Dutch Barge long distance cruisers

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Greenseas2, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Without going to extremes in size, a barge of about 50 feet in length might be the ideal size for most applications. Paul Fisher of Selway Fisher designs just came out with a new barge hull design for plywood construction and is 49'9" in length, and about 10 feet in beam. Cruising long distances with low poweer translates to a vessel relatively long and narrow. You may want to look at Fisher's barge design.
     
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  2. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

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  3. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Tom MacNaughton's designs for a barge

    Being familar with Tom's designs to a degree, one unique feature of his barge design is that it can be lengthen easily. In reading past input to this thread, I can agree that the pilot house is too low and not "Dutchy"; however, I think the design is a good one for rivers and calm water cruising. One short fall I find with all cruising boat designs is that while the NA may recommend engine size, most fail to recommend fuel tank capacity to achieve a certain distance with normal loading. Too, designers of all manner of cruising vessels over state their capacity as a cruising vessel. While the advertisement may say " sleeps 6", in the next line they give the water tankage as "20 gallons". You've got to be kidding. LOL. The idea of "cruising" is to stay away from marinas and high dock fees as well as having to stop frequently for water or fuel. In most barge configurations there is more than enough space for adequate tankage without crowding accommodations.
     
  4. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Thanks Pericles, there is SO MUCH variable info/data on that site, its hard to find specifics.
     
  5. Brian@BNE
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    Brian@BNE Senior Member

    I inspected Genevieve in France just over two weeks ago. http://www.dutchbargegenevieve.com/index.htm

    She is probably representative of where current values sit. John and Penny have done a 'light and bright' refurb. to make a very comfortable live-aboard and I quite like it, although would have done a few things a bit different. But I did not like it enough to make an offer. Its a lot more boat than I'm thinking about at this point.

    Another H2O brokerage listing I inspected and really liked was "D'Air Niez Sous", an 11.6 x 4 m steel build barge in 2006. It had some very clever design features for the interior, I was most impressed. I think taking its concepts, but adding a bit more length would deliver a great canal/protected waters cruiser. Yes, 15m could be enough although I still hanker for more like 18m.
     

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  6. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Would you care to elaborate on these "clever design features" ??
     
  7. Brian@BNE
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    Brian@BNE Senior Member

    Ok, I guess a request for elaboration was to be expected... Overall, efficiency of space utilization, and flexibility/multi-use of areas illustrated careful thought and lots of boating experience had been input.

    Starting at stern, with entry from the swim platform through the yacht-style door/sliding hatch entry on starboard there were a pair of single bunks, one on top of the other. On centreline there was a sliding door in 3 sections. When opened it revealed a double berth to port. The main cabin was in the bow. So, a 6 berth layout that really had no 'dead' areas even if only 2 aboard which might be 'normal'. The aft cabin can be opened up to be an extra day salon. But there is 3 cabin privacy when required, with access via the side door just behind the helm, on starboard side.

    Dining on port side opposite helm was conventional. Folding large centre window near helm may not be that unusual, but would provide great ventilation in hot weather and is quick to open.

    Galley area was basically very well planned and thought out, with effectively no waste space, with things like sliding pantries to give very good access to lots of storage. They were about 6" wide, probably 5' high and at least 2'6" deep. Compared to bending down and trying to reach the back of cupboards for stuff, they would be a godsend - no only lots of storage but you can easily see and access stuff readily. Of course push button locking catches on everything so nothing opened when it wasn't supposed to.

    In total there were 2 showers and 2 heads. But all were in separate enclosures and with enough space to work, so even with a a full crew plus some day guests there would be adequate bathroom capacity.

    Any drawbacks? Not much space to fish from at the stern, other than up high on the deck above the aft cabin. That area was a good size for 'outdoor entertaining' though. The boat had been built to charter, perhaps with periodic owner use. It had clearly been chartered more than once by careless fools. The broker indicated that superficial damage near stern and bow (scuffs and distortion of rub strakes) was to be repaired before sale. Fools not only hit things when maneuvering, they were rough on the interior cabinetry. The interior was well made as well as well designed, but wear and tear was apparent and some maintenance needed. A reminder that it really never pays to 'charter out' to help with annual costs....

    Floor hatches at key places provided good access to mechanical's and plumbing etc, once again not uncommon but it was well done.

