Barge style houseboat

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Rearic, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Rearic
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    Rearic New Member

    I've been dreaming of building a "river Walker" style barge houseboat. Ive got the building down in my head (I think) but I'm wondering about whether or not I could actually get insurance on it and cruise it on the intracoastal? I'm thinking 8 or 10' by 28' and a wood hull with a small motor. any ideas anyone"?
     
  2. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    You can likely insure it. But I think you would be better off buying a second hand barge, and building a house on it.
     
  3. Rearic
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    Rearic New Member

    Is that because the barge is a commercially made boat and therefore easier to insure?
     
  4. frank smith
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    frank smith Senior Member

    Sound simple enough , there are a lot of designs out there. Tad Roberts has a design that might work for you. He posts here regularly. Flat bottom 8' wide for plywood, or you could order 5x10 no problem, 30x10 would be a real live aboard size. make it square box sectioned and it would go together easily.
     
  5. frank smith
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    frank smith Senior Member

    Oh insurance, liability i assume. You can get a rider if you own a home.
     
  6. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    The blued it on a barge plan is because barges are cheap, readily available, and already finished.
     
  7. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Where are used 8' or 10' x 28' barges cheap and readily available? Where are any barges cheap and readily available?
     
  8. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Google "barge for sale" I found five that are 8-10x28-30 in about 5 minutes.
     
  9. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    Most insurance companies will want you to get a survey. If you have built a good boat properly the surveyor will confirm that and the vessel will most probably be insurable.

    :)
     
  10. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I guess there are a number of barges out there. Most look very heavily built which might be a problem as far as cruisability. A section of one of the small sectional barges might work.
     
  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    If you have lots of money for fuel, then selecting barge hull form shouldn't be a problem. If on the other hand, you're like the rest of us, then something more boat shaped would be a reasonable avenue to venture down.
     
  12. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Have a look thru this rather extensive discussion,...some rather diverse interest interdesposed thruout:
    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/boat-design/dutch-barge-long-distance-cruisers-11316.html
     
  13. Jacques B.
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    Jacques B. Junior Member

    Speaking from very limited personal experience, getting insurance on a vessel that doesn't fall within the "grid" of relatively recent "brand name" boats might be a little tricky, not to mention relatively expensive.

    The only way I found to insure my 112-year old Dutch sailing barge was to make her purchase contingent on my ability to obtain insurance.

    The fact that one of her owners was the local representative of a major underwriter that had previously refused my on-line application may have helped, but it still didn't come cheap.

    Granted, as a novice boater/sailor at the helm of an ancient, 40-ton, 62-foot iron clad, I was tickled pink that they'd insure me at any price. ;-)
     
  14. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Insurance is fairly easy to get, though you will have to pay for it. Effective insurance is very hard to get and decidedly costly. For craft "out of the box" of normality, you'll pay dearly, but there are companies that specialize in "declared value" insurance. In these cases, you and the agent just come to an agreement about the value of the vessel and that's it. These policies can be inclusive or decorative for ownership, sale or other purposes. I have a "declared" car and two boats (all with the same company) and it's just the cost of doing business.
     

  15. Jacques B.
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    Jacques B. Junior Member

    In my case, PAR, I think the glitch had more to do with Liability than Valuation. The structural integrity of the barge itself was not at issue, but it's "Killing Power" was. She had purportedly gotten loose during a storm several years ago, and taken a good size chunk out of the bow of a plastic boat twice her size. If Rearic is considering using a commercial barge as a houseboat platform, this might be an issue for him too.
     
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