‘Iona’ unladen

Dredging the rivers of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads is an important part of the work of the Broads Authority but their ageing fleet of mud barges are reaching the end of their lives so I was approached to produce a design for replacement barges. Whilst the functionality of the new barge was the primary design parameter it was also important that she should be easy on the eye and be cost effective to build. My design solution has a double chine form with rounded bow and stern for easy manoeuvring close to river banks and for minimising wash in both the light and laden condition. Constructed from a plasma cut kit of steel parts she has a length overall of 16.5m and can carry 40tonnes of spoil. The first barge, the ‘Iona’, was launched in spring 2013 and was joined by a second barge, the ‘Gleaner’, in spring 2015 and the ‘Cygnet’ in 2016.  The first two barges were built by John Kearney in Northern Ireland, and ‘Cygnet’ was built by Toms in Polruan, Cornwall.