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
Why buy a new build barge, and not an old one?
Before deciding on a new build, it is worth looking at some of the older barges. Many of the older barges have better lines than the modern new builds, although in latter years the 'replica' Dutch barge builds are getting closer and closer to the original designs.
Replica Dutch Barges are not necessarily build in
, indeed most are now built in the Holland , and this site concentrates on the UK barge market and availability. UK
Some New Build Advantages:-
New build have the advantage of less maintenance and worry free living.
You can design your own interior layout around whatever internal length you wish, to suit your own needs, and specify exactly how long you wish your barge to be (a compromise on maximum interior space and minimum external length).
The usable interior space on a new barge will be greater than that on an old one. eg The interior space A 60ft new build will likely compare to that of a 70ft or even 80ft old barge.
Many old barges have limited headroom, with main rooms around 6ft (sometimes less) and with some bed / bathrooms between 4ft and 5ft. All new build will have around 6ft-6in.
A bow thruster can be installed making manoeuvrability much easier. The shape of many older vessels makes the installation of bow thrusters very difficult and sometimes impossible to install.
If fitting out your own barge, you will not have to do a time-consuming interior demolition job and undertake lengthy rust preventative measures.
You will not have to worry about those rotting rivets below the waterline, that very occasionally may 'pop' out, putting your well maintained bilge pumps into overdrive!
You will not have to worry about re-sheeting your wafer thin bottom at the next survey!
If you wish to have a new modern engine, new 'homely' interior, nice wheelhouse etc. then total new build costs are closely comparable to old.
A new barge should last at least 30 years, the better ones 60 to 100 years and longer with re-fits and good maintenance etc.
Some Original Build Advantages:-
Old, Original Builds have a history, and the longer barges are more cost effective than new build.
If you would like your barge to have a nice recorded year-by-year history, then buy old.
If your hobby includes welding and traditional diesel engine maintenance, then buy old.
If you are looking for a permanent live aboard, with little intent of cruising, then likely the larger the better, 100 feet or more is quite common for old barges, indeed many smaller barges were originally longer, and have been reduced in size to be more suitable for the UK river and canal network. If your requirements are for a barge over around 80 feet long, then old will probably be your best cost effective option, certainly if you require a barge around 120feet long.
If a barge has seen 100 years of service, it will most probably last another 100 years…. maybe… with a few new bottom re-sheeting's and a lot of maintenance!
Created 7th October 2002 - Last updated 20 December 2009