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Thread: Building an Oyster Barge

  1. #1
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    Default Building an Oyster Barge

    I am starting the build of a 29' oyster barge to be used on the Chesapeake Bay. I have designed it with nice lines for a barge but with a function. The beam is 11'6" and it has a pram bow for bouyancy and weight carrying ability forward. Also, with previous experience using a barge I wanted it to handle some chop so it has a slight "V" in the bottom.
    After I drew the lines a friend with design training recommended building a model. I did and it helped work out many problems and gave me more info. for construction.
    The chines, frames, and floors will be yellow pine, the sides covered with 1/2" marine fir ply and the bottom 3/4". It will be glassed with 32 oz cloth and polyester resin. I want some input on the use of yellow pine. At this point I was going to use treated lumber for the floors and chines and untreated for everything above that in the hull. There is a budget, this is not a yacht but I want it to last.
    I want to know if there is enough interest in the forum for me to post the construction of this barge. It will be interesting and I am starting it next week. Getting pictures posted will be difficult for me- I will have to get help.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    If you want it to last, use epoxy with your glass cloth, not polyester. I wouldn't bother with pressure treated lumber. It's foul stuff, nothing much likes to stick to it, it's toxic, and if you're glassing and painting it, you're gonna be fine with SYP, or D-Fir. Use ABX ply if you can get it, or MDO 2 sided would be even better.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Definitely post pictures of the build! It sounds like a good rough and ready project!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    There is a budget, this is not a yacht but I want it to last.
    All the more reason to use epoxy resin. I know that wasn't your question, but it's still good advice. As to asking if we want you to have a build thread, well of course!!! We thrive on pics so learn to post them (not too hard really) or e-mail them to someone who will post them (I'll gladly help with that if you want)

    I'll echo the previous poster, don't bother with pressure treated just glass it and paint it instead. Welcome to the forum, I look forward to seeing this barge come together!
    George

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Quote Originally Posted by waltwood View Post
    I am starting the build of a 29' oyster barge to be used on the Chesapeake Bay. I have designed it with nice lines for a barge but with a function. The beam is 11'6" and it has a pram bow for bouyancy and weight carrying ability forward. Also, with previous experience using a barge I wanted it to handle some chop so it has a slight "V" in the bottom.
    After I drew the lines a friend with design training recommended building a model. I did and it helped work out many problems and gave me more info. for construction.
    The chines, frames, and floors will be yellow pine, the sides covered with 1/2" marine fir ply and the bottom 3/4". It will be glassed with 32 oz cloth and polyester resin. I want some input on the use of yellow pine. At this point I was going to use treated lumber for the floors and chines and untreated for everything above that in the hull. There is a budget, this is not a yacht but I want it to last.
    I want to know if there is enough interest in the forum for me to post the construction of this barge. It will be interesting and I am starting it next week. Getting pictures posted will be difficult for me- I will have to get help.
    Well, this is different, and it sounds interesting. Yes, I for one would like to see the build. Can you post a copy of the plan?

    Posting photos is like riding a bicycle. Once you learn, it is easy. First thing is that you cannot post them directly to the Forum. You must link them to a site where the photo is located, be it Photobucket, Flickr, or even you own web site. Start with the link.

    Then use the [IMG] [/IMG] code to post the photo.


    Thus:

    {IMG}http://s641.photobucket.com/albums/uu133/marleedog/IMG_4543.jpg{/IMG}

    when you replace { } with [ ] you will get:



    Try it, you will like it
    Steve Martinsen

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Polyester and wood are incompatible, use epoxy.

    The interior of a barge can be difficult to access. If you leave it bare wood you can spray it from time to time with a borax wood preservative dissolved in fresh water.

    "Some number of years ago there was an article in the wood technology section of WB addressing the use of disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT) as a safe wood preservative. DOT is a boron based water soluble salt that is lethal to wood rotting fungus while being only 1/10 as toxic as table salt and 1/8 as toxic as aspirin to humans and other life forms, excepting those that use said fungus to digest their food, namely termites, carpenter ants, wood boring beetles and cockroaches."

