Construction of Dutch Barge


Hull Moulding

Like "Danubio", the barge is powered by 2 thrifty cassette-recorder motors that deliver their power to the propshaft through a rubber band reduction system. In the event that more power will be needed on open water, a 3rd motor mount has been prepared. An important feature of this system is the absence of unrealistic noise.

Originally, back in the twenties, the barge had a low profile in order to easily pass bridges. Wintry hardship soon obliged the skipper to spend money on modifications!

Going back in time a little ..

Because the internals will be difficult to reach in future, the cardboard is sealed with floor lacquer, (metal) primer and household paint - anything will do as long as it fills cracks and resists water forever!

The bumper-strip around the hull is made up of 2 layers of cardboard (different widths) which in real life consist of a riveted iron band and a wooden strip that offer protection when mooring.

Details of the barge's "business-end" where the screw will reside and the rudder is to be mounted.

The cage is soldered up from scrap 4mm thick wire - I would have preferred more malleable copper but could not find any of the desired gauge lying around.

The workbench with various other projects cluttering the premium space - where on Earth are we going to berth the 1-metre barge when it's done ??

More rivets appear on the hull and the major bulkheads are in place, defining the hold, engine room and living quarters. The hole in the poop deck gives access to the rudder mechanism.

Thin plywood is used for the deck in preference of cardboard because the open load bay offers little support once the temporary beams have been cut away.

Summer is here and haste will have to be made if the barge is to be launched before Autumn.

The hefty loading-mast hinges down in order to allow passage under low bridges and rests on the ship's keel.

Windows for the bridge, sawn from a CD-box.

The hoisting pulleys are fabricated from beechwood salvaged from furniture drawers and paint-mixing sticks given away at DIY stores, the forged iron simulated with laminated paper strips. The disks are turned on a Dremel power tool.