Dutch Barge long distance cruisers

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

  1. SeaSpark
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    SeaSpark -

    Sensible thoughts

    Could not agree more with all of the above.

    A freezer that runs on the same fuel as the stove is a big plus. When you can live without a freezing fridge an electric cooler is optional.

    It is more fun to learn how to manoeuvre your boat than to wrestle with systems that are not reliable or horribly expensive like bow thrusters.
     
  2. SeaSpark
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    SeaSpark -

    Schouw

    A schouw (or scow) type of vessel has many of the properties looked for, the blunt front (main feature of a schouw) gives lots of interior volume. It has only two chines per side and a flat bottom. Originally these boats were build in wood.
     

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  3. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Schouw

    The scow hull is a great idea as it looks as if the hull design is efficient and easily driven with low power. Also, it looks as if it has substantial interior volume and could easoly be equipped with a deck and accommodations for ecopnomical cruising. With most peopl;e who want a live aboard barge to cruise with, speed won't be a big issue, but comfort and range will.
     
  4. Pierre R
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    Pierre R Senior Member

    When it comes to long water line low powered shallow depth vessels there are two opinions on the use of bow thrusters. Those who have had a bow thruster and those who have not.

    For years I had the same opinion on bow thrusters until I installed one so that my aging parents could operate the boat. I installed it myself for under $1,500 and have not had a bit of trouble with it.

    My boat is 10,000 lb and only 18hp, has a keel under the aft section but not the front and I have no kick in reverse to help with backing and filling. My engine is mounted level and the boat has a controllable pitch propeller.

    With a bow thruster there is no need for a line tender as you can move the boat straight sideways up to the dock and keep it there until the sole occupant of the boat can secure lines. Best damn device ever invented for single hand work in marinas and other thight places.

    One situation I use to dread is waiting for a bridge in a tight section with a current and wind into the bridge with other boats trying to hold position. That situation is no longer a dread.

    I do not have a generator and frankly don't like them but I have changed my tune on bow thrusters for certain kinds of boat configurations.
     
  5. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Flanking rudders for barges

    Flanking rudders are rudders mounted in front of the propeller(s) and used to maneuver the boat when using astern propulsion. I can appreciate the close proximity maneuvering at draw bridges with lots of other boats doing the same thing. When going up a densely populated area of the West palm Beach ICW with a 200 foot barge and single screw tug, caution is indeed needed at bridges, especially with the current behind you. Draw bridges have to open for commercial traffic and all of the private boaters try to jam in front of you. Use of flanking rudders is invaluable in holding position in this circumstance. Any Dutch barge or wide beam narrowboat should be built with flanking rudders. In static water, the flanking rudders will permit you to maneuver you barge 360 degrees almost on it's own axis by using the forward steering rudder when moving ahead and the flanking rudders when moving astern. No additional motors or thrusters are needed. Something less to break.
     
  6. Pierre R
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    Pierre R Senior Member

    I assume that there is some protection around these flanking rudders to protect them from a grounding. I also see at least two more stuffing boxes and related linkage to connect them to the steering station. That does not sound like less maintenance and less cost to me.
     
  7. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Flanking rudders

    Flanking rudders generally don't protrude from the bottom of the boat and a single hydraulic ram is all that is needed to move two or more of them. They're standard on both large and small towboats that travel all rivers of the US. They're very effective, even with tows of a quarter of a mile long. Two flanking rudders should suffice for a Dutch style barge. Both towboats and their tow are flat bottom and ground on sand bars more times than the industry would like to admit, but with no damage to flanking rudders. In Tennessee, there was recently a 50 foot shallow draft steel houseboat built with flanking rudders. An article was written in one of the trade journals about it being equal to or superior to normally expensive thrusters. Thrusters can easily ingest debris and jam up which requires an expensive haul out and probable repair to the blades being that the prop blades are internal in the thruster tube. If a flanking rudder is damaged, a diver can usually fix the damage in short order. Common sense says that both systems have their own unique qualities and uses. Certainly large and deep draft ships are equipped with thrusters, but the world of shallow draft flat bottom commercial vessels relies more on flanking rudders as the preferred equipment for close proximity maneuvering.

    Recently on yachtworld.com, I have seen 25 foot boats equipped with thrusters. Don't know if I would want to go out with the owner that needs a thruster on that size boat:)
     
  8. Pierre R
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    Pierre R Senior Member

    Boy, where to start. You have partially convinced me that flanking rudders are a good viable alternative. I did an internet search on flanking rudders to visualize exactly what they were.

    I am having trouble visualizing a Dutch Barge with a two foot draft without rudders protruding from the bottom of the boat. I can visualize them not protruding below the lowest point of draft but that would mean a swim platform like stern to handle three rudders and a propeller. I am not opposed to that as I like cockpits.

    I can certainly understand flanking rudders over a bow thruster for a tow boat. I think that is a little obvious with their power and hull configuations. As far as thrusters go, most that I know of have a shear pin in the propeller. jaming will shear the pin. Since they are below the water line they generally don't suck in debris that is floating.

