Home - New Build Barging
Why a New Build Barge? Motor or Sail? Comparisons to a Narrowboat? Live Aboard or Leisure
Where can wide beams cruise? Map of UK Broadbeam Canals Future Plans for a UK Broad Beam Network Continental Cruising
Buying a new Barge RCD Categorisation Buying a Sailaway Spec Check List DIY Fit-out cost VAT Barge Building Companies Barges for Sale
DIY Fit-out Equipment Planning Solar & Wind Generators Generator Sets Useful tools for DIY fit-out Slipping / dry docking a barge
Layout plans Some new build Barge Photos Barge Moorings
Information about the (DBA) Ghent 2002 DBA Rally Photos Chatham DBA Rally 2005 Beale Park 2006 DBA Rally Bell Weir Gathering 2008 Bisham Abbey 2009
Barge Links & Further Reading
Ida 57ft Cruising Barge Si and Jacq's Wide Beam Takey Tezey Mikes 57ft Barge Build Mikes 57ft Narrowboat Style Dave and Lyns 19.6m barge Jeff & Jackies 50ft Thomas Roger & Glynwen 55ft Barge Build Ypie - 15m Euroship barge
Motor is more practical for most peoples needs.
More usable interior space per foot of barge
Reduced maintenance / upkeep costs (masts, sails and rigging wears out and is expensive).
Better suited for
inland canals, many of which have low bridges necessitating lowering of mast, but with associated sail rigging getting in the way of line of sight etc. Even with mast lowered, the air draft will likely be greater. restricting canal navigational range. UK
No sailing skills required! .
Choose sail if:-
You wish to explore further a field than the UK and continental European waterways
Want to have a little fun but willing to compromise on living accommodation
Wish to have an even more impressive looking and admired barge
Many of the old Dutch Barges originated as sailing barges, built to transport cargos of coal, crops, oil etc along the continental canals, most have been converted to powered pleasure, but some, mainly Tjalk design, remain as sail. There is something about the old Tjalk sailing barges. The more we look at them, the more we like them. The downside is they are not so practical as a live aboard (generally interior height of less than six feet, with less living room space per metre of boat length, and with no wheelhouse), and with much higher upkeep and maintenance costs (sails masts and rigging are not cheap!).
There are also very few around for sale, so it could take a long time to find one that exactly meets your requirements. And if, like us, you are looking for a barge with solid hull and deck construction, modern powerful engine, good working sails and rigging but with empty interior, ready to start on a fit-out, then be prepared for a very very long wait. I am not sure that you will ever find a barge fitting this requirement.
To our knowledge, nobody builds new sailing Tjalk's in the UK or even any type of Dutch sailing Barge design, so old is the only option, unless buying from the Continent, where there is one company fabricating sailing vessels, but at a relatively costly price. There are a couple of fabricators however that do build sailing barges. See 'New Build Fabricators' - Companies fabricating replica Dutch Barge and wide beam.
Last updated 31 January 2012