Homemade Mooring Barge

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by TJ I. setnom, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. TJ I. setnom
    Joined: Jan 2019
    Posts: 2
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    Location: Nantucket Sound, MA

    TJ I. setnom New Member

    So I have been asked several times by friends and fellow boaters to assist with their mooring maintenance and/or seasonal removal. This season alone I did 22 mooring wintersticks not including my own 3. The heaviest being a 4,000lb block that I actually dove on and swapped out chain. Many of the owners pay me $100 bucks and it is what it is.

    As a builder/carpenter/GC by trade I’m looking into building a “barge” that will make handling/hauling chain, buoys and even maybe haul some of the 250lb-500lb mushrooms. When not handling moorings I can use it to do some dock work and light marine construction nothing to big just little repair jobs. Where I live and work their are countless docks and potential clients and maybe 3 or 4 active marine carpenters or mooring haulers.

    What I have in mind is 8-10’ beam(I understand will be difficult to over the road transport) by 26-30’ length. Maybe a small enclosed helm station since I would be operating in all 4 seasons. Just quick research indicates an A-frame style hoisting point with a roll bar? Thoughts? Electric or hydraulic deck mounted winch and a moon hole or right off the front of the barge.

    Also not sure of the material to use for the hull. I know I want it to be a self bailing hull with a real shallow draft, able to not only haul out 1000pounders maybe more with break out force but also carry the weight. Conflicted on weather marine grade ply with glass is the way to go or start experimenting with paints and sealers.

    Any help and insight you guys have is greatly appreciated. I have included some of the barges I have seen.
     

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  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    A common setup is a barge with a hole in the middle. You can pick up the weights without creating stability problems. There is an arch over the hole with a winch or chainfall.
     
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  3. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Have you considered steel ?
    There is no way I would use Plywood without Glass/Epoxy over. It just wouldn't make sense to shorten its life after all that work.
     
  4. TJ I. setnom
    Joined: Jan 2019
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    Location: Nantucket Sound, MA

    TJ I. setnom New Member

    I have thought about steel or aluminum, I’m just cautious because all my experience has been with wood. I Don’t know who would custom make a steel barge or cost compared to wood builds.
     
  5. Waterwitch
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    Location: North East USA

    Waterwitch Junior Member

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  6. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Australia

    waikikin Senior Member

    This is the simplest option with the most buoyancy/lift for material to construct. Also a boatshed near me used to have a mooring pontoon that was a very simple pair of boxes that used a steel pyramid as the lift gantry and connective structure- pretty sure it lasted nearly 20 years built of cheap A bond ply with some layers of chop strand mat over. They'd push it around with one of their hire boats.
    Jeff.
     

  7. Magnus W
    Joined: Nov 2017
    Posts: 110
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    Location: Sweden

    Magnus W Senior Member

    From my own experience with barges the greater mass they have in relation to the load they are carrying the better they work. Stability is better and draft in loaded vs unloaded changes little (and believe me the latter is a big deal). Since I assume you'll be operating in low speeds mass won't have a big impact on the force needed to push it. So I say steel – easy to work with, easy and fast to maintain and repair, sturdy.
     
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