Dutch Euro Barges, None in North America?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by TeddyBear, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. TeddyBear
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 4
    Location: Vancouver

    TeddyBear Junior Member

    I live in a city with a very expensive core and I was given the suggestion by a friend living in the uk. Buy a barge, convert it and live by the water. This is a common thing done his way. The problem is that the type of Boats you need in order to do this are not found in North America. I’m looking for a Dutch style river barge at around 70 to 80ft in length and 16 to 18 feet wide. Have none ever come over here? Is there any way to find something similar? Any idea the manufacturing costs if I would to have it made here? How much does it costs to have something like that brought over? I’ve kind of got hung up on the idea as that I lived on a large boat for about 3 years and enjoyed it. If anybody has any idea as to how somebody living in Vancouver could figure out how to pull this off, it would be much appreciated. In case you don’t know what kind of boat I’m talking about, I have placed a link below of what they normally look like.

    http://www.borderlinedaft.com/Barge/Apr05-001.jpg
     
  2. MarkC
    Joined: Oct 2003
    Posts: 197
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 13
    Location: Germany

    MarkC Senior Member

    www.botenbank.nl

    Have a bit of patience with the search proceedure (all in Dutch)
    Under Category you can choose 'Beoreps' (surveyed) then choose 'stahl', enter the size you want etc. Experiment a bit.

    For example: below this 1920's motorised barge 17 meters long for €29,500.

    Check your import duties though. It may be cheaper to have one made where you are.

    Read in www.metalboatsociety.com - an alaskan is thinking of a motorised-liveaboard-scow. maybe of interest.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. TeddyBear
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 4
    Location: Vancouver

    TeddyBear Junior Member


    With 600 sq foot apartments going to 500,000, i can't see the import being much worse. Thanks a ton, with a little help from babelfish, im sure ill find a way around the web site.

    Keep the ideas coming guys.
     
  4. ted655
    Joined: May 2003
    Posts: 640
    Likes: 14, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 122
    Location: Butte La Rose, LA.

    ted655 Senior Member

    You are working on a couple misconceptions. First, you can't just buy a boat & "live" on the water. Second, you don't need a Dutch Barge to live on.
    You will find that water living is being pushed out. Water accessable property of ANY kind is a big deal to the upscale developers. Please research the area you think you will live in AND the future plans for that area. Next, there are sanatation laws (strict ones) as well as power source issues. Check them out carefully & be realistic about your needs. I'd rent & live at least 3 months on the water before I jumped in with both feet. Then, there is the maintainence chores & COSTS. There is no free lunch, "living" on the water. Only in the movies is it fun & carefree.
    OK, so you are 1 of the very few to find a nich on the water, good, welcom.
    Why a Dutch Barge? 70'-80' long? He,he, you haven't done your homework. First, finding a berth that long is very difficult. Second, the fees are "per foot". Do the math. Better to consider a square or rectangle boat. Often houseboats *not the status symble of the DB I admit) can be found with poor or failed engines. They sell cheap & for your purpose, you don't need an engine, or much of one.
    The UK isn't the US when it comes to mindsets & traditions. Water living is viewed VERY differently here I'm sad to say. Pick up the phone and make a few calls. Walk the docks & talk to water dwellers themselves. Your going to come face to face with some sobering reality. Particuarly in urbin areas.
     
  5. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
    Posts: 2,303
    Likes: 185, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 2281
    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer

    TBear,

    Actually there is a big iron Dutch (type) canal barge cruising about Vancouver, she made a guest appearance in the Gulf Islands last summer. There was another ancient iron double-ender brought over 20 years ago and converted for liveaboard cruising in Victoria.

    But the problem is not the vessels, it's where do you put it? There is no moorage available for 70 footers, especially liveaboard. If there was it will cost at least $1500 a month anyplace close to the city. In the past you could anchor out in False Creek and live aboard, but the city has pushed everyone out of there, only allowing temp moorage now. And we have to deal with local no-discharge laws, which is problematic.

    There are a number of local floating communities made up of float houses/barges like this....


    P1010082.JPG
     
  6. Crag Cay
    Joined: May 2006
    Posts: 643
    Likes: 49, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 607
    Location: UK

    Crag Cay Senior Member

    There is also nothing about a Euro barge that makes them uniquely suitable for live aboard use. They are popular round here because they are available fairly readily now their economic working life has been curtailed by the principal European canals being enlarged for larger vessels.

    But, the bridge and tunnel height on many of the quieter, less commercial waterways is still 3.50m (11ft 3inches), so this same low air-draught that drove their design in the first place, still restricts peoples' choices today in which recreational / live aboard boats they can use. The look of them is also 'at home' here, so replicas are also a pleasing way of designing a boat that meets the physical limitations of these waterways.

    But I doubt you have the same air-draught restrictions. You will probably be more constrained by mooring fees calculated on length. For you it will make more sense to be shorter, but have at least two, if not three decks. And even the marinas that tolerate 'liveaboards' (fewer and fewer) are usually pretty 'sniffy' about 'house boats'. They prefer 'cruising boats' that may not go out much, but at least are boats.

    With your heritage in the Pacific Northwest, you might find a suitable design based on a tug boat form (not a real tug) or as you have access in summer to fairly quiet water amongst the San Juans and Gulf Islands, one of Benford's Florida Coasters might offer you the greatest living space for the lowest monthly bills. Commercial steel boat building yards in your areas would be able to quote you a fairly accurate build price if you showed them the 'study plans' bought from the designer of any boats that took your fancy. These 'study plans' would also let you approach the owners of any suitable mooring sites to see what the realities might be for 'living aboard'.

