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Thread: Building Another Barge?

  1. #1
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    Default Building Another Barge?

    I am starting construction of a 12' x 30' barge with the end goal of it becoming a houseboat. There are other possible commercial uses me or someone else could have for a barge only. If an opportunity presents itself before a house is built on it I may complete it as a barge only.

    I have more than 100 hours in the design, however simple it might seem, and the method of construction. I am building it not as a deck barge but one that the house will be recessed in the hull. This is what the challenge has been for me. A barge might seem to be the most basic of boat construction but there is more to it than you might imagine. I have looked at many old barges in my area and they are pretty attractive for what they are. They have a low freeboard for easy loading and less windage and upswept rocker in the stern to make less turbulence when they are towed.

    I am aware of every detail of how they were built and it would not be practical to copy this design because it would require way too much good quality lumber. They are heavily built. They are made of mostly pine which would rot very quickly if I used the pine available to me locally. I'm not sure whether they used longleaf pine but I am sure it was an old growth more rot resistant pine that I have access to now. These old barges were used to haul spat (seed oysters) and lumber and whatever else needed moving.

    Pictures of the 1 to 7.5 scale model barge.












  2. #2
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Back to my barge. It will be built of treated pine framing and marine fir ply planking 'glassed over. We have completed the building jig which is quite heavily constructed out of repurposed timbers and lumber. The main part of the jig is 4 - 8"x 8" 16's that I used in the build of the last 29' barge that I also posted on this forum. I hope to use them again in future projects. A sturdy jig makes a project like this easier. It will hold the frames/floors and stringers at a good height. Later it will act as a large sled to move the hull out of the bowshed to turn it over.

    The first thing we did was bolt the 8x8's together using these large 3/4" bolts that were left over from a house moving project. Next we attached them crossways with LVL's that are lag screwed. Then we leveled them in both directions which is more than a notion. We built 2' high walls to support the bottom framing of the barge. Starting to get materials for bottom framing.











    Last edited by waltwood; 01-20-2016 at 11:45 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Oh, it really is a barge. At first glance I thought it said Argie!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Don't expect any comments from me, but will be watching every day for updates. Expect to enjoy this build as much as the first one.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Excellent start there Walt !

    It all looks , well , SOLID !

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Nice work Walt and thanks for sharing. Looks like a very solid setup.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Thanks, I am ready to roll when some of the snow and ice melts!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    We got lumber, built the transom and starting scarfing the stringers.

    The athwartship framing will be 3" X 10" at 4' on center. They are just sitting on jig and not in final location.





    The transom is made of 3" X 6" and are half lapped at the joints.








    All bolted together and placed on building jig


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    That's some timber Walt.
    What is the bottom going to be clad in 2" seems appropriate for that size timbers.
    Going to be one stout barge.
    Cheers James

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    The bottom is going to be 3/4" fir marine plywood.
    I use the thicker material because 1 1/2" is just not strong enough for the floors and if I half-lapped it would not be enough material. The 3" lumber also allows better fastener placement and the edges of the ply will land on them.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Off to a good start Walt.

    Looking strong !

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Been working right along.

    Scarfing jig for stringers which are 25' long.





    Five stringers glued up.





    Transom set up in final building location





    Floors cut to length and angle of chine at their location.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    got the popcorn machine cranked up



    and a large glass of SWEET TEA

    MAY THE CHIPS FLY...

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    We cut the housings in the floors or awthartship framing and set them in final location. We stringlined the center housing as a reference point to line all the floors up with each other.




    Then we fastened the 5 stringers in place.
    Stern view




    This is the bow view




    Next we built the bow stringers out of 2 layers of 2X treated lumber. Because of the curve we made them up in sections.
    I made a plywood pattern, cut out the sections slightly oversize and used a router with a top bearing flush cutting bit using the same ply pattern to assure they were all uniform. I like router jigs and make them for everything.
    The sections are epoxied together and then bolted due to the concern of the epoxy letting go.








  15. #15
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    The completed 3 bow stringers not in there final position.



  16. #16
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Nicely done Walt.

    It all looks solid to say the least.

    The light inside the bow shed is great.No dark or dinghy corners. Great space.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Quote Originally Posted by boat fan View Post
    Nicely done Walt.

    It all looks solid to say the least.

    The light inside the bow shed is great.No dark or dinghy corners. Great space.
    It is a nice space but I am still getting used to the color inside. It is different than being outdoors. It is bright in here on cloudy days and darker on sunny days. I know that does not make sense but that is way it is.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    There has been very poor interest in this thread based on the number of views. The first day I posted I got 100 views while "how to say Hair is off" and "Hey should I put my boat on top of my car" threads got 800 views. Not saying they were not interesting but I thought the actual building of a boat would have garnered more interest. It did not improve after other posts.

