Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
If you don't like what you see click the Report button or...
Read More...
Navigating and living on the waterways of Continental Europe and news of canal developments.
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom!

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 23 Apr 2020 23:34 #115512

  • Richard Randles
  • Richard Randles's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 4
Thanks for all the advice everyone.

Chris, I'm happy for you to use anything for Blue Flag. All the knowledge that's been shared belongs to other members of the DBA, so if theyre happy to share the wealth B)

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 23 Apr 2020 12:27 #115499

Hello Richard

Glad to see some good advice being given as to the often different needs on the continental waterways. You can rest assured that a question like this will result in some useful ideas on this forum.

I attach a picture from my barging days to illustrate how important it is to have two decent sized bitts with long pins, ideally a third pin, in order to safely control lines in the (not uncommon) deep locks that you will encounter. I appreciate you may not have the space for large bollards on a widebeam but try to make them as large as practical and with direct access from above without rails and comings in the way. It's extremely difficult and dangerous if you need to pass the line through a coming or under a rail to reach the bollard, particularly when descending in a lock. As others have probably mentioned, you always remain on board, having thrown a loop or bite around the lock bollard and this is where you need the control of two bitts with plenty of friction to maintain position safely. The second picture is of a floating bollard, absolute luxury but not as popular as some would like and often too far apart for shorter barges.

Good luck with your planning and let us know how you get on. I would be most interested to share in Blue Flag if you would be willing, some ideas on how to 'upgrade' a wide beam for continental safe cruising.

Richard Randles wrote: Thanks for the advice so far guys and girls.

Here are some additional pictures relating to the points that some of your have raised.

Stern in water
Bow bollards
Well deck drain holes 400mm freeboard

The more I'm reading, it would seem more wise to do some modifications to the boat to make it more suitable for France, Nederlands, Belgium and a bit of Germany at a push. The advice on the bollards is great, I'll be looking into getting those replaced. Any other advice at this early stage of my research would be greatly received.

Attachments:

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 23 Apr 2020 10:51 #115497

  • Balliol Fowden
  • Balliol Fowden's Avatar
  • Online
  • Posts: 2564
Hi Tam,

That was broadly my interpretation of what could be seen. Perhaps a variation on one supposed “washless” design from the past, which never worked, with a sort of punt end either side of a narrow swim for the propeller & shafting.

Also shades of some early modern narrow boat designs where a nice unobstructed cabin area took precedence over a nice long fine swim.

Just to clarify my last post, first paragraph, I was referring not to just one tonne or so of water entering via the well deck, but successive tonnes every time the bow dips.

Balliol.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 23 Apr 2020 10:36 #115495

It is difficult to see the stern shape clearly in the photos Richard gave, even blown up on a large monitor, but it looks as if the hull basically ends in a transom where the accommodation finishes, and there is then the square counter with a fairly narrow tapered underwater section enclosing the prop shaft tacked on the back, if that makes any sense. If that is right then water flow to the prop would be extremely poor, but it needs a clearer photo to see properly.

Tam

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 23 Apr 2020 09:27 #115492

  • Balliol Fowden
  • Balliol Fowden's Avatar
  • Online
  • Posts: 2564
Hi Richard.

My previous comments about forward well decks relate to actual occasions when the bow has shipped a tonne or so of water in the well deck, and seas have broken down the forward doors or windows and the boat has flooded. This does not necessarily happen “at sea” but also on bigger waterways, rivers and meers where short steep sea conditions can be experienced especially where there is wind over flow. The forward well deck needs to be plated over with a flush deck. The cabin doors need to be rebuilt to the new dimensions and need to be strong and well sealed.

In terms of bollards my suggestion would be four new pairs of suitably sized and designed twin bollards, to be located immediately forward of the cabin at the bow (on the new deck) and immediately aft of the cabin at the stern. The bollards need to be as close to the “parallel” hull as possible, and as far forward of the propeller as possible for the aft ones. Once you have watched how ships work you will understand why. A clever fabricator could probably fit cased bollards that are raised off the deck A bit (to save your back) and faired into the cabin so they look like a cunning design feature.

My concern about the stern is the underwater shape, which is not sufficiently clear from the original set of photos. If the stern is not suitably shaped then water flow to the propeller may prove insufficient, or thus too turbulent, for proper propeller efficiency. Hence extra power will yield no return.
The boat will still be ok for placid cruising on smaller waterways and canals , but may never attain the speeds which you will need for bigger rivers. Have you any photos of the underwater shape.

Balliol.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 23 Apr 2020 02:33 #115489

Here is a suggestion if space permits taken during repairs.
Attachments:
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jan Pieterse, Jim Batty

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 23 Apr 2020 00:50 #115488

Hi Richard
From the photo of the forend ibb.co/n8wNxjn afloat I'm not sure immediately what you might do for the best about bow bollards/bitts, but it just wouldn't work to have to feed your line through a hawse hole in a locks. It might suffice simply to add a couple of bollards just clear of the bulwarks as Charles did with Xenia shown on my site. Although it is not widely written about, probably most accidents concern the conjunction of crew, lines and locks so it is really important to get it right.