    But as these are real boats, they will be much more expensive to construct than putting a trailer home on a rotting old dumb barge and calling it 'chez moi'. That might be both possible and even sufficient up some rural backwater in northern Florida, but is becoming unrealistic near population centres where ever you might be.
     
  7. TeddyBear
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 4
    Location: Vancouver

    TeddyBear Junior Member

    OK, I was ready for the negative downers, every forum has them.
    First, there is a great little dock downtown near Cordova street which is more than affordable for 70ft long ships, the monthly costs are less than most condo fees, I know this because it already has two house boats there and I’ve met one of the owners.

    Living on a boat in the Bahamas for 3 years has made me very aware of the fees and considerations of what’s needed to live like that. And yes ted655, you can just buy a boat and live on it in British Columbia. In fact, I would argue that we need more regulation here as that up in Nanaimo we have a number of borderline homeless who can’t be legally removed from the boats they live on even though they are a safety hazard. The costs for maintaining a boat is still less than what it costs to live in a small apartment in town. Vancouver apartment are near the same costs found in New York and Sanfran.

    The reason why I want a Dutch barge is the same reason why some people want a Cape Cod home, I like the look of them and I like how simple they are designed. I’ve seen a couple well visiting Europe, and they were far from trailers on the waters. One I got to see looked more like a loft on the water. We don’t have the canal system here in North America that they have in Europe, so no, we could not handle the excess that most of Europe can. But if you look around, keep your ears to the ground, you’ll find there are plenty of spots for large boats that are ignored by the tourist zones.
     
  8. ted655
    Joined: May 2003
    Posts: 640
    Likes: 14, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 122
    Location: Butte La Rose, LA.

    ted655 Senior Member

    :eek: Me? Negative downer? Oh contrair. realistic, backed by a little been there, done that and always ready to stop a train wreck. But... call em as you see em.
    Eyes wide open, good for you! Go for it. Glad to hear there is still a spot or two the developers haven't found yet. Tick, tick, tick.
    I wanted to buy a Dutch Barge to cruise on. I never found a solatary one on this side of the pond. From this website I did find some nice guys in Eastern Canada that would weld up one of the kits offered from the UK. After being "negative" to myself (cost analises), I settled for a Houseboat.
    Good kuck!:D
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. dick stave
    Joined: Dec 2004
    Posts: 144
    Likes: 1, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 12
    Location: MISSION B.C. CANADA

    dick stave Senior Member

    Check out www.dutch-barges.net [Branson Boat design].There are some really nice replica d.barge designs on this site.You buy the cutting files,steel,rent some shop space out in the valley,pay my wages,and ill
    build your dutch barge for ya...When shes all done we can drop her in the Fraser and youre all set.
     
  10. TeddyBear
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 4
    Location: Vancouver

    TeddyBear Junior Member


    No need to be grouchy or snide. The reason I don't put up with people trying to pick apart ideas on forums is because my greatest successes have come from ignoring the "it’s a bad idea" mentality. People thought I was nuts to take a month off to make up a board game, but the 20,000 dollar check I got later says otherwise. They also said I was crazy for putting 8 grand into publishing a comic book that nobody else would publish, stating that it had no market. Yet somehow the money I made off of it paid for 2 years of my school. Disney for a while paid me very good money because somehow I take what others consider unrealistic ideas and make them not only work, but thrive.
    I'm all for listening to somebody who says “make sure to look at this and make sure to check this”, but i don't put up with "that idea won't work, give up and do something else" mentality.
     
  11. TeddyBear
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 4
    Location: Vancouver

    TeddyBear Junior Member

    Kick ***! great to know
     
  12. dick stave
    Joined: Dec 2004
    Posts: 144
    Likes: 1, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 12
    Location: MISSION B.C. CANADA

    dick stave Senior Member

    I think you are on the right path T.B. If you want to do something in life there are always going to be a lot of people give you a lot of reasons why you cant. I would like to engage in a discussion regarding the REAL possibility
    of living aboard in local B.C. waters.It is also a dream of mine. the reason for steel construction on most barges of this type is cost .With anti fouling paint
    on new steel and marine epoxy coatings on topsides probably not as much
    maintenance as you think.By the way ,Ted moderates a live aboard site on yahoo and is a knowledgeable guy.Im a shanty boat fan too...
     
  13. ted655
    Joined: May 2003
    Posts: 640
    Likes: 14, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 122
    Location: Butte La Rose, LA.

    ted655 Senior Member

    ===="No need to be grouchy or snide. "=====
    Again, not true. I was being neither. When you post, be prepaired to here an opinion that may differ from yours. What does it hurt you to look at something from a different angle? We aren't all "yes" men here. When you post, we have no idea of your life experiences. i sence a touch of " chip on shoulder" here. Relax.
    Your a self starter, & have found a boat builder. Great. Go have a good life. Just quit trying to define me. I don't hang out here to screw with people.
     
  14. TeddyBear
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 4
    Location: Vancouver

    TeddyBear Junior Member

    I sure he’s amazing, but I after a contract working as a Disney “Imagineer” (designer) I’ve seen some pretty amazing projects become reality. A river boat home seems like a great challenge. I've got about 8 more months to a year of classes before i can event start anything like this, but i figure there is no harm in starting the research now.
     

  15. TeddyBear
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 4
    Location: Vancouver

    TeddyBear Junior Member


    My apologies if you thought I was picking at you, but I have vision of the type of space I want, I’ve never liked houses, and a floating house does not seem boat like enough. A multimillion dollar Yatch is out of my budget and I just think those old barges have so much more character. When I got tour one, I fell in love. Its same reason why some people like old bricks walls and wood floors, there is a charm. I am very aware there are challenges, but it’s not just about money for me, it’s something I’ve thought about for a good long while, and if I have to blow my savings to build a home, I want something that has personality.
     
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.