Building a Large Passenger Tour Barge

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Colby Vick, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. Colby Vick
    Joined: Jan 2020
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    Location: Texas

    Colby Vick New Member

    Looking for any information on building a passenger/tour barge. Looking for something similar to the images attached with enclosed main deck and open top deck. Will be powered by twin outboards carry roughly 75-100 passengers. Looking to build using three hulls/pontoons as shown.


    Attached Files:

  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    You can check with the USCG to start with. There will be a lot of regulations to comply with, including certifications for the captain and crew. In general, the proper path is to first write a statement of requirements (SOR). The designs develops from it. Constraints, like building with three pontoons, will not necessarily give you a better or cheaper boat. Make a list of everything the boat needs to do and also state clearly what your budget is.
  3. Colby Vick
    Joined: Jan 2020
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    Location: Texas

    Colby Vick New Member

    Will this be the case (with USCG) even on inland lakes?

    Thank You,

  4. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    That depends. It depends on whether or not the the lake has Federal Jurisdiction or not. If it is state jurisdiction only then it's up to the state but most states follow the same requirements for passenger carrying vessels as the USCG especially for one carrying as many as you are considering. So if you follow the Federal regulations for vessels less than 100 gross tons carrying passenger for hire, ( what are often called "T" boats, meaning they come under Subchapter T of the regulations), then you probably meet the state requirements. Some states defer to the Coast Guard whether it's Federal or sole state waters for large passenger carrying vessels. For a definitive answer you need to consult with the state Boating Law Administrator. In Texas that's Texas - NASBLA If you need to contact the Coast Guard, look here Marine Safety Center (MSC) Look at Plan Review Guidelines. Or, if you are anywhere near the Houston/Galveston area contact Sector Houston/Galveston and ask for Marine Safety. REC Houston Texas

    PS: don't make any plans or put out any money until you have contacted these people because if you do you will more than likely have to make a lot of expensive changes.
  5. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Welcome to the Forum Vic.

    Are you planning on operating your barge on an inland lake? In Texas?
    If so, are you going to build it in sections, and then assemble the sections at the lake?
    Re your two photos, are they of the same boat?
    And does this boat also have outboard engines?
    This boat looks very heavy (especially with all those people on board) - she is definitely a barge (albeit in trimaran formation), and I am wondering how effective a couple of outboard motors will be at propelling her.
    Certainly a pair of inboard diesels with shaft drives will be a heck of a lot more efficient.
    But then you would need to have a catamaran rather than a trimaran...... or just have one diesel in the main hull of the tri, but manoeuvering could be 'interesting' then.....
    Re a catamaran, maybe something like a slightly larger version of this 'Money maker' cat from Cooper Marine? She can take 49 passengers.
    47 Money Maker - Cooper Marine, Inc.
    Or go a bit larger up to 63' and you can carry up to 149 passengers -
    63C - Cooper Marine, Inc.

    But it ultimately all depends on what your budget is to spend on the boat.
  6. Squidly-Diddly
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: SF bay

    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    see my Gallery for modular, SCALABLE multi-hull concept. Idea is you could add or subtract modules for bunks or kitchen/bathroom capability(mostly 'bathroom') Its designed to be pre-engineered and land-lubber friendly. Its also designed to be dis-mountable and transportable, to chase seasons.

    Everyone I've talked to with a 3 pontoon XL sized boat says 3 floats is the way to go for stability and they are never going back to a 2 float boat unless "racing for money".

    I also hear that 3 floats avoids the famous power-cat sea-sickness problem. AKA "vomit comet" Why? Nobody really knows. Nina’s Travel Rule #36: No One Survives the Vomit Comet
    bajansailor likes this.

  7. Robert Sullivant
    Joined: May 2020
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    Location: oxford, ms

    Robert Sullivant New Member

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