    This was a little different than some of the other projects featured on this forum giving it broader scope of projects. We also were getting very much done on the project instead of just talking about what we are going to do.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Quote Originally Posted by waltwood View Post
    There has been very poor interest in this thread based on the number of views. The first day I posted I got 100 views while "how to say Hair is off" and "Hey should I put my boat on top of my car" threads got 800 views. Not saying they were not interesting but I thought the actual building of a boat would have garnered more interest. It did not improve after other posts.

    This was a little different than some of the other projects featured on this forum giving it broader scope of projects. We also were getting very much done on the project instead of just talking about what we are going to do.
    Keep posting please Walt ...I was looking forward to the next progress pictures.

    I sometimes think I am talking to myself too ......but I don`t care anymore.

    If you decide to stop posting here ( and please don`t ) send me a pm with image hosting link , I will check it with interest.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Keep doing Walt and post if you can! Good boats and great to see! Thanks.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    If you're sharing with only one, you're doing a service. Keep posting.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    If you're sharing with only one, you're doing a service. Keep posting.
    I agree. I come from time to time to look at this thread. Looking at your hoop shed and clamp collection is enough to spur me on.

  23. #23
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    Wink Re: Building Another Barge?

    Thanks for the encouragement but it was more about the ratio of views to other threads. My computer skills are very poor and the posting of pictures and even typing takes a bit of effort. My wife has to type the longer posts because I type 15 words a minute.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    I just came across this, don't know how I missed it. Please keep posting.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?



    Any pictures of them put in place Walt ?

    Are you using stainless fasteners ?

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    I am using galvanized bolts and I will post the progress later.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    But waltwood, if you post more the practice will make you better at it. Especially at getting pix from your photohost to here.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    hey Walt, i guess some of us get impatient when we go a week w/o PICS

    some of us, who subscribed to the thread, are along for VISUAL LEARNING ;-)

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    But waltwood, if you post more the practice will make you better at it. Especially at getting pix from your photohost to here.
    You would think that but flickr changes something or I have computer problems.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    We have set up the bow stringers. They are fastened through a 2 x 12 that will be the forward most bow framing at deck height. We had to take it apart 2 times because it was not parallel to the forward most floor.









    The 2 x 12 is a part the boat and the pieces below it are temporary support.




    Here I am setting up temporary frames, tuning the bevels of the floors and establishing the chine. I wish I had plans to go by!

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Interesting build Walt. Thanks for letting us follow along.

    Jim
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
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    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Here I am setting up temporary frames, tuning the bevels of the floors and establishing the chine. I wish I had plans to go by!
    I have told myself that many many times .....except I could not find any.

    Thanks for the pictures . Great.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Quote Originally Posted by boat fan View Post
    I have told myself that many many times .....except I could not find any.

    Thanks for the pictures . Great.
    The last one I did I set up molds and built around them. I thought this one was so simple that I could build it this way and it is more difficult. Once I install the chine logs and sheer clamp I will have it under control.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    You're providing fuel to my fire.... thanks!! (my 1/2 scale "James McKenna".) This one is 10' x 30', and sail powered.

    Last edited by BrianM; 02-29-2016 at 05:04 PM.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianM View Post
    You're providing fuel to my fire.... thanks!! (my 1/2 scale "James McKenna".) This one is 10' x 30', and sail powered.


    That is cool! The sailing part should be interesting. I hope you build it.

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Did the previous barge have the curved bow entry like that?
    I'm curious about the advantage of the curve vs a simple flat angle. (pardon my ignorance of barge design)
    A boatless inlander, searching for the meaning of life-aground.

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Figment View Post
    Did the previous barge have the curved bow entry like that?
    I'm curious about the advantage of the curve vs a simple flat angle. (pardon my ignorance of barge design)
    Lower down on the bow an angle of entry closer to the water rides up over waves better but it is not practical to have it too low.
    The first barge had a 45 degree angle at the bow and that was a no go. When you hit a wave it would almost stop it. The next one that was on this forum had a pram bow and that works pretty good. I like the looks of a curved bow.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Quote Originally Posted by waltwood View Post
    There has been very poor interest in this thread based on the number of views.
    Marketing; "another barge?" looks like another 'wait and see if it grows legs' thread. Scow schooners worked better
    It has lasted a while and the number of comments is getting to the point where it looks like it might be more interesting than it sounds, which it is.

    I wish I had plans to go by!

    The Scow Schooner Alma is a little bigger, but at least there are some plans for a vaguely similar boat that you can print out and hang on the wall. If anyone asks, just say that you are building a replica, but made a few changes.
    https://www.loc.gov/resource/hhh.ca1505.sheet/?sp=4


    Last edited by MN Dave; 03-02-2016 at 02:01 PM.

  39. #39
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Quote Originally Posted by waltwood View Post
    There has been very poor interest in this thread based on the number of views.
    For what it is worth, I subscribed to this thread early on and check it daily.

