As most Sailing Barges were designed using a small half model of the hull that was shown to the prospective owner, to show them what the finished hull would look like, and not from plans as is usual today, there are few original plans in existence that can be used to build a Barge model. Plans that are available however, have been taken from measurements and surveys of the original vessel while it was still in use.
There were a few builders however, that were exceptions to this rule, who mainly constructed in the twilight years of Barge building. One of these was Fellows of Great Yarmouth who built the steel Barges for the Everard fleet (WILL EVERARD, ETHEL EVERARD, FRED EVERARD and ALF EVERARD) and other Barges, although unfortunately the plans were recorded as being destroyed by fire in the London blitz.
The Barge plans that follow are mainly of use to modellers who have the experience and ability to construct model vessels from line drawings. Beginners are recommended to ask advice from experienced modellers before sending for plans that are too complex, or where the information is too sparse.
There are several plans in the list that have enough information to construct a model at 1/24 scale.
These are the semi-scale CELIA JANE from the NEXUS Plans Service, WILL EVERARD from the same source (If you enlarge the plans 2x) and JAMES PIPER from The Association of Model Barge Owners (AMBO).
(Personal Opinion - CELIA JANE builds into a very heavy Barge and has been seen to be slow, difficult to manoeuvre, unresponsive in even moderate conditions and if racing – uncompetitive).
Having built a 1/24th WILL EVERARD it was also slow and uncompetitive (especially as I built it ‘strong’) although as a scale model it is somewhat better than CELIA JANE .
I would advise a Glass Fibre Hull - either Kingston Mouldings VENTA or Waverley Models VALERIE ANNE [also a larger Coastal Barge] or building in wood from either the AMBO plans or enlarge one of the plans shown. KATHLEEN, GIRALDA or WESTMORELAND make good models)
The information about KATHLEEN given in Edgar J March's book is excellent for building fittings etc. Use 1/2" - ft for the large parts and 1mm - 1 inch for the smaller parts (1mm is approx 1/25th inch) and you will not go far wrong. No two barges are the same and invariably do not remain in the same condition or rig for ever.
You will find that most of the plans use a scale that can be enlarged to suit 1/24 (½ - 1ft). This can be done using a scale rule or by enlarging it on a photocopier (either in sections on the normal office size A3 copier as I did for WILL EVERARD and WESTMORELAND at a commercial print