    You can read more about it at www.copperbrite.com

    Last edited by Gib Etheridge; 03-15-2012 at 08:55 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Download your photos to Flickr.
    Left click on the photo.
    Right click on the new pic and select medium 500 or medium 640.
    Right click on the new pic and select copy.
    Right click in the reply box or in your post and select paste.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Quote Originally Posted by waltwood View Post

    There is a budget, this is not a yacht but I want it to last.


    I want to know if there is enough interest in the forum for me to post the construction of this barge.

    We always love a build thread. It helps those of us not fortunate enough to be building a chance to do it vicariously through you, through the giving of unsolicited advice.

    The difference between a workboat and a "yacht" has more to do with finishing details than outright construction. The workboat may be a little rougher, but the materials are largely the same. The sea does not care if your floating object is art or driftwood.

    Thanks for sharing.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

    15' Welsford Navigator Inconceivable
    16' W. Simmons Mattinicus double ender ​Matty

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Love to see another build. Only I hope this barge will be used to re-seed oyster beds in the Chesapeake rather than take more out. As bad a shape a that body of water is in, the last thing it needs is more oysters taken out.

    O

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Enough interest????????? Well of course, ............tap , tap, tap, - we're waiting...

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    go with your first instinct and use the treated syp if you want it to last.

    most of these guys dont have a clue

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...wood-in-boats&

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    I am not wild about PT lumber, I use it daily- it checks badly when drying because of high MC. I don't plan on bonding anything to it so that is not a concern. There is a boatbuilder 30 miles north of me that uses it in building headboats and other 50 to 60 foot boats. He says it is required to get CG certification which I don't need but it was interesting. The first pictures I was going to post were of the model. Thank you George for the offer to help with posting them.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Throw'n another idea out there recognising this is a work "boat" and there is a budget. Find some decent framing lumber, pick through the piles if need be. Build with that stuff that won't have the moisture and checking issues that pressure treated does. Then slather the thing with poison. (Copper Nap; same stuff they pressure treat with.). I'm also a fan of roofing tar for joints on warfs and things I've mucked with. No critters will get into the end grain of anything if its tarred. Of course you want to .choose wood with as much natural rot resistance that you can afford. Around here I'd be shopping for Douglas Fir probably, not sure what the best bet is out there. Oh,I'm and another interested party on this project, good luck and keep us posted!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    I would like to use fir but it is hard to get, expensive, and mostly sapwood now. One species I have used many times on outdoor projects is cypress. It is available where I live but about 3 times more expensive than pine. A concern I have about it is its ability to hold fasteners. Dr. Jagels just had an article about this and I think it was low on the list. I don't mind using some sort of preservative but I want something that does not stink too much. I have used Termin8 on a project and you can smell it 3 years later. I want to try borate or something like that.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    new growth cypress isnt whole lot more rot resistant than plain old syp - and cypress has the nasty habit of sucking up and holding water- adding un necessary weight to your boat

    youll also spend a fortune trying to " treat" any lumber with cuprinol or termin 8 and that is only a surface treatment that barely penetrates - youd be better off sticking to pt lumber