    Given an extra 3m I'd probably allocate a fair bit of it to forward and aft cabins to get good desk spaces or room for a comfortable reading chair. If even more length then it would go into the salon for more comfortable seating - less of the caravan/motorhome dining experience which works well for eating but not for sitting and reading/relaxing for extended periods.

    So, not sure if I've conveyed that much of what impressed but it was one of those rare inspections where you leave thinking: 'well, there's not much at all that I'd need to change, and a lot of it is better than I would have thought of myself'.
     

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  8. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Another cruising option

    There are plenty of reasonably priced center cockpit sailboats on the market presently. Sailboats have greater effeiciency under much less power and therefore would be economical as a starter. It wouldn't be difficult to have the mast and rigging removed from a used center cockpit sailboat and build a barge style pilot house with around seating, a table and the helm and controls moved forward to a pilot house bulkhead. The pilot house deck could be elevated to the level of previous cockpit seats and have little effect on stability. The keel might even be cut down a bit for shallow water use. The center cockpit boats on the market run from around 30 feet up to 50 or 60 feet and already have accommodations installed. Prices run from around $4,000 and up but it's an easy and quick way to start cruising in something similar to a barge. You might even get a good price for the aluminum mast, stainless steel rigging and fittings to offset the cost of purchasing the boat. In the larger boats you can most likely find space for additional fuel and water tankage also. If you happen to get lucky and find a centerboard centercockpit sailboat, just remove the board or swing keel and seal up the slot when she's in the yard. There's still plenty of ballast to keep her stable.
    Just thoughts.
     
  9. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Building the canal barge Kei

    Took me quite a long time before I really got around to review your website. WOW, lots of good info, and very interesting in-depth account of building process.

    I would strongly recommend that anyone interested in this canal barge subject look thru your website:

    Luxemotor 'KEI'

    http://www.luxe-motor-kei.co.uk/index.htm
    http://www.luxe-motor-kei.co.uk/overview.htm

    The aim of this website is to provide an insight into the length, breadth and depth of the project to procure a new build dutch barge. It is a complex task and certainly on a par with attempting to build a house - in fact arguably a more complicated task as a ship has more systems. One should not under estimate the effect of length, or rather more accurately volume. A dutch barge may be the same length as a narrow boat at 60 - 70ft, but is likley to be twice the width and have more depth. The volume is probably 5 times that of a narrowboat. Costs mirror the increase in volume rather than length, with the requirement for bigger hull scantlings and more complex systems. Time is also an important consideration of time and often, however well intention, a days work often does not achieve much.

    KEI is a 22m luxemotor barge designed and built for residential use and will be used as a permanent home. The size and style are, we feel, a good compromise of all the features that we thought a Dutch barge should include. Top of our priority list was the requirement that if one is going to have a "Dutch barge", then it should look like one and have the recognisable features and details of a traditional 1920's barge - even if this results in perhaps accommodation compromises. This requirement included such features as the proportion of hull to superstructure length, flowing lines, sheer in both the hull and superstructure, high quality steel work with lots of rounded corners and a good strong rubbing band and strake or "berghout" - after all operating on inland waterways is a contact sport and the opposition is mostly concrete. The berghout on KEI is a 60 x 30mm solid half round on a 15mm plate, so should be strong enough. We decided early on that it was absolutely essential to get the basic steel hull shape right - it is relatively easy to alter windows and interior lining etc etc details at a later date. The design and build has clearly worked as most people on seing KEI assume that it is an old 1920's barge converted - until they get close and realise that the hull does not yet show 80 odd years of history - despite our efforts so far!!.....(much more)
     
  10. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    New Build Barging website

    Here is another GREAT reference website

    New Build Barging.co.uk
    (Including Replica Dutch Barges, River Barge, Broad Beam and Wide Beam narrowboat style barges)

    The site covers all new build barges, including Replica Dutch Barges, River Barges, Broad Beam and Wide Beam narrowboat style barges. The site gives an indication of where in the UK (and European continent) a broad beam barge can cruise (map and chart) plus future plans of broad beam network across the UK.

    There is also advice on buying a new build barge and the diy fit-out of 60ft Replica Dutch barge Elessina, including addressing some of the issues encountered during the barge buying process.

    If you have an interest in boats and are considering a broad beam canal type boat / barge, you will most likely find something of interest amongst the following pages (if you wish to read all pages, click on the 'next page' hyperlink at the bottom of each page).