    I guess it would be alright to ride with me since my boat is 26' not 25'. I have not owned a twin engine nor have I owned a gasolene boat over 10' in length. http://groups.msn.com/TrawlerMV/piouspuffin.msnw
     
  9. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Dutch Barge draft

    I believe that most Dutch Style barge draw a little more than 2 feet. Most have skeg protected props and rudders and fitting flanking rudders would be no problem. Shallow draft concerning barges might be in the neighborhood of less than 4 or 5 feet at the extreme for a 50 to 60 footer. I recently ran a small 119 foot passenger freighter that was bought for use on the shallow Bahama Bank that had flanking rudders. Neat boat with 6 passenger cabins, full width temperature controlled bridge, gallet, two dining areas and two huge crew rooms and 40 foot cargo deck. The small ship drew 5 feet burdened and was flat bottom and was built in Alaska from which she traveled to the Caribbean and Florida. At any rate, we're beginning to be able to develop an inexpensive 48 foot by 10 foot vessel with Dutch barge aesthetics and economical long distance cruising capabilities from the great input to this thread. Within a few weeks we should at least have a narrative description followed by drawing and perhaps a model. Again, the primary goal is economy and simplicity of design, construction and use.
     
  10. Pierre R
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    Pierre R Senior Member

    Can we keep the draft under 3' and the hight from the bottom of the keel to the top of the pilothouse under 15'. Reason being is bridge clearance to haul down the highways. I would not mind building a suitable trailer and loading it onto a Ro-Ro boat for Europe.

    I would actually prefer something in the 11' to 12' beam which is still a 4:1 ratio. Is there some reason to stick with 10'. Highways don't require anything special until over 12'
     
  11. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Do flanking rudders operate along with the regular rudders and turn they same way or do they operate independently?
     
  12. SeaSpark
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    SeaSpark -

    Flanking rudders

    Illustration and some text on flanking rudders:

    http://website.lineone.net/~alanann/towruddr.htm

    Would not mind hearing more about them.

    I sailed many different boats, some with a bow thruster. My latest experience was in Croatia with a hired 45ft boat. The control handle for the thruster was kicked of by some previous crew and they would not let us leave without a new handle (total delay 2.5 hours). After leaving the dock and testing the boats maneuverability i discovered the handle was installed counter intuitive :) (quick fix) I can imagine charter companies install bow thrusters on their yachts but everytime i used it i felt like cheating.

    Once, a long time ago, i sailed with an ex towboat captain devoting his time to old flatbottomed sailing craft. On a return trip from Denmark where he saved one from fishing stones and only 1.5 of the 4 historical cylinders working he asked me to hoist a foresail when the boat was in a seemingly hopeless position in the buzzy harbor. The boat quickly moved out of trouble. The 10 minutes before this happened i was wondering why he send me to the fore deck. Perhaps a small mast on the "dutch barge" is not a bad idea.

    edit: after reading the last part of this message a realized a bow thruster could have done the same :)
     
  13. colinstone
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    colinstone Junior Member

    Pierre R - we have a 1m draft and approx 3.4m airdraft with the wheel house up - so just over 14ft in all and we fit on the highways - http://www.luxe-motor-kei.co.uk/delivery/page/image7.html
    With the wheelhouse lowered airdraft is 7ft 6 inc/2.3m and we fit under some fairly low bridges - http://www.luxe-motor-kei.co.uk/delivery/page/image73.html
    The stem - highest point - just touched the bridge beams.
    Flanking rudders sound intriguing, and my vessel's design should be able to incorporate them quite easily under the stern deadwood.
    We handle just fine with a large NACA profile rudder operating 70-0-70. A schilling rudder was considered but not fitted. Steerage way is maintained to almost imperceptible speed and bow swing can be controlled very easily with judicious use of rudder and throttle. Passing through all the locks going up the Thames was not a problem. I would however fit end plates onto the rudder to improve response. Also so far operating without a bowthruster installed, but one will be - 3 phase 5.5kw motor powered off genset.
     
  14. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Flanking rudder operation

    As previously mentioned, the flanking rudders are installed forward of the prop and act separately from the main navigation rudder. Most vessels that I have operated with navigation and flanking rudders have had joy stick control with the flanking rudder handle being above and longer than the joy stick for the main rudder. Flanking rudders as well as main rudder have their own separate hydraulic rams for independent operation. The reverse thrust of the propeller pushes water against the flanking rudders and causes the stern to move opposite of the rudder position. When the vessel is moving ahead under enertia alone with engine in neutral, you can put the flanking rudders hard over, put the engine in reverse and walk the boat side ways. Using flanking rudders requires a little practice to master but almost anyone can do it. Nice part is that there is no power requirement from the generator and no separate engine require as in large vessel thrusters.
     

  15. Pierre R
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    Pierre R Senior Member

    Colinstone, sounds intriguing. That is kind of what I had in mind.

    My biggest problem is wanting to go into gunkholes where there is less water than draft. There are many places along the US ICW and river system with less than one meter of water. Right now I use a hillbilly depth sounder (one inch PVC plastic pipe marked in feet submerged at the bow and held in place with a clamp) When the PVC hits bottom its time to hit reverse.
     
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