Buying a Barge
Buying a barge can be a difficult process - first, deciding what you would like to have, to suit all-year living or occasional holidays, for permanent mooring or frequent travel, ready for use or a conversion project or built to order. Then looking at the old or new-build barges available in the area you prefer - or wider afield for more choice. Then, unless you are able to specify exactly what you want in a new-build or conversion, the hard compromise between what you thought you wanted and what suits your pocket and what you would be content with.
Some people will buy an old hull, perhaps for its traditional shape and history and refit it to their specification; others prefer to start from a new-build hull to their exact specifications. Others will be looking for a barge which can be used immediately - but it will almost certainly need alterations or improvements in the equipment or accommodation to suit your needs.
The cost of a barge is as predictable as the length of a piece of string, depending so much on the size and condition. A browse through the Apollo Duck web site is a good way to gauge the sort of barges available, the range of prices and the areas where barges can be found. The DBA website Classified Adverts section - also open to non-members - always has a number of members' barges for sale, which will generally have been in active use cruising, rather than just moored as houseboats, so needing a lot of work to get in condition for travelling.
The articles in this section of the DBA Knowledgebase are open to guests on the web site, to encourage you to join the many people, including 1500+ DBA members with over 800 barges, who enjoy life on the water in a barge. Many spend much of the year exploring the Continental waterways; others enjoy a barge as a static houseboat, with all possibilities in between.
These articles are just an introduction. The DBA Barge Buyers Handbook has been written to give more detailed advice. The DBA resources - in particular the Knowledgebase and Forum give access to years of experience of current members, with a wide variety of different barges, uses and locations.