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Waltwood,
    Of course some of us are interested. I grew up next door to Allen's oyster house and remember "Sonny" building an oyster barge back in the early '80s. I had always heard that the idea came from the Garrett's over on the Rappahannock. Ronnie (Bevans oyster co) still has 1 or 2 oyster barges in use for planting seed/shell.
    If I have time, I'll try to get pics of 'em for you. They still plant shell out of Allen's but don't shuck there anymore.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    There are two ways to "transport" borates One is water, the other is glycol. I have found that "Bora-care" which uses Polyethyleneglycol (Not anti-freeze) works better, and penetrates deeper into the wood, than "Tim-Bor" which is water borne. Both work well, and the advantage of Tim-Bor over Bora-Care is that paint will stick to Tim-Bor treated wood better than wood treated with Bora-Care. Tim-Bor is also less expensive. A gallon of Bora-Care is aout $70 and will make 2 gallons of solution, which is more than enough for a 30' barge.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    I am fascinated with barges and have taken the lines off of some old ones around here built in the early 60's. They look great. The new ones being built now are just boxes with an angled bow- very ugly but I guess they still work. I have tried to incorporate the lines of the older barges in the one I designed.
    Last edited by waltwood; 05-02-2012 at 10:16 AM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Given your barge's size, and your concerns about longevity and cost, would it not make more sense to have your barge welded up out of steel? I don't see the benefit to building it of wood and resin coating, which is not cheap. It won't be worth anything in a very few years, given normal wear and tear. A steel barge will last a lifetime and look good as new if you keep the paint on it. You're building it to work. It's not a romantic endeavor like building a wooden yacht.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Wood is my thing as you can see by my username so that is the material i want to use. I have thought about a steel barge in the past and for this project I do have my reasons for making it out of wood. I have put much effort into the design and I don't know how I would get the same shape in steel. I have never seen a steel barge that looked good and I want this to look good. Steel is very expensive now also and painting a steel barge is expensive and sandblasting them is awful. I am not using epoxy despite all of the advice. I used polyester on a 32' wood barge 14 years ago and it has held up fine.
    Last edited by waltwood; 05-02-2012 at 10:17 AM.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Quote Originally Posted by waltwood View Post
    Wood is my thing as you can see by my username so that is the material i want to use. I have thought about a steel barge in the past and for this project I do have my reasons for making it out of wood. I have put much effort into the design and I don't know how I would get the same shape in steel. I have never seen a steel barge that looked good and I want this to look good. Steel is very expensive now also and painting a steel barge is expensive and sandblasting them is awful. I am not using epoxy despite all of the advice. I used polyester on a 32' wood barge 14 years ago and it has held up fine. This may not be a romantic endeavor but I can still have so pride in building it.
    Sounds like you know what you're doing. There are lots of ways to build a boat. Go for it.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    I appreciate the encouragement that a few of you have given me to post this project. I build a lot of things and don't document them. There is some really good projects on this forum and I want to be a part of it but I am lacking skills with the computer and will need to get help to post pictures. I have started building some molds in the shop for this barge and will take pictures of it all.

    Walt

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Looking forward to it. To post pics, join photobucket or a similar picture hosting site. They'll explain how to upload your pics there, then there's just a couple more tricks to learn to get them here. Ask here if you have problems and you'll get help from someone no doubt. ..

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    thanks, Salty D.-I will try that but I even have problems with the "easy" computer stuff.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Post number seven is the easiest photo posting method I've come across, and it always works, and it's free.

    Got any teenagers in your life? They'll be able to teach you how to do it in the dark!

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Luckily I don't have any teenagers in my life- Ha. They have all gone. I will look into that photo posting site. Thanks.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Here are the photos of the model.







    Last edited by waltwood; 06-16-2012 at 05:22 PM.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge


    This is what I am building it on- 8 x 8 's leveled in both directions.


    Molds on the shop floor.


    This is the scarfing jig used for chines, stringers and sheer clamp.
    Last edited by waltwood; 04-07-2012 at 04:45 PM.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge


    Chines scarfed.

    Molds set up with chine in place.












    Last edited by waltwood; 06-16-2012 at 06:23 PM.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Looks like you're off to a good start. What's your story? You gonna plant oysters ? Someone stole all the oysters in my cove Dec 24th,2011. Glad they weren't mine.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Excellent! And while you're building it, you can rent it out as a banquet picnic table.... (Self draining, seats 35 )
    It's very much like the oyster seed barges up here in Long Island Sound.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    I am building it to sell. They will use it to transport the oysters in cages which are placed on the bottom to grow. They raise the cages a few times during the growth cycle to grade and clean them. My son does this but the barge is not for him. There are many people doing this here just like on the Western Shore where you live.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Cages, huh? Your oysters down there must be a lot faster and friskier than ours up here...
    Actually, I had a friend who had an aquaculture business for a while, and he raised seed oysters in cages, then set them out in the seed grounds before setting them free in the Sound..... Amazing to watch the lil critters grow. Kinda like watching paint dry, but slower.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Just talked to a guy that was shipping some oysters that were just 11 months old from seed. I think the average time is 14 to 16 months.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Building an Oyster Barge

    Near Juneau AK the natives have Oysters in a floating Barge. I was there in the late 80s in Hoona AK.
    Seemed like it was working.

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