Thursday 7 June 2007

Would you buy a used barge from a Dutch dealer? - # 131

Here's a fine example of a typical Dutch motorised sailing barge built to carry cargo and work the wide gauge canals of Holland. There are always several of these looking slightly "down at heel" lying at moorings around Richmond waiting to be refurbished into water borne homes.

What puzzles me is this: where do they end up? I see them in a rough state, brought across the North Sea for refurbishing, but I never see one finally done up and lived on. Perhaps they go back down river to a swanky berth nearer to fashionable Chelsea Reach.


  1. The paint on this one looks almost new. I appreciate your explaining to me (yesterday) about the taxes these people have to pay.

    Are these suitable to rent-out by the week to people for a kind of floating holiday, moored to one post?

    Abraham Lincoln
    Remember "The World's Ugliest Cat?" He got a haircut!
    Brookville Daily Photo

  2. It looks like a very nice boat. Is it used for real things or just for fun?

  3. Interesting question, but you might as well ask where all the coathangers and biros have gone....

    NB I replied somewhat to your comment on my blog about architecture but I couldn't quite figure out the ugliness of beauty/beauty of ugliness thingy.

    Are these similar in design to the Thames barges (sailing barges)?

  4. They do: try Chiswick.


  5. No answer to your question of course, but there seems to be market for these barges. We see a lot of them (the wider type) here along the Seine. Many are really nice and it seems nice to live on one of these, especially if you find a nice mooring place. However, I don't think may people live in these for life, or they have another living place in addition.

  6. @peter - a propos de rien, this reminded me (again) of Willy Ronis, my favourite photographer of Paris and other parts. One of his famous images is of Seine barges. I used to have a copy hanging on my wall many years ago, but now could only find a rather pale image on the web. Maybe a contrast with the modern trend. (Notice the kids playing on the barge - a different world)

    ronis seine barges

  7. I got shown round a Dutch barge that was owned and converted by an ex-landlord: roomy; full of lustrous wood and metal and not at all appealing to my non-housewifely instincts.

    But, on the other hand, my best remembered holiday was spent on one of our narrowboats going round the Midland Ring fm Birmingham. Fortunately it had been converted from coal so the locks weren't too much of a slog (and much better than going to the gym, whatever that is).

    Canal du Midi next I hope.

  8. PS: and, of course, it should be obvious, was moored at Chiswick