Dutch barge

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Dutch barge at Namur

A Dutch barge or schuyt[1] is a flat-bottomed boat, originally used for cargo carrying in the Netherlands, many of which have now been converted for pleasure or residential use. Originally made of wood and powered by sail, most of the existing barges are made of iron or steel and powered by diesel engines. There are many traditional types, with characteristics determined by local conditions or simply custom.

A pair of schuyts aground, in a print dated 1860.

A typical Dutch barge at the turn of the 20th century was described as having a large rudder which could be raised by an arrangement of blocks and tackles and a pair of leeboards. Schyuts engaged in eel fishing were said to have begun visiting London in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and were granted the use of a berth there, which continued in use until the 20th century.[2] They vary greatly in size from 15m to 40m in length and are generally built lighter than an equivalent Humber barge since they were not designed to take the ground in the same way. Many Dutch craft have been family owned and run and are the subject of great pride. Sailing matches are still held on the IJsselmeer and on the Wadden Sea (Waddenzee).



  1. ^ Blackburn, Graham (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ships and Boats. I B Taurus. p. 302. ISBN 1-86064-839-8. 
  2. ^ Carr, Norman S (2014). "The Sailors: Amateur British & Irish Yachtsmen Before World War One - Holland in London". www.smallcraft.net. Retrieved 12 February 2016.