Do you have a photo which shows the whole of the bow area taken from say the top of the superstructure, as people may be more able to make useful suggestions when it's clear what working space you have there.

Obviously travel is not possible right now, but Peter's suggestion of doing a day trip to see how boats go on in continental locks would be very useful if you've not experienced them before, as it is very different to UK waterways, even on rivers like the Thames and Trent etc

Tam

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 23 Apr 2020 00:02 #115487

Hi Richard, welcome to the forum. May I suggest ,when the travel restrictions are relaxed , that you take a short holiday to Dordrecht and Gouda.
Dordrecht to see the operation of commercials and recreational boats at the intersection of two 'big' rivers and you can get close to boats in the 'OldHavens' to check out their fittings. Gouda ( any busy lock will do) to watch mooring line management.
We found we could learn and understand the system and also enjoy a couple of interesting cities.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 22 Apr 2020 23:35 #115486

  • Richard Randles
  • Richard Randles's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 4
Thanks for the advice so far guys and girls.

Here are some additional pictures relating to the points that some of your have raised.

Stern in water
Bow bollards
Well deck drain holes 400mm freeboard

The more I'm reading, it would seem more wise to do some modifications to the boat to make it more suitable for France, Nederlands, Belgium and a bit of Germany at a push. The advice on the bollards is great, I'll be looking into getting those replaced. Any other advice at this early stage of my research would be greatly received.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 21 Apr 2020 15:57 #115432

Presumably the boat is now in the water and you now know what it handles like. Engine and attainable speed needs all sorts of calculations to work out but I would guess that the engine would probably push that boat near its theoretical top speed, The prop looks a bit small, not possible to tell with a picture of course, hopefully the builder would have fitted a reasonably well matched prop. There is science and algebra involved in this sort of stuff and hull shape and water flow too so you might find that you can't get much more out of that hull. As for locks and things our boat is about 12 tons or so - a lightweight in the scheme of things and it has hefty bollards but a few times every year I am surprised the ropes don't peel the deck off when things go a little bit awry!

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 21 Apr 2020 12:57 #115420

I didn't like to mention that bit. :woohoo: We cruised part of the Danube on an Inland Waterways International visit to Croatia about 9 years ago, and the tensions were still evident then.

Another book describing his voyages there is Sailing Across Europe by Negley Farson pub 1936, and back then it offers a forewarning of everything that's happened subsequently.

Tam

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 21 Apr 2020 12:48 #115419

Bill and Laurels book - ' Back door to Byzantium' even without the bullets it took the trip off my bucket list!

( www.amazon.com/Back-Door-Byzantium-Rivers-Europe/dp/1574090437 )

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 21 Apr 2020 12:32 #115416

Balliol's point about front well decks is very pertinent - my page Narrowboats & Widebeam Craft instances a narrowboat coming close to sinking by water coming in via what are supposed to be drain holes.

Another aspect is certification. Germany does now accept an ICC for craft to 20m, but requires pilotage on larger rivers and I'm not sure if that includes the section of the Rhine you would need to be on - it would be something to check.

I must say that if my ambition was to cruise Amsterdam to the Black sea I would not choose a craft designed for UK canals. Members Laurel Cooper and her late husband Bill did do the trip in their Klipper some years back and it might be handy to read the book they wrote of the trip. That leads to my next question - having got there, what do you do then? Coming back up the Donau would be much more problematic than travelling downstream. Bill and Laurel simply kept on into the the Mediterranean, but that would surely be a serious no-no for a UK widebeam.

Don't let any of this put you off, but you do have a lot of serious research to do.

