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Indigo Yachting LtdProfessional

What is a houseboat barge?


Main features of a houseboat barge



Originally, a barge was an old freight ship that used to sail on rivers and streams. This type of riverboat can be up to 40 metres long and 6 metres wide, making it one of the largest and heaviest motorboats. In 1879, a law was passed that set the exact width and height of locks and the height of bridges over canalised waterways. As a result of this standardisation, canal boats have exact dimensions and the term "houseboat" is becoming more and more common. With water sports becoming more popular, barges have been transformed to become unusual places to live, and are very popular with those who like sailing rivers and canals.



A houseboat barge is a flat-bottomed boat that is arranged as follows:


  • a hold located between the lower deck and the bottom of the boat. This occupies the major part of the hull and is designed for the storage of goods.
  • a cabin at the back of the boat to accommodate all the boat's crew, or more!
  • There may also be a mast at the front. In the past, this was used for river towing.
  • an engine so that the barge can sail under its own power



Houseboats are pleasure boats intended for sailing on rivers. There are many canals and rivers throughout the world and each of them is beautiful in a different way. River tourism has been on the rise in recent years and the sales of houseboats are increasing everywhere. This notion of 'sailing responsibly' is a real incentive for many boaters, who see this as an opportunity to enjoy their hobby while reducing their impact on the environment as much as possible. As part of this eco-friendly approach, there are now barges with electric propulsion available in manufacturers' existing ranges.


Houseboats barge and their many uses


Barges are mainly designed to be motorised boats for trips on the water but they are often rehauled to make them unusual spaces such as:


  • A house on the water: some people want a barge not for trips but so they can move in and live there all year round. An alternative lifestyle choice that is becoming more and more attractive.
  • A restaurant: dinner on a houseboat means an original setting with a breathtaking view of the water.
  • A club: dance on the water to the rhythm of the music and the waves!



Whether you're dreaming of exploring the waterways at your own pace or acquiring a unique place to live (or both!), a houseboat is the ideal choice. Discover our houseboats for sale and imagine yourself aboard this unusual boat!