All over the world, people dream of cruising the network of French (and European) canals and rivers, living aboard in style, comfort and safety, exploring world-famous cities, historic towns and beautiful countryside. There is no finer way to do this than in one’s own modern steel Dutch style barge, with all the features necessary to make the voyages both easy and enjoyable. Piper Boats, based in the English midlands, are the premier craftsmen builders of these superb boats.
Piper Boats offer two ranges of steel Dutch barges:
The First – the Dutch Style Barge is completely bespoke as to length and width (within sensible parameters) and interior layout features, and is modelled on the traditional style of classic Dutch cargo vessels.
The Second – the Type 49 Barge barge has two variants – a single cabin (bedroom) version with a level wheelhouse, compact aft (rear) deck, arrangement – and a twin cabin version with a larger, raised, aft deck.
Both ranges are built to order according to each customer’s requirements and there is also a wide choice of equipment, engineering and finishing options for each.
1) Piper Dutch Style Barge Range – 49-65ft (15-20m)
This is the classic pattern Dutch style barge, able to travel throughout France and Europe on the waterway network. Piper Boats can construct boats to 49 and 55 feet long by x 12 feet 6 ins wide (15m and 17m x 3.8m), 60 feet x 13 feet (18m x 4m) and 65 feet x 13 feet 8 ins (20m x 4.2m). With over 40 years’ experience in boat building, Piper are happy to discuss other, non-standard, lengths too.
Barges are normally of 3 feet (900mm) water draught and 9 feet 6 inches (2.9 metres) air draft. This reduces to 6 feet 10 inches high (2.1 metres) with the folding wheelhouse option lowered.
Depending on length, the barges accommodate from 4 to 8 people in well-appointed cabins (bedrooms) with en-suite facilities and in the large comfortable wheelhouse.
Piper Dutch Style barges are fully certified under the Recreational Craft Directive, Category C, for inshore coastal waters, bays, estuaries, lakes and rivers and conditions up to wind Force 6 and wave heights up to 2m. Specifications can be upgraded to Category B for offshore voyages and conditions up to wind Force 8 and wave heights to 4m.
2) Piper Type 49 Barge Range – 49ft (15m)
The Piper Type 49 barge range results from Simon Piper’s own extensive experience cruising the rivers and canals of France for which, naturally, it is perfectly suited.
As the title implies, the barges (there are two variants) are 49 feet (15m) long and also 14 feet (4.3m) wide. Air draught for the (fixed) wheelhouse is 2.8m and water draught is 0.8m.
Piper Type 49L Barge – 2 Cabins, Raised Sun Deck
The ‘L’ denotes Luxemotor and like the classic commercial barge that it is inspired by, has an aft (rear) cabin with a generous raised sun deck over and outside steering position. Besides this aft cabin there is also a forward master cabin. Both luxury cabins have king-size walk-round beds and en-suite facilities.
Naturally, there is also a well-equipped galley (kitchen) and a pleasant saloon (sitting area). The wheelhouse includes, as well as the skipper’s impressive steering position, a sitting/dining area and can be used as a third, guest, cabin.
Piper Type 49M Barge – 1 Master Cabin, Level Aft Deck
With the same hull shape and size as her sister barge, the Type 49M is arranged slightly differently to provide one master cabin (forward) and with larger saloon and galley areas. The wheelhouse (size and details as the Type 49L) has level access to the aft deck behind, which is a perfect size for two to four people to enjoy a meal together.
Specification Features and Options
Piper Dutch Style Barges and Type 49 Barges (applicable as appropriate)
Photo: Richard Broom . .
- Barge-building is carried out to stringent quality standards, using materials, procedures and techniques that have been independently assessed and approved.
- Boats are CAD designed and engineered, with computer controlled steel cutting for complete and accurate fit.
- All Lloyds Grade A steel (which is used for both hull and superstructure) is de-stressed, grit blasted (both sides) and sigma primed in one process, eliminating latent corrosion risks. All major construction elements are out of 8mm thickness steel.
