Flat top barge

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Darren1234, May 25, 2020.

  1. Darren1234
    Joined: May 2020
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    Location: Arnprior

    Darren1234 Junior Member

    Hello everyone.. Just new here. I am currently looking to build my own flat top steel barge. Approx 20' x 8 ' 30 inches deep.. give or take. I need to haul 8000 lbs +-. Is it really that hard to obtain a set of drawings or material list?.. google is no help at all..:0(.. Any experts or info would be greatly appreciated. Cheers
     
  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Welcome to the forum Darren.

    An 8,000 lb load will sink a 20' x 8' barge by approx 9"; if you use 3/16" thick plate, then the plate weight alone is approx 3,500 lbs. Add on another 1,000 lbs for frames and stiffeners and we are up to 4,500 lbs, which will give a lightship draft of approx 5".
    So, we have a total draft of approx 14", and your depth is 30" - will 16" of freeboard be sufficient?
    More importantly, you will have to assess the stability of the barge with this cargo on it - how high will the centre of gravity of the cargo be above the deck of the barge?
    Where will the barge be operating - on a river, or a lake, or in open sea conditions?
    And how will the cargo be loaded / discharged - will you have a ramp?
    What is the cargo?
     
  3. Darren1234
    Joined: May 2020
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    Location: Arnprior

    Darren1234 Junior Member

    What we plan on doing is to move a 3.5 ton mini excavator on a lake. I stuck with the 8 feet so I could move it from place to place if required. Yes...I was wondering about the side to side motion.. and was even considering adding on some square pontoons to each side possible to help keep it from rocking. But its all calm lake stuff. Not a lot of road access on this body of water, and a lot of camps and cottages requiring a small machine for landscaping ect. I think I would come up with a ramp system as typically we would be loading on beach areas. Checkerplate top perhaps. We have a world class welder in our group, just looking for material lists and structural plans/advice. :0)
     
  4. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    A barge that size will (in theory) be able to carry 8,000 lbs of cargo but only if you load it on board carefully, and in stages.
    I think that if you try to drive a 3.5 ton excavator on to a 20' x 8' barge with a ramp arrangement, you will have a good chance of ending up as a star on YouTube re their popular failure videos showing people loading over sized cargoes on to barges.
    It might be better to build two 20' x 8' barges and have them firmly secured side by side creating a 20' x 16' barge. And then drive the excavator on board from a 20' side rather than a 16' side.
     
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  5. Darren1234
    Joined: May 2020
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    Location: Arnprior

    Darren1234 Junior Member

    I hear you. ( we have put a pontoon boat on either side of a similar one we borrowed once) Our budget wouldn't allow the construction of 2. I could go as wide as 10 feet and extend it to 22 feet, but thats as big as we can go to allow transportation between lakes in the area. Also can go to 36 inches deep to get more floatation. Im just looking for a basic set of plans I can give to a metal shop to get the material and cut outs programed in. Are there plans out there showing a schematic on how one of these is constructed?
     
  6. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    TANSL Senior Member

    These plans, to the measure of your barge, cannot exist, they will have to be created for your barge, whose structure must be prepared to withstand the deck loads you need. The stability of the barge must also be checked during its transfers and during the work of the excavator. All this done, the plans for numerical control cutting of the pieces will be a simple thing.
     
  7. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    10 feet should solve the problem, and extend the length. 3.5 tons of anything, is a big load for a 20 foot boat, and especially above water level.
     
  8. Darren1234
    Joined: May 2020
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    Location: Arnprior

    Darren1234 Junior Member

    Agreed. Its going to be a home made version, but id like to do as many things correct as I can on my budget. I still need to hopefully find a set of drawings to show how the baffles and reinforcing would be laid out. I cant imagine its to complicated, but id like to attempt get as close to an engineered version as possible.
     
  9. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Darren, I think you are in Ontario (re Arnprior)?
    Here are a couple of barges I found for sale - they could be useful reference yardsticks?

