Building a plate barge

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Rex Cobb, Feb 11, 2023.

  1. Rex Cobb
    Joined: Feb 2023
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: West Coast

    Rex Cobb New Member

    Hello !

    I am looking at building a plate barge (Approx 12x26-28’x3’) with twin outboards. This barge will eventually be setup with a generator, removable pilot house and a crane.

    I own a TowBoatUS operation and we do a small amount of construction/repair also. I have seen formulas online for calculating buoyancy. Anybody have any plans or know numbers of how much weight a barge this size can handle?
  2. jehardiman
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: Port Orchard, Washington, USA

    jehardiman Senior Member

    Welcome to the Forums.

    A crane barge (and especially a mobile crane on a barge) is one of the most complicated and dangerous surface vessels there is. I do not say this lightly as I spent a good portion of my career in the analysis of their capabilities for US Navy shipyard lifting and handling. Besides CFR/USCG regulations, there are very specific OSHA requirements (1926.1437 - Floating cranes/derricks and land cranes/derricks on barges.), especially as this is a commercial application.

    This is one of times that a complete and proper professional design by someone with crane barge experience is necessary to minimize downstream liability.
  3. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer

    Pay close attention to jehardiman's comments.

    If the waterplane (waterline area) is 12' x 26', in salt water it will take about 1600 lbs to sink the hull one inch. Max payload will depend on many design details like how high is the deck above the keel, how high will the load be, how big is the total load, how big is the crane, etc. You mention plate but not material, aluminium construction will payoff in a bigger payload and better fuel economy, and no need for paint. When designing crane barges I require all kinds of operational limits on crane lift and swing. Usually the crane is on one side of the boat and lifting is allowed over bow or stern and on the off-side, but not on the near side.
    bajansailor likes this.

  4. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    Location: Spain

    TANSL Senior Member

    A barge with a crane doesn't have to be anything complicated. A floating crane can be very complicated. Rex Cobb should provide us with more details.
    In any case, answering the question of how much his barge weighs cannot be answered without doing a lot of calculations, without knowing the material, the equipment, the load he wants to transport, etc...
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