I have been designing, surveying and overseeing construction on barges similar to your needs for some years now.
Location: USA Dutch Barge type plans Selway Fisher in the UK has 2 nice barge plans.
Location: USA Production boat costs In starting this thread, the initial intent was to foster some ideas on Dutch Barge design that would enable laymen to build their own. Dutch barges seem to be among the best vessels for live aboard uses as well as relatively slow travel at modest economical power. Originally Posted by Greenseas2 Dutch barges seem to be among the best vessels for live aboard uses as well as relatively slow travel at modest economical power. If I were to consider crossing the Channel I'd construct a pair of disposable amas and make the passage as a trimaran with all hatches battened down. Location: UK When considerig a suitable design or construction material, don't overlook how rough life in the canals can be. Most boats 'bash' their way through the canals, bouncing off all and sundry, and that includes you if you are near them. But by knowing you are at least as tough as what's around you, by having a well protected prop with good access so you can remove the inevitable shopping trolley from it and by having large bomb proof mooring bits, are some of the best ways of relaxing and hence being able to enjoy some of the world's best cruising waters.
Originally Posted by Crag Cay But by knowing you are at least as tough as what's around you, by having a well protected prop with good access so you can remove the inevitable shopping trolley from it and by having large bomb proof mooring bits, are some of the best ways of relaxing and hence being able to enjoy some of the world's best cruising waters.


Location: The heights of High Wycombe, not too far from River Thames The 90 degree chines could shaped at 45 degrees from a shallow 6 degree V hull bottom. As for those ill mannered steel craft, if they come that close, I board them with my cutlass and flintlock pistols, kill all the men and **** their women. When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. I am based in the UK and am fully conversant with all the relevant design Codes of Practice. Everything you will bump into (including other boats) are all built to commercial, solid, unforgiving standards. Inflatable fenders don't last very long and using old tyres is discouraged as they can be ripped off their lines (or dropped) and then they sink and block the lock gate mechanisms. Extra layers of marine ply could be added to critical areas with heavy glass cloth laminated over. Preliminarily, the use of the barge would be to inland waters with only short offshore excursions in flat calm conditions. You will hit bottom from time to time, typically with any chines you might have below the water line grinding on the rock 'rip rap' that lines the canal edges, as you move over to allow several hundred tons of commercial barge to zip past. The basic criteria is large volume and low, economical power as well as moderate to low construction costs.


Despite a 'no wake' rule, you will have to be able to survive being thrown against underwater obstacles by these boats' hefty wash. That's one reason I like the Dutch barge designs (wider, a bit more wave capacity) than the strict English narrowboats. In assessing building materials for the hull, I would suggest strip plank and epoxy to make a strong and fair hull.
When we get to a design that looks like is just made for plywood construction (or obviously simple plate steel), the only publically available plans I've really found are the Selway-Fisher ones.
Topsides would also be composite and made of high grade ply that is coated with epoxy on all exposed surfaces. Thus, if you build a composite vessel to the same strength and stiffness as GRP or Ally, then it will weigh much less. The Selway Fisher Barge design is a good example; however, it isn't a Dutch barge configuration and I've never heard or have been able to find any history of a Teign River gravel barge that the design is meant to represent.



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