    This one is 25' x 10' x 30" deep with an asking price of CAN$18,000
    25′ x 10′ x 30″ Steel Barge 2020 New Boat for Sale in Port Dover, Ontario - BoatDealers.ca https://www.boatdealers.ca/boats-for-sale/443865/25-x-10-x-30-steel-barge-port-dover-ontario

    This one is 24'6" x 10' x 36" deep with an asking price of CAN$25,000
    10' x 24'6 https://www.boatdealers.ca/boats-for-sale/406426/10-x-246-x-3-steel-14-construction-port-dover-ontario

    This barge is 20' x 8' x 30" as per your requirement in your original post - however it does look a bit small in relation to loading a 3.5 ton excavator on it.
    Boats for sale Canada, boats for sale, used boat sales, Commercial Vessels For Sale New 20' x 8' x 30" Steel Barge - Apollo Duck https://commercial.apolloduck.ca/boat/commercial-vessels-barges/582042
     
  10. Darren1234
    Joined: May 2020
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    Location: Arnprior

    Darren1234 Junior Member

    Yes those are what im looking at as well.. ( thanks for looking into this..).. I have contacted those dealers looking for used models.. ( none.).. We have a retired world class welder in our group, and a metal shop close to our location with a nice fabrication facility. We were trying to use our welder to try and save as much money as possible as we arnt a business or such . Its certainly a nice basic design, but its the internal baffles, bracing that im trying to get right. Don't want to over or under build it.
     
  11. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    I am thinking that you really want to go for the largest size barge possible, subject to your constraints.
    So maybe 22' x 10' x 3' deep.
    What type of excavator will you be using (do you have a link for it)?
    And what type of boat / tug will you be using for towing or pushing the barge - would you contract this as required, or do you have a vessel already?
     
  12. Darren1234
    Joined: May 2020
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    Location: Arnprior

    Darren1234 Junior Member

    10' x 24'6 https://www.boatdealers.ca/boats-for-sale/406426/10-x-246-x-3-steel-14-construction-port-dover-ontario

    Thank you so very much for this offer. As you can tell I am out of my wheelhouse on this project. I included the link for the barge im thinking looks like what I am considering. I would think a checkerplate top, primed and painted afterwards. I never considered any painting inside. IS that required in freshwater?.. Wasn't sure on if there is a way for air to expand in and out as well in these as temp go from 35 c to - 35 c in the winter. ( if that's even a factor ? ). A hatch might make sense to inspect the inside im assuming?. The metal shop im dealing with has a laser cutter, and the owner really only wanted some basic plans and dimensions he can run with. He can bend the material as well if required. I would then be taking the material to our own shop and welding it up to keep our costs as low as possible. I think to keep it simpler I would just go with the flat bottom. All barges similar to this style up here are that way. Its the inside stabilization that is the mystery to me. I wont be bothering with transport Canada, as this isn't a commercial endeavor and its certainly going to be more stable that the pontoon/wood one we have been using up to now. ( terrifying..lol). I really appreciate any advice and guidance you can give. I certainly want to move in the right direction and reduce any simple mistakes.
     
  13. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    I had sent Darren a private message, and most of the comments above are in reply to this, hence why it may appear to be a bit confusing to other readers.
    Darren, have you got a photo or two of the wooden pontoon barge you have been using in the past?
    And ideally a photo or two with the excavator on board the barge?
     
  14. Darren1234
    Joined: May 2020
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    Location: Arnprior

    Darren1234 Junior Member

    mini pic.png Here is a pic of what we haul around the lake. 7100 lbs and 5.2 feet wide. I don't have any of us using the old wooden pontoon barge.. ( don't wanna remember those trips)
     

  15. Darren1234
    Joined: May 2020
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    Location: Arnprior

    Darren1234 Junior Member

    Sorry.. as an add on, we typically use a pontoon boat to push our barge around, 50 hp. But weve found due to calm shallow water, any boat tied on to the side can get these things moving. We don't have to move far, and its never a race to get where we are going
     
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