Can You Sail a Dutch Barge Across the Channel?

Are you considering sailing a Dutch barge across the channel? It’s an exciting adventure, but it requires careful planning and preparation. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what you need to know before setting sail.

What is a Dutch Barge?

A Dutch barge is a type of flat-bottomed boat that was traditionally used for transporting goods in the Netherlands. These boats are typically made of steel or iron, and they have a distinctive shape with a wide beam and low freeboard. Today, many people use Dutch barges as liveaboard vessels or leisure boats.

Can You Sail a Dutch Barge Across the Channel?

The short answer is yes, you can sail a Dutch barge across the English Channel. However, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. The channel can be unpredictable, with strong tides and currents, and variable weather conditions.

If you’re planning to cross the channel in a Dutch barge, there are several things to consider:

1. Your Experience

Do you have experience sailing in open water? Crossing the channel requires skill and experience in navigation, handling rough seas and strong winds. It’s essential that you feel confident in your ability to handle your vessel before attempting such a journey.

2. Your Vessel

Is your Dutch barge seaworthy? Does it have all the necessary safety equipment on board?

Are the sails and rigging in good condition? It’s important to inspect your vessel thoroughly before setting off on any long voyage.

3. The Weather

The weather can change quickly at sea, so it’s essential that you check weather reports regularly leading up to your trip. You should also be prepared for sudden changes in wind direction or speed.

4. Navigation

Crossing the channel requires careful navigation. You’ll need to have accurate charts, GPS systems, and a good understanding of the tides and currents.


Sailing a Dutch barge across the channel is an exciting adventure, but it’s not for everyone. It requires skill, experience, and careful planning. If you’re considering making the journey, be sure to take all necessary precautions and prepare thoroughly before setting sail.

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Lindsay Collins