Barges for sale

PeterWright

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Cygnet is a great little barge, built to trade, not as a yacht. I'm afraid she looks as though her next owner will need deep pockets to put her back into a fit state, just hope she finds someone to rescue her before things go too far.

Peter.
 

Koeketiene

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Cygnet is a great little barge, built to trade, not as a yacht. I'm afraid she looks as though her next owner will need deep pockets to put her back into a fit state, just hope she finds someone to rescue her before things go too far.

Peter.

Q: how can you make a small fortune in boating?
A: start with a large fortune. :(
 

PeterWright

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I think that goes doubly for sailing barges. Looking at the list of 5 (or perhaps 4 1/2) for sale, probably the most expensive to buy would be the cheapest to own, I estimate you could run Xylonite for about £150,000 per year, provided you did a lot of the work on her yourself. Geoorge Smeed has a lot of sound timber in her, I've been watching her rebuild since 1974, so would be a reasonable proposition. The other 2 1/2 sould need a large supply of new timber and a mountain of skilled shipwright man hours.

Take a look at the recent rebuild of the Thames Sailing Barge Trust's Pudge 2019 - 2023 to get a feel for the work, wonderful stuff, but remember this barge has had regular maintenance since the Trust (then Club) acquired her in the early 1970s and had been fit to charter up to immediately before the project started:

Sailing Barge Pudge Project ~ Thames Sailing Barge Trust

Peter.
 

MikeBz

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I would have thought that fitting an engine (if required - cf Edme and Blue Mermaid) would be relatively inexpensive in a thoroughly sound barge vs. getting one in need of attention up to scratch.
 

Poecheng

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To own and run a Thames Barge you must have some kind of calling like being a nurse.
No sane mind would take it on.
God bless all who do.
Pre-children, Mrs P and I were into the old wooden boat thing and wintered our old gaffer in a yard whose owner was very skilled and who repaired Thames barges. We discussed with said owner about taking on a TB and was not encouraged. He then sent me a niche book about TBs inscribed to me saying 'This is as near as you should ever get to owning a TB!'
Wise words from a wise man.
 

johnalison

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We once had a club associate, possibly called Kim, who had once owned the Marjorie. His proudest maoment was when he took it to Honfleur and had a great reception there.

When we started East Coast sailing at Heybridge in 1970 I remember being told that a TB such as the Dawn would cost £20,000 to buy and the same annually to keep. I imagine that the equation would be similar today, allowing for inflation.
 

PeterWright

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I would have thought that fitting an engine (if required - cf Edme and Blue Mermaid) would be relatively inexpensive in a thoroughly sound barge vs. getting one in need of attention up to scratch.
You're absolutely right there! Of course, to fit a prop shaft on a barge, you will have to pay to dry dock her, but it's still a fairly straightforward operation. To replace rotten timber in a barge, like any wooden vessel, you have to reverse the order of build until the piece you want comes out then build her afresh from there. In the process you will inevitably find more rot than you knew of when you started, so the tons of new seasoned oak, in large pieces gpes up.

In about 1979 or 1980, shortly after the Blackwater match, the barge Felix was offered fof sale by auction at M J Lewis anc she was available for inspection at their yard in Maldon during the preceding week. They had prepared her well for inspection including lifting one of the ceiling boards each side of the keelson so you could inspect what was underneath. Of course, beneath the ceiling there was murky bilge water, but that didn't prevent putting a hand in to see how far a thumbnail would push into her bottom planking - that felt not too bad. I then tried one of her oak floors and it was very soft, so I tried pushing at it with my index finger that went in beyond the first joint with very little effort. From that simple test her floors were rotten. Despite this, she was an apparently seaworthy barge which had just raced a match. A single floor for a barge will be about 6" x 4" x 19' of solid seasoned oak and around 13 required for the central 'box' partfor her ends, they will be half length but twice as many as they are jinted in the centre and angled upwards. So all told, you need about 500 ft run of 4" x 6" seasoned oak to replace the floors.

There is the time honoured practice of doubling cracked or rotten timbers, which is much cheaper to do because you don't have to extract the old timbers. It was done frequently on barges in their working days to exend the life of an old barge. However, ic the original timbers had rotted, fasteni g new timber alongside the old would guarantee that the new timber would soon start to rot. Those that did this new very well that they were making a short term life extension, not festoring the barge to as new condition. With the price of seasoned hardwoods these days, I can't imagine any shipwright would condone doubling where rot has taken a hold.

As Mike suggests buying and fitting a new engine to a sound previously engineless barge would be a low cost job compared to sorting out the decay of a 100 or more year old wooden hull of a former working vessel.

Peter.
 
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