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Anke and I live aboard WAYWARD, and wrote about it's design and construction at

Access to the net comes and goes, so I'll be writing in fits and spurts.Please feel free to browse the archives, leave comments where you will and write... I'll respond as I can.

Fair winds!

Dave and Anke
triloboats swirly gmail daughter com

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Accessorizing Your Barge/Scow

Does this make my butt look big?

The older I get, the more I like the idea of utilitarianism.
I think that I am not a trend driven person. 
I really believe in keeping your canvas very basic and sort of adding the accoutrements from there. 
I look for creating intrigue through creating outfits through accessories.

- Erin Wasson

Accessorizing Your Barge/Scow

Barges (aka Scows) aren't generally known for their looks. But as our friend says, "If you can't hide it, decorate it!"

And there are so many fun possibilities. We start with the fundamentals - cleats, bollards, anchor gear, fenders (tires give that salty feel). 

After that, imagination is the only limit to creativity. Below are but some of the many possibilities!

SCOWZER scowzing along.

One of my favorite accessories. I mean, beautiful, and they turn our slab into a vessel that can make its own way in the world!

Jabba the Hutt understands Accessories!

The Barge from Crete
By Peter McIntyre

An abandoned barge flying this accessory (the improvised sail) carried 137 escaping soldiers from Crete to Egypt in WWII.

Stiff Leg Derrick Barge
from SeaPort ModelWorks


One of the fun things to do with barges is to pick up heavy stuff!

Cranes come in all sizes and shapes.

Be careful... they harness big forces that can sometimes get away from us!

Mast Derrick

A-Frame Raft

Drive-on Crane or Excavator


Legs let a barge prop itself level as the tide drops. To use, nose up to a shoreline, drop afterlegs to the bottom and pin in place.


Jack-Up Barge

Jack-Up Barges are a specialized leg that lets the barge hull lift itself clear of the water.

Cute li'l Spud Barge

 Spuds are temporary piling-like legs, dropped into shallow, soft bottom to anchor a barge. Often, they'll be used as a holdfast for heavy pulling.

Landing/Loading Gates
Photo from Robert Raymond's Family Ancestry Pages

Landing / Loading Gates

These drop down to allow access from beach or dock level.

Is this guy romantic, or what??

See a lot of these in SE Alaska

This type loading ramp is usually raised and lowered via common trailer winches for cable or webbing.

Note the bent boom in the bow loader to the right. These often sport a PTO (Power Take-Off) for pulling crab pots, and the like.

The WaterPod

And So On...
This one is a 'sculptural living design' incorporating onboard power and water generation, as well as organic gardening.


The possibilities are endless! 

A barge or scow can be compared to a blank page. Rectangular, and prepared to receive the projection of our minds. A work barge, a party scow, a home, a vessel.

You decide!


  1. How have YOU accessorized?

    1. Hi,

      We're sail, scull and push-pole driven, anchors x 6 (no spuds),
      travelling leeboards, booms act as light-duty cranes with a capstan winch for heavy lifting, dory, 'bimini' arrangement (spread by the rig and other gear) and wood range.

      For longer-term beaching and leveling, we can tie transverse logs under the hull using the handrails as tie points. We keep looking at those leveling legs, but haven't implemented them yet.

      Over the years, cranes are the accessory we've most toyed with... if we were motorsailors, an Aframe crane with a crabclaw sail is very appealing. Might work engine-free but we don't have the experience... maybe try it on a PDRacer, someday.

      Sky's the limit!

      Dave Z