There are a number of variations in hull types offering different possibilities for accommodation.


The Dutch number more than 14 models of barges but of these, three broad types predominate nowadays in their new use as spacious, live aboard cruisers.

The TJALK (pronounced cha-lik)

This is the oldest type (1500 – 1908). Originally made of over-lapping oak planks in a clinker construction, these craft sailed the Zuider Zee, coasts and canals of Holland for centuries. Their bows and sterns fill out quickly to give an ‘apple cheek’ appearance. Immensely strong and seaworthy they are also very roomy: no other craft makes such efficient use of space. Pretty and quintessentially Dutch, most have now lost their sailing masts but they retain the beautiful, large rudders overhanging their rounded sterns. The hulls were built in wood or iron.

The KLIPPER (1895 – 1920)

This was larger than the Tjalk but not as heavily built and a much faster ship. It too could sail on salt or fresh water. It took its name from the American clipper with a distinctive forward curve of the stem post and slight flare of the bows. The first motor-sailor, it could travel against the wind and was therefore more efficient than the tjalk. Early models (Klipper-aaks) favoured the fulsome, rounded shape and barn door rudder of the tjalk or steilsteven; later ships had their rudders tucked under their elegant counter-sterns as a precursor to the motorships. The hulls were built in iron or steel.


The LUXEMOTOR (1920 – 1935)

This beauty with its extended skipper’s cabin aft was the upmarket ‘Luxury motorship’ which quickly followed the early, small motorships. These vessels could also sail but they were not built for coastal or sea work. They were lighter and faster than the comparatively cumbersome Klippers, and their lighter framing and plating reflected this, yet they retain all the beauty and charm that have made this the most sought after model. Unlike modern copies with clumsy lines and box like plating, the original luxemotors with their beautifully proportioned lines, distinctive sweep and reverse angle transoms, their windows and wheelhouses with the requisite 5° angle rake, were truly elegant and beautiful craft. The hulls were only built in steel.