Dutch Barge long distance cruisers

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

  1. Greenseas2
    Joined: Mar 2006
    Posts: 367
    Likes: 10, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 49
    Location: USA

    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Excellent input

    Excellent input gentlemen and the photos are magnificent. In getting back to the intent of the original discussion, the thrust was to develope an inexpensive Dutch style river barge. Such as vessel might be valuable in pemitting those people who are renters, seniors (baby boomer generation is huge) and perpetual travelers/cruisers to have all of the comforts of home while traveling the ICW's, lakes and rivers of the US. Certainly all of your input is very valuable to those looking for a vessel design to fulfill live aboard crusing desires. In essence, the answer is "yes" to the boxy design as boxy translates into easily built. The Dutch Barge type pilothouse is the pilothouse aft on most commercial Dutch river barges that is somewhat of a green house with 360 vision with seating for several people and a table. As a matter of fact, the design is so boxy that when you wish to stop cruisng, you could easily jack up the vessel, put it on a foundation on a small piece of property, and have a nice little cottage. Ideal for coastwise areas subject to hurricane storm surges. Just being faceious of course, but it illustrates the idea of a flat bottomed vessel, plumb sides and bow with a low power requirements and long range. Think economy in construction, economy of operation and spacious accommodations mostly out of the local furniture store and you have the picture. Having sufficient electrical generation capabilities is also important in staying away from high marina slip fees. The market is definitely there is the US for such a vessel and with your combined experience with Dutch vessels and solid input, a good design could be had. The Durch river barges seem to offer the most workable interior volume and economy of operation of any vessel design. As a side note, I'm also of Dutch ancestry.
     
  2. Greenseas2
    Joined: Mar 2006
    Posts: 367
    Likes: 10, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 49
    Location: USA

    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Pierre- Aesthetics

    Hi Pierre,
    Take a look at the numerous houseboats on Yachtworld.com and you'll see one very noticeable factor. Almost all are gas guzzlers and far from being economically operated. They are also high sided and subject to being affected by high winds. One reason for concentrating on Dutch river barge designs is that for the large amount of space, the vessel has a relatively low profile. Also, most houseboats have a very wide hull to counter the high profile and heeling moment (high meticentric height) and are really not great long distance river cruisers. This fact is born out by the high concentration of houseboats on the lakes of Tennessee, Kentucky, Nevada and other states rather than on rivers. They, in fact do have a lot of room; however, one distasteful aspect to their design is that at least a third of the available space is dedicted to the "master stateroom" (as if it was a real stateroom) In cruising, I like to offer my cruising friends the same quality of sleeping accommodations as I have rather than a convertable dinette. To do otherwise would be rude indeed. Dutch barges are more aesthetically pleasing and can be designed with accommodations for at least two couples in comfort without using other furniture in lieu of a comfortable cabin, albeit, maybe smaller. As may be seen, I have an intense dislike of houseboats, even the more luxurious ones that can cost well over a half million dollars. (travel trailers on a floating platform)
     
  3. Pierre R
    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 461
    Likes: 32, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 458
    Location: ohio, USA

    Pierre R Senior Member

    Back to this point for the moment.

    I really like the "looks" of a Dutch Barge but after cruising extensively on the eastern half of the USA I am loath to settle on anything right now. You might say that I am in a state of flux as to what I really want. A couple of years ago the Dutch Barge would have been perfect.

    Some of the potential drawbacks for me: There are many many places along the ICW/River systems where the waterways are in miles wide and not yards. There are also many places where straight stretches will allow waves to build up with the winds from that direction. Add to this many windy days in the fall, spring and winter months combined with tides and you have many days even on these so called protected waters where moving is very uncomfortable in a flat bottom round chine boat.

    Now we add in crab pots and twisty approaches to many gunkholes that I want to visit and now I want visibility and maneuverability. Pilot houses near the rear or center of a long boat would not be my idea of the perfect layout in these situations. To be honest, pilot houses near the bows and/or fly bridges look stupid on a Dutch Barge in my opinion.

