This isn’t one particular design, one particular designer, or one particular boat… its an entire class. Originally Dutch Barges were true cargo craft, sailed up and down the coasts in Europe transporting goods. There was a small cabin at the back (usually) for the captain/crew and the rest was for cargo. There are many of these craft still afloat (some approaching 100 years old), many of which have been converted to live-aboard use. The hold space makes for a large, comfortable craft.

Several designers have taken the basic shape and look, modernized the lines of the hull slightly (in some cases) and produce new built craft that are designed as personal passenger craft.

I find the design very attractive visually, the near vertical sides and flat bottom yield a lot of interior volume, they are a proven design for canal use, and have certainly ventured further when built to appropriate scantlings. I’ve written a little more about them here in the past. The hull design seems to lend itself to low power, displacement cruising.

I’m going to list several designers/build logs/etc. here, with a few comments where appropriate.

  • EuroShip Services – this outfit has a huge collection of plans, from reasonably small to huge (including ones with on-board garages for your car, etc). Check out the web page… lots of pictures and information.
  • Branson Boats – another designer with some modern designs around the classic look
  • Bowcrest Marine – a barge broker with many listings of barges for sale, including pictures
  • Goldwater Boats
  • Tucker Designs
  • Walker – not strictly a Dutch Barge, and definitely on the high end, but such nice lines…
  • How to Build a Barge – a collection of articles and pictures chronicaling the construction of various craft. As new boats are built, this page is added to. Part of the Canal World Discussion Forums.
  • Replica Dutch Barges – build logs, etc.
  • Luxemotor Kei – a great site… its a build and cruise log with lots of information and discussion concerning design choices that were made. Based on a Euroship design. Also lots of links to suppliers and associated companies.
  • Jenal – A Time Machine – a Dutch Barge build done with "only the best"… some great ideas and resources here.
  • DBA – The Barge Association – a group dedicated to the ex-commercial barges and other broad-beam inland waterway craft
    • New Barge – a fairly detailed narrative of a barge being constructed
  • Bill and Nancy’s life on a barge in France – wrote about this one the other day, but I’ll include it here for completeness
  • Barging Europe – a great site with lots of details about owning a Dutch Barge in France and cruising the waterways

Some narrowboat sites… the narrowboat world are pretty unique to Great Britain’s narrow canal system, and although a bit too limited for my taste, many of the design ideas are applicable to a lot of other craft, especially the wider beamed Dutch Barges

And some general canal living and cruising guide sites: