballast tanks and decided to transform them into fuel tanks. Doing this we increased the fuel capacity from 6000 to 18000 liters.

grid sandblasting boat The ballast tanks were originally coated so they had to be sandblasted before I could use them as fuel tanks.

We found a company that want to this "hell of a job" for an acceptable price but only we had to dig out the rest material. 
The range was extended from 1600 mile to 5000 miles, so we have now enough fuel capacity to sail non-stop to the Caribe!

The construction company had prepared everything for the new superstructure and railings. On a rainy Tuesday morning a heavy transport brought the superstructure to Stellendam where the boat was moored.
Unfortunately the crane was too big for the jetty, so we had to order a tug boat to bring to boat to the crane. After a while the superstructure was fitted and the tugboat brought the boat back to her jetty.

structure on front deck salon trip from construction company to boat Structure front deck put on boat


new decks on the boatThen we started to finish the construction on deck, what seemed to be a huge job. The company started to ask for more money, despite the agreed fixed price for this work.
This ended into al lot of hassle but finally they completed the work for the agreed price.
Unfortunately we saw during the sandblasting lots of bad welding what we had to repair ourselves. Front side deck boat

In the existing superstructure there where 7 bronze windows fitted and we wanted to have (nearly) the same into the new superstructure.

New ones would cost us a lot of money, but after a long search we found a company in Amsterdam, who has those bronze windows second hand for acceptable price! (www.patrijspoorten.nl)

front deck boat A year after we started the outside was ready for the next big step ..... sandblasting.
Finally we would be released from all the rust and burned old paint!

But that meant also no more welding, gridding etc. on the decks

Because the construction company wasn't ready we had a delay of four weeks to go into the dry dock where they needed another two weeks work to finish most of their work.

Unfortunately they could not fitted the "nose' on time, so that had to be done later.


Finally sandblasting

All the windows and portholes where protected by wooden panels, lots of kit and Duct tape to protect against the sandblasting material.

prepare boat sandblasting windows  sandblasting boat  Bow of the boat sandblasting 

st.katharine sandblastedAfter 14 days of sandblasting, noise, dust and then 2 component of brush paint, antifouling and new zinc anodes, she was ready to go back into the water.

During the sandblasting we saw the original name and the first yellow paint from 1969!

In the meanwhile the two carpenters has stopped with the job because they had other jobs to do.woodwork cabins bathrooms boat

As you can understand, I wasn't happy but had no choice then to start looking for new carpenters. I was lucky and found 2 trustful retired carpenters, who could start within a few days, what a relief! 

The whole ship (except the engine room) was insulated with one or sometimes three layers of 40 mm fire resistant Rockwool with an aluminum foil top. It's necessary in the Med to insulate a steel boat well otherwise you feel yourself like a chicken in a grill or the airco units has to run 24 hours a day.
(Now that we are in the Med, we know that the insulation is great! Was a good investment.)

To finish the interior

framework en-suite bathrooms cabins boat insulation inside front deck boat tiles en-suite bathrooms cabins boat

Now finally the carpentry work progressed, we could start with placing the equipment, painting the wooden walls in soft colors and varnishes. Bathrooms and toilets (total 8!) were tiled, plumbing was done and radiators and air conditioners were placed and connected.

The anchor winch and chain

A "deferred" problem was the existing anchor winch. This was converted from manual to hydraulic, but the chain didn't fit right in the disc from the winch.

So we looked for another one but it wasn't easy to find a winch with 120 meters of chain.

chain anchor winch st.katharine boatWe were very lucky, because in that period there where some fishing cutters bought by the government to be dismantled (by EU rules) and I could buy from one of those a perfect winch and 125 meters of chain! 

new anchor winch It costed us a day with 3 man to build off the winch and bring the chain to the shore.

When the chain was nearly on shore, a piece felt overboard and start running to the bottom of the harbor! With some help from a crane we took the muddy chain ashore.

During the days when the weather was good we started to paint the outside with Sigma Vikote paint. This is a very flexible multi-grade paint and is used by the fish cutters.

Inside good work was done and we could start with the final concrete floor over the whole main deck.
First we laid pressed Rockwool, than special wired steel and on top special light concrete with polyester fiber. When the concrete was dry, we put an aluminum foil on top and after that the "old planks" laminate floor.
The 3 cabins on the lower deck have "sanded old planks" laminate and we found the same design in PVC for the wet areas.

bed and breakfast hotel boat st.katharine ready

Finally finished!

Lists full of points and last commas to finish the ship and eventually we approached the end of the project.

The balance ... .... To summarize we had no technically major setbacks but the enormous amount of work to do with a limited budget was not always easy.

But at the "end of the day" the St. Katharine is ready, we are an illusion and a lots of experiences richer and most important in the possession of a great seagoing ship!


St. Katharine moored in marina Port Forum
Awesome spot and fabulous food

"...This was our second visit to Barcelona and we wanted to visit another part of the city. What a great experience. The boat was truly unique and very well appointed. Pleasant harbor views and lots of spaces to sit out on deck to enjoy the surrounding views.

The reservation process was efficiently handled online. Cas was the ever attentive host. He arranged for a car to meet us at the cruise terminal and set one up to take us to the airport.

However, Cas's greatest strength is his role as a gracious host and fantastic chef. The tapas were always fresh, well presented and varied each evening. The jamon and gazpacho were a real treat. Our final evening brought the paella. Unbelievable! Perfectly done and ample enough for another guest or two.

We left early for the airport but he was there to provide coffee and fresh fruit and helped us with our bags to the car he had arranged. A sure repeat on future trips ..."
Written by Bill A., United States on Tripadvisor on May 2016.

Guest on the St. Katharine Bed and Breakfast Boat

Great Host and Terrific Getaway

"...My husband and I traveled to Barcelona from Boston. At the beginning of our trip we stayed in a simple flat right near the Segrada Familia to get a feel for the city. The last few days we wanted relax on the water and St Katharine's B&B was the perfect place to do just that! Cas and his wife Irene were very accommodating when my husband and I made a bit of a mistake with our booking dates. Cas and Irene replied to all of our emails quickly and were eager to help make our stay easy and enjoyable!

The boat was just what we wanted, cozy, comfortable and clean. Cas is such a wonderful host, we had a great time talking with him and learning about the boat. Cas and his team did an amazing job of turning a naval vessel into a B&B you can feel the love and see the time and effort that went into making The St Katharine a wonderful place to stay. Our cabin was clean and the perfect size for the two of us, it had everything we needed.Our on suite bathroom was perfect and larger than most hotel bathrooms. Cas had beverages and food available to us and the Marina is very safe. Right at the end of our dock was a little bar that served food and drinks so we didn't have to go far if we wanted to mingle.

We visited in the off season so it was quiet, which we really enjoyed but I bet it is really fun during the high season! We would highly recommend staying on the St Katharine we really enjoyed our time, Thank you very much Cas!!..."
Written by Jeanine A., United States on Tripadvisor on March 2016.