From the Forums: Breathing New Life Into An Old Barge

May 2017

One forum member started a discussion about an 80-foot Dutch barge they recently bought: 

fekkin: A while back it had a working propulsion system, and was regularly used. Since then it has stopped working, and the engine controls and lighting, etc., have been stripped out and it’s permanently moored. I was wondering what kind of money you'd expect to spend on restoring it back into working order. And when I say working order, I mean in “moving” order; it is perfect in every other area. 

Truckerbill: Hard to answer. Is this a traditional Dutch barge built for the European Canal waterways? As far as propulsion, most have either a 4- or 6-cylinder diesel, transmission, and single screw, rudder that was/is either a chain drive or hydraulic with manual override. I have never seen one here in the states, but have seen a lot of them in Europe.

fekkin: I do know there is currently a 145hp Ford engine in it at the moment, and we've been told the prop shaft has snapped, and that the engine hasn't been used in a very long time.

Stmbtwle: That's a beautiful boat! I've always had a soft spot for the classic Dutch barges, and fell in love with a 100-year-old sailing barge a few years ago. Fortunately, I couldn't figure out what I would do with it, if I were to buy it!

Anyway, you're going to have to have a local mechanic estimate what it will cost you to get the engine running, or if you'll need to replace it. That's probably your biggest expense. After that, the drive train. Mechanical controls and wiring aren’t much, comparatively speaking.

BananaTom: I would start with $10,000. New engine, transmission, shaft, and propeller.

Truckerbill: Where is this boat located? Steel or wood hull? What's the history of it? Inquiring minds would love to learn something about them.

To find out what else was revealed about this gorgeous Dutch barge, jump on our forum page at



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