- Hull painted internally with an additional 2-pack epoxy primer and with two more coats of anti-corrosive paint to bilge areas. External system as assessed and specified by International Paints specially for Piper Boats using Awlcraft marine paint. Deck surfaces with non-slip finish paint as standard. Teak planking to aft deck is an optional extra.
- Insulation is minimum 25mm sprayfoam, with additional material below gunwale level. The standard of insulation is designed to keep heat out (for example, in southern France, in summer) as well as heat in (for example, in northern France, in winter).
- Beta Marine 90/105 or Vetus Deutz 114HP engines (standard on Type 49 barges). Keel cooling and frost protection.
- Trolling valve optional extra – this manages engine power output to suit low speed, low rev, inland canal conditions.
- Inspection hatch box over propeller facilitates weed clearance without diving under the barge.
- Engine rooms are spacious and all services collected there are neatly run and fully labelled. Tool storage facilities are included – a tool chest is an optional extra.
- 9HP electric bowthruster standard, with the option to upgrade to hydraulic operation. Sternthruster option.
- Closed loop hydraulic steering system with traditional wooden ship’s wheel. Emergency steering system, heavy duty helm and rudder stock.
- The helm position dashboard features a full engine control panel, depth gauge, rudder indicator, electronic chartplotter, black drain discharge switch, bowthruster controls, 12v, 24v and 240v switch panel, VHF marine radio and an FM radio/CD/MP3 player. Instruments are generally Raymarine.
- Whisper Power 6kW generator set.
- Mastervolt 2.5Kw inverter, 60amp 24v battery charger system and 3.5Kw shore mains isolation transformer. Automatic change-over between shore power and generator. Large 24v gel type battery bank capacity including large DC engine alternator. Pre-wiring for solar panels (panels are optional).
- System voltages and consumption, tank levels and generator start-up are all conveniently monitored from the galley. High consumption items – washing machine, dishwasher, air-conditioning and water heater – are configured such that they cannot accidentally run from the domestic battery bank.
- 1,200 litre fuel tank facilitates economical commercial tanker deliveries of 1,000 litres minimum. 1,000 litre black drainage tank with overboard or shoreside pump-out. Grey drainage discharges overboard or into the black tank. 1,400 litre fresh water tank with sealed cleaning hatch. All tanks have level gauges.
- Harworth PJB or Webasto oil-fired space heating unit. Water heating from engine-fed 75 litre calorifier and electric immersion heater.
- 1200 BThU reverse-air climate control air-conditioning unit to cabins.
- Cabins (bedrooms) with king-size beds, storage closets and air-conditioning.
- Wheelhouse dining areas are convertible to create a double guest bed.
- Bathrooms feature en-suite walk-in showers with thermostatic mixer valves, acrylic stone moulded basins and remote flush toilets.
- Floor covering, upholstery and soft furnishings to client choice.
- Galley with Fridge/Freezer, full-size cooker with extractor hood and integrated microwave. Worktops to choice; materials can include LG cast acrylic stone (standard on Type 49 barges). Door styles to choice.
- Fitments, including galley units, are bespoke made by Piper’s craftsmen finished in oak, maple, mahogany or cherry veneer to client choice. All substrate timber is birch core plywood, no MDF or particle boards are used.
- Pre-installation services for dishwasher and washing machine included.
- Fixed or foldable hardwood wheelhouse. Wheelhouse has sealed-unit, thermally broken, double glazing. Demountable wheelhouses (optional) and wheel house roofs are designed for ease of handling. Wheelhouse air draughts generally mean that the vast majority of bridges do not require wheelhouse lowering.
- 50Kg ‘Halls’ pattern anchor on 50 metres of DIN 10mm galvanised chain and manual foredeck windlass (electric winch optional). Handrails and mooring bollards (stainless steel optional)
- Boarding steps supplied.
- Full ‘ColRegs’ navigation lights and marine type tunnel spot light.
- Piper Barges have been pre-approved by HM Customs as qualifying for zero VAT rating, when the intended use is as a place of permanent habitation.