    The size of boat that I want seems to be shrinking while the utility, maneuverability and usuability is gaining big ground over creature comforts.

    I certainly think that a Dutch Barge makes good sense for many people who want to liveaboard and travel the ICW. It depends on what you want to do, your lifestyle and where you want to go. The Dutch Barge makes a lot more sense than the average go-fast cruiser or express/cruiser from one of the major low end US boat manufactuers and is a damn sight better on the eyes.
     
  4. Pierre R
    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 461
    Likes: 32, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 458
    Location: ohio, USA

    Pierre R Senior Member

    Greenseas2, I would agree with you that the market is definitely there for a Dutch Barge of low cost in the USA. The baby boomer generation will generate much demand for this type of vessel over the next 20 years of so.

    It's my opinion that one of the major manufacturers will jump on this band wagon before too long. The rage right now is for trawlers and away from express cruisers but that is more of a high end market. The low end market is still into aquisition of older boats but the prusuit of older boats is now creating a shortage of good low cost economical cruisers in the marketplace. Over the next 10 years the market will have to move to low cost cruisers and the energy costs will point in the direction for which you speak.
     
  5. Pierre R
    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 461
    Likes: 32, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 458
    Location: ohio, USA

    Pierre R Senior Member

    There is no doubt about it that most house boats on the market are exactly what you say they are but not all.

    The prismatic coefficients and many of the A/B ratios out there on house boats are not that much different than a Dutch barge. Reconfigure the drive systems and add thrusters and the picture changes quite a bit.

    House boats are very inexpensive in comparison to conventional boats and the manufacture of Dutch barges would addapt nicely to many of the contruction techniques used in houseboats. What you are looking for is cheap construction methods and affordability right. Dutch Barges in the US will become known as "Dutch Barge Style House Boats".

    I do not think that you will find that many people who are interested in one off contruction in comparison to buying such an animal cheaply from a boat dealer.

    The reason that there are not as many houseboats in the river systems as there are on the reserviors is simple. There are many more marinas on the reserviors and lakes than on the rivers. Rivers are subject to wide fluctuations in levels and therefore greatly complicate marina operations. The Mississippi is a great example. For a river that has much to offer the Mississippi is noticeably lacking in marine facilities because it has one of the highest currents and level fluctions of any river in the US.
     
  6. Greenseas2
    Joined: Mar 2006
    Posts: 367
    Likes: 10, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 49
    Location: USA

    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Market and maneuverability

    I agree with you on the market and it's potential for home type barges as innovation is needed in design to renew public attention. Each day we do a market review as well as units sold at boat shows,. You are right about the down turn.
    As far as m,aneuverability of a Dutch style barge goes, I think that is up to the skippers ability more than anything else. I also believe that a commercial version in the US will have a bow thruster to permit maneuvering in gunk holes.
     
  7. Greenseas2
    Joined: Mar 2006
    Posts: 367
    Likes: 10, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 49
    Location: USA

    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    US acceptability

    Pierre, I agree with you on most points mentioned; however, I think a one off design would be a start into the market ahead of the big guys. Done right, this is the way it might work. First, put a lot of effort into building a quality first vessel. Then take it to the major east coats boat show and accept building orders for others on a pay as the vessel is built basis. Not only would the first off be a sales tool, but the mechanics of building follow on boats plus the learning experience for necessary changes would be in place. Building either the dutch style barge or UK wide beam would require little "manufacturing" space if only one vessel at a time is built on a custom order basis. Subcontract the fit out to your own specifications. It would be an excellent business start for someone. Personally, I'm a little to far on the side of being a "crispy critter" (senior citizen) to take on a project of this sort, but would be happy to assist.
     
