STEVENAGE

MODEL BOAT CLUB

 

Thames Barge Build - words & pics by Mike

 

 

That's it then !!  Finished second barge.

 

I said I'd build this one from any old bits I found lying around and using only basic simple hand tools.

 

Frames, bulwarks and winches etc are from plastic sheet which is readily available from supermarkets as scrap advertising boards.

 

Decks , hatches and housings etc were made from a bamboo blind. One  blind 3ft wide by 6 ft long has done both barges with enough left over to do another two.

 

Masts and booms are hardwood dowel or old cane fishing rods  and rigging cord I scrounge from a cobblers stock.

 

With regard to the sails, I bought 1.5 yrds of lightweight canvas. By cutting out paper sail templates and a bit of juggling  I managed to make all sails for both barges.  I've become somewhat proficient with a sewing machine but they could have been sewn by hand.

Tools needed were a 12" steel rule, knife with break-off blades, tape measure, junior hacksaw, some small clamps, Thread for alignment. superglue and aliphatic wood glue ( expensive but the best and 200ml will stick and seal a whole boat).  Most everything, if not ready to hand, is cheap from the likes of Poundland. (Other shops are available - Ed)

 

Having gained experience from building the first barge to an up-scales set of plans and read an awful lot on barging matters, I concluded that no two barges were identical and, apart from racing where maximum sail area mattered, a bow sprit and flying jib were not really worth the effort required to man and maintain them. Many barges dispensed with them and I did likewise for the second barge.

 

Anyone with a will, if not the immediate skills, can produce a presentable sailing craft. Having said that I've experimented by adding 12.5 lbs of internal concrete ballast below waterline level. Hopefully it will sail OK and dispense with the need for a removable keel. Fingers crossed.

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STEVENAGE

MODEL BOAT CLUB

STEVENAGE

MODEL BOAT CLUB