There seems to be some misconceptions about Dutch Barges. Most of what we now refer to as Dutch barges
were originally developed as fishing boat
s suited to the area in which they were working. There were many different types and far from just being used on the canals fished all waters of the Netherlands and were quite capable of taking on the sharp nasty seas of places like Hollandsche Diep and the Ooste Schelde. I can assure you, even the Ijselmeer can get choppy under the right conditions. in fact Dutch Schuyts brought cargoes of eels to London from about the 1600s and a berth was still kept for them until the early 20th century, They were typical of what we would now call a Dutch barge
. There were quite small ones like the Schouw and the Grundel that were inshore and lake fishers, then they varied in size through the Botters, Hoogars and Lemeraaks to the Tjalk and the Klipper which were cargo carriers. The Klippers were roughly the same size as Thames Barges and sometimes bigger and were rigged as Gaff Ketches, similar to our West Country Ketches. They were mainly fairly heavily built
well in keeping with traditional wooden working boats
. in latter days, steel replaced wood but they still followed the traditional designs. Luckily, so many Dutch Barges are still being built
s, decorated and fitted out very traditionally and there is considerable interest in the many events held for them every year.