Tam
The following user(s) said Thank You: Andy Soper, Johann Schepers, Jim Batty

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 21 Apr 2020 12:30 #115415

  • Nicholas Bostock
  • Nicholas Bostock's Avatar
  • Online
  • Posts: 69
Good morning Richard.
Big rivers on the Continent are certainly a challenge, and the Danube is the biggest of them all! But you will experience similar conditions on other rivers, notably the Rhone. I have done the full length of the Danube (2,411.5 km!) in my luxemotor Hoop op Zegen (21.74m x 4.2m) from Kelheim to Sulina. The first and most important requirement is power. You will need to be capable of 7 knots as the river runs at 4 knots in many places, especially above Degendorf and between Vienna and Bratislava. And that is in normal conditions. Your boat has very little working space at the bow. The locks are huge, generally 24m wide with height differences of 20m and more, and you share them with very big commercials indeed, many over 1,800 tonnes. So, as Tam says, you need plenty of space and large double bitts to secure your boat fore & aft. You will need all safety equipment and VHF radio, and preferably GPS,AIS and a life raft. You should also carry an anchor both fore and aft. Marinas are far apart, and virtually non-existent below Budapest, so you will need to carry as much fuel and water as you can. I would suggest 1000 litres of each as a minimum. Shore power can also be a problem, so a generator is essential. You should also carry essential engine spares. Sewage pump out on the Continent is difficult to find anywhere, so you will need to be able to pump over side. I also think a bow thruster is essential for your size of boat. A flat bottom should not be a problem with your beam, but be prepared to stay put in high winds of Force 4 or more. I hope this helps.
Nick Bostock
The following user(s) said Thank You: Tam Murrell, Andy Soper, Balliol Fowden, Johann Schepers, Eric Davis

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 21 Apr 2020 08:59 #115398

  • Balliol Fowden
  • Balliol Fowden's Avatar
  • Online
  • Posts: 2564
I don’t think that the bottom / chines are an issue.

However, I do agree with Tam’s points.

I would also be concerned about the existence of the forward well deck, and possibly the security of the forward doors and windows. There are a number of cases where this configuration in both narrow boats and wide beams has allowed the boat to ship significant water.

I would also be interested to see the shape of the stern underwater, which might have slightly greater ramifications for a bigger engine than just space for a bigger prop. Would you have a photo?

Balliol.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Andy Soper, Johann Schepers

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 21 Apr 2020 00:26 #115395

One immediate thing is that the bollards at the bow seem to be hidden behind the bulwarks, which makes them very difficult when working continental locks. I don't know if you have opportunity to make modifications, but I guess so as you are talking of an anchor and winch, and the engine/steering assembly.
Here is a link to one of my pages www.bargehandling.com/Bargehandling.com/BARGE_HANDLING_BLOG/Entries/2016/10/18_Bollards.html which you might find interesting.
Your bollards look to have been designed purely from the point of view of something to use when moored. In continental locks it is effectively impossible to get off the boat with a line as in the UK. You stay on board and throw lines up onto lockside bollards and control the boat with turns of the line around the ship's bitts. These are ideally paired, and must be sufficiently clear of of rails etc to work safely.

Tam
The following user(s) said Thank You: Johann Schepers

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 20 Apr 2020 23:59 #115394

  • Richard Randles
  • Richard Randles's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 4
Thanks for your response Tam.

The engine is a whole other story! Its undersized, in my opinion, a Beta 60 Greenline. We are looking at the possibility of replacing it and trying to sell the Beta 60, which is less than 2 years old. The problem is that propeller is small and would need to be bigger to make use of a bigger engine. Looking at the pictures of the stern, Im not sure there's a way to get a bigger propeller in there?

There's a load of other things I imagine I will have to do to ready my boat for Europe. e.g. it doesn't have an anchor. But I thought I'd start with the basics first.

Here's some pictures during the build:

Bow
Bow 2
Stern
Chine
Deck furniture

The deck furniture is 4x Posts on the quarters.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 20 Apr 2020 23:44 #115392

Pressed 'send' before I'd properly finished. You give your route as Amsterdam to the Black Sea, so engine, fuel and water capacity come into the equation much more than if you were simply pottering around on canals. It does depend to upon how primitive a life you are prepared to accept - the Rijn-Main-Donau route is not particular set up with plentiful places for pleasure craft to restock or engineers/mechanics etc for the inevitable problems. However it has been done and is far from impossible.

There are members here who have done all or part of this so hopefully you will get some useful feedback.

Tam
The following user(s) said Thank You: Johann Schepers

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 20 Apr 2020 23:35 #115391

The most obvious questions are what is the engine, and then the shape of its bow and stern. It would also want adequate deck furniture - bollards/bitts etc. - as continental locks and how they are worked tend to be rather different to what you've probably experienced in the UK. Do you have a photo you can put on here?

Tam
The following user(s) said Thank You: Johann Schepers

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Amsterdam to Black Sea - with a flat bottom! 20 Apr 2020 21:59 #115386

  • Richard Randles
  • Richard Randles's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 4
Hi Ladies and Gents,

Complete newbie here, with my first question to the hive mind.

I've got a virtually flat bottomed 60 x 12 barge (It has about 500mm of chined sides that stop it being completely slab sided/flat bottomed). It is currently in London but I want to relocate to Europe on a semi permanent basis. I am investigating how possible it would be to take a boat like mine on to bigger rivers than the ones Ive experienced e.g. The Lea, such as the Daube. Obviously it wont swim as well as a dutch barge - but will its shape be a problem?

Many thanks in advance,

Richard

Please Log in to join the conversation.

  • Page:
  • 1
Moderators: Bob MarslandPete Milne
Time to create page: 0.280 seconds