    I love the build threads but more often than not, it seems like people lose steam and either stop building or stop posting or both.

    I for one want to keep up with the progress of your barge. While I might not ever build one myself, I'm sure there is something I will learn that will be useful when I do build a boat. I almost always learn one thing or another on build threads that I can file away for my own build(s). Please do not stop posting.

    Good luck with your build.

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Quote Originally Posted by waltwood View Post
    Lower down on the bow an angle of entry closer to the water rides up over waves better but it is not practical to have it too low.
    The first barge had a 45 degree angle at the bow and that was a no go. When you hit a wave it would almost stop it. The next one that was on this forum had a pram bow and that works pretty good. I like the looks of a curved bow.
    I think pram bows can look good too.


  41. #41
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Quote Originally Posted by boat fan View Post
    I think pram bows can look good too.


    Isn't this particular hull shape really just a skip-jack with bow sawn off?

  42. #42
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Yes , pretty much Brian.
    You could do the same with a flat bottom too of course.

  43. #43
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Quote Originally Posted by boat fan View Post
    I think pram bows can look good too.

    That is an attractive vessel.
    I did the pram bow last time so I was trying something different.

  44. #44
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Quote Originally Posted by MN Dave View Post
    Marketing; "another barge?" looks like another 'wait and see if it grows legs' thread. Scow schooners worked better
    It has lasted a while and the number of comments is getting to the point where it looks like it might be more interesting than it sounds, which it is.


    The Scow Schooner Alma is a little bigger, but at least there are some plans for a vaguely similar boat that you can print out and hang on the wall. If anyone asks, just say that you are building a replica, but made a few changes.
    https://www.loc.gov/resource/hhh.ca1505.sheet/?sp=4


    The title of my thread did not come across as it was intended. It was supposed to be "I am doing this again? Why would I put myself through that ". I saw that the title "Another Barge?" was not making it on the first day I posted and attempted to change the title and could not do it.

    As far as no plans, I have designed and built many houses, furniture and lots of other stuff and they have come out good. A boat is complicated and a scary thing to design. Even one as simple as this has really challenged me. If the sheer looks funky or you have a flat spot in it the hull it can ruin the looks of the boat. I am beyond the point of needing plans but sure wish I had them.

    There seems to be more interest than I thought and I am going to keep building and posting.
    Last edited by waltwood; 03-02-2016 at 06:19 PM.

  45. #45
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Quote Originally Posted by waltwood View Post
    The title of my thread did not come across as it was intended. It was supposed to be "I am doing this again? Why would I put myself through that ". I saw that the title "Another Barge?" was not making it on the first day I posted and attempted to change the title and could not do it.

    As far as no plans, I have designed and built many houses, furniture and lots of other stuff and they have come out good. A boat is complicated and a scary thing to design. Even one as simple as this has really challenged me. If the sheer looks funky or you have a flat spot in it the hull it can ruin the looks of the boat. I am beyond the point of needing plans but sure wish I had them.
    If you still want to change the title, click on the menu "Administrative" and move the thread to another page. That will allow you to change the title. You then move it back here.

    Sheer can be tricky, especially building upside down as you are. You will probably end up bent double looking at her from between your legs.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  46. #46
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    If you still want to change the title, click on the menu "Administrative" and move the thread to another page. That will allow you to change the title. You then move it back here.

    Sheer can be tricky, especially building upside down as you are. You will probably end up bent double looking at her from between your legs.
    Thanks. I thought I tried the Administrative thing and could not get it to work. At this point I think I will leave the title.
    I can't get far enough back to sight the sheer because of the building and I am contorting myself by looking upside down.

  47. #47
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Quote Originally Posted by waltwood View Post
    Thanks. I thought I tried the Administrative thing and could not get it to work. At this point I think I will leave the title.
    I can't get far enough back to sight the sheer because of the building and I am contorting myself by looking upside down.
    It won't look very dignified, but the best way is to stand with your back to the boat and bend double so that you are looking back between your knees. Just make sure that there is no one with a camera handy.
    Or you can use your phone to take pictures, and hold the phone upside down
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  48. #48
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    That is a good idea.

  49. #49
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Great thread, thanks for keeping it going. Remember the real value of the thread may not be to the spectator flotilla of armchair admirals and keyboard kaptains that read forums and post every day, but to someone looking for know-how or inspiration years from now. It is totally worth it to document your build in my opinion (whatever that is worth). Best wishes with the project!

  50. #50
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    Default Re: Building Another Barge?

    Quote Originally Posted by bwd View Post
    Great thread, thanks for keeping it going. Remember the real value of the thread may not be to the spectator flotilla of armchair admirals and keyboard kaptains that read forums and post every day, but to someone looking for know-how or inspiration years from now. It is totally worth it to document your build in my opinion (whatever that is worth). Best wishes with the project!
    Thanks and I didn't think of it that way.

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