First off a brief clarification. A barge is a unique form of boating experience. Just like any other standard boat, no matter its size and weight, and no matter the waters it will sail across, the barge owner will be mindful of his scheduled barge repair and maintenance requirements. But then again, the barge being the unique vessel that it is, the choice of waters needs to be quite selective. It, for instance, is simply not built for the high seas.
Had anyone in his right mind attempted to toss this huge vessel to the rough seas, there’s a fair chance that it could capsize. If that, it would be extremely awkward if not downright challenging to navigate. The stewardship of the barge-type vessel requires sturdy but seasoned hands. Some of the world’s largest barges will be found on coincidentally, the great inland waters of the world’s two largest economies, the USA and China.
These barges are, of course, being used for specific industrial purposes. They can be used to carry some of the heaviest tree trunks known. They can even be used to channel large volumes of oil, much like the world’s largest ocean-going tankers still do today. But would you also believe that the barge is still being hailed as a huge tourist attraction. If not that, it is part of a lifestyle choice of a rather odd group of people.
Like certain groups of gypsies still adhering to the unusual and superstitious tradition of living on the water. Yes, that is quite right folks. People are still living in barges. But let it be said that it is quite a floating experience. Whichever way you look at the traditions and the purposes, the handling of the barge needs to continue to be carefully looked after.