    Lots of photos of various individual projects.

    ...and check out this gallery of photos:
    http://www.barging.co.uk/newbuildphotos.htm
     
  11. cthippo
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    cthippo Senior Member

    I know they're not really designed for it, but can the Dutch barges handle rough seas, say 3-4'? I'm toying with a similar design for my Kayak Tender project.
     
  12. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Roi Soleil videos

    Here are some real nice videos of canal cruising onboard Roi Soleil

    This first one in particular has some nice shots of the helm arrangement on this vessel...a subject I will cover in more detail in a subsequent posting:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg5rYBqc12I

    ...all 6 videos
    http://www.youtube.com/user/RiverYachtRoiSoleil#g/u
     
  13. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Pilot House, Helm Station

    There are compromises in all of boat design, and the flat bottom rectangular cross section of the canal barge possesses the greatest internal accommodation per length of vessel per fixed draft....just as do the ocean ranging tankers (admittedly the ocean tankers are normally operated in a fully loaded condition so as not to present their flat bottoms to the sea surface very often). But I believe that most shallow draft canal barges are destined to have this same sort of hull shape. Adding a very slight V to these flat bottoms accomplishes nothing in my opinion. Adding a 'keel plate' would add to their directional stability, and likely their resistance to sliding across the water's surface sideways. I'm thinking a somewhat exaggerated I-beam down the bottom's centerline, and with a portion of its bottom flange exposed to the exterior of the hull, would contribute to the vessel's longitudinal stiffness as well as its directional stability.

    I take issue with your pilot house observations. As far as 'looking stupid', I would draw your attention the pilot house on Roi Soleil....I very much like this arrangement, both in terms of looks as well as practicality. Perhaps you would counter that this is not the 'traditional Dutch barge'.

    I would much rather be up in the front of the vessel when I was trying to negotiate my way through obstacles in the water, or when I was attempting to dock a canal barge vessel, rather than aft and trying to pear over all of the obstacles that might be present on the forward deck. And look at Roi Soleil...both an inside and outside steering postion...marvelous!

    Helm1.jpg
    Helm2.jpg
    Helm3.jpg


    This steering position is also very close to the cleat onto which I would tie my spring line as I power into the dock or canal's edge.

    Helm4, Spring Lines.jpg
    I also like the manner in which this forward pilot house almost dictates the upper- level cabin space that follows it. To have just the fwd pilot house would likely look rather weird, but with the added long saloon and galley we have a very delightful cabin with lots of natural lighting, a feeling of spaciousness, and great visibility outwards to the surroundings.

    Helm5, cabin house.jpg
    Helm5a,saloon.jpg

    Here we have a similar fwd helm station on a shorter vessel.
    Helm5b Luxemotor.jpg

    Interestingly the roof's shape and height was dictated by the smallest bridge on the whole canal. The bridge's shape was used as a template for Roi Soleil's deckhouse.

    Helm6, Cabin Top shape.jpg
    Helm7 ,bridge and helm.jpg
    Helm8,view bridge clearance.jpg

    I find this roof shape particular attractive even thought it was dictated by a bridge contour. I would be very tempted to utilize the same shape on a new design vessel as this bold arch shape can also be of a structural advantage when tying together the two sidewalls of a very open interior arrangement as exist on Roi Soleil. This roof could be relatively easy to fashion out of cold-molded plywood/epoxy, and be very strong without little need of inside framing ('rafters' you might say). It also contributes to an overall lower profile of the vessel, which could become a more important factor on a shorter version of Roi Soleil. I imagine you might even make a great rainwater catchment of it, and/or a solar power collector with some of the very newest thin panel devices being developed.

    Finally, another of those tight fits you find in the canals.

    Helm9, at La Someil.jpg
     
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  14. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member


  15. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Piper Boats

    "There are 10,000 miles of waterways in Europe, 8,000 of them are in France.

    The French network includes 100 canals and rivers and there are dozens of possible cruises, along a single canal or into other inter-connected waterways.

    We like to share our own experiences of cruising in Europe with our customers, passing on tips and our considerable knowledge of sailing in France. Our Category C Dutch style barges can easily cross the English Channel putting the dream of exploring all the fascinating places in France and Europe within easy reach."


    ...quoted from here:
    http://www.piperboats.com/dutch_france.html
    ...this is a nicely organized website with lots of info on their variety of canal vessels.
     

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