  8. yipster
    Joined: Oct 2002
    Posts: 3,486
    Likes: 95, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 1148
    Location: netherlands

    yipster designer

  9. SAQuestor
    Joined: Sep 2003
    Posts: 163
    Likes: 14, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 91
    Location: San Antonio

    SAQuestor Senior Member

    And aren't you quite happy that is so:!: :eek:
     
  10. Pierre R
    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 461
    Likes: 32, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 458
    Location: ohio, USA

    Pierre R Senior Member

    Greenseas2 if I were going to do that I would likely build in Aluminum as this would be the prefered building medium for large flatter sections. I would ditch the fan tail in favor of a very useful cockpit/ swim platform/ garage for toys and easy access to the water. LOA would be about 48' and the beam would be around 12'-13' I would try to keep the displacement around 20k

    I would go with both stern and bow thrusters and an engine of moderate Hp, say an 80hp John Deere. I would consider a high volume low speed jet to get the draft under 2'. The interior would likely be done in cypress/white formica.

    Electrical would consist of large cage 250 amp alternator, Large house bank, 3500 W inverter, solar panels, Reverse/AC, combo water heater,windlass and propane stove. AC would be by 30 amp shore power or inverter
     
  11. MarkC
    Joined: Oct 2003
    Posts: 197
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 13
    Location: Germany

    MarkC Senior Member

    Yipster wrote:

    But these house-boats (below) on the German island Rugen are the 'best' I have even seen. More 'house' than boat - probably a 'boaty-house'!

    Can read about them (in German) in Mare magazine - no. 34 'Bau ohne Grund'
    http://www.mare.de/mare/hefte/beitrag-aufm.php?id=650&&heftnummer=34
     

    Attached Files:

  12. SeaSpark
    Joined: Mar 2006
    Posts: 593
    Likes: 17, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 96
    Location: Holland

    SeaSpark -

    Definitions 3

    The "dutch barge" definition is even more stretchable than i imagined.
     
  13. Greenseas2
    Joined: Mar 2006
    Posts: 367
    Likes: 10, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 49
    Location: USA

    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Preplanning barge economy

    I'm not one for huge, and expensive, electric power plants on any boat, especially one where the criteria is for long distance cruising. I sincerely believe that up front planning for a power budget is necessary Such economical considerations such as having all onboard lights (including nav lights) being LEDs, (new multiple LED bulbs fit in the old 12 volt light bulb sockets with no problem) Sibir refrigerator/freezer that uses kerosene and other such items that dramatically reduce electric load requirements. Bow thrusters are something of a personal want rather than absolutely necessity, but I would insure that the boat has a large barn door rudder and maybe even flanking rudders for maneuvering with astern propulsion. The 80hp engine is about right for a 45 to 48 foot barge. I also think that the average long distance cruiser doesn't want a long list of complex systems to deal with. The simpler, the better.

    Previously mentioned was that many European barges have round chines. Personally, for a long distances cruising barge on inland waters, hard chines may be an advantage and also lower construction costs and time quite a bit.

    Re the pictured houseboats i Germany. I'd hate to try to cruise one of these in a chop. Envisioned is rapid disinegration underway.....not a pleasant thought. Even short distance cruisers, they're not.

    Good thoughts and input by all.
     
  14. Greenseas2
    Joined: Mar 2006
    Posts: 367
    Likes: 10, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 49
    Location: USA

    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Dutch Barge definition

    Hi Sea Spark, Sometimes the definition of a Dutch Barge sort of drifts in and out like the tide. While not directly affiliated with the thrust of building and operating an economical vessel that somewhat looks and acts like a Dutch barge to some degree, the input is interesting. LOL
     

  15. yipster
    Joined: Oct 2002
    Posts: 3,486
    Likes: 95, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 1148
    Location: netherlands

    yipster designer

    nice -probably concrete- waterfronts but dont think they cruize at all,
    not that i think houseboats must plane 20 knt on big mercruisers,
    but a boat needs bow and engine, than, even better, think cats.
    interior for the dutch barge against those americans evens out,
    maybe its the climate that keeps pilothouse etc indoors here.
    ofcourse there is the matter of heritage, style, materials etc
    but i myself never had anything against winnibago's eighter.

    http://www.noordersoft.com/ travelled around europe in a dutch barge
    think thats how the program got born, they now chart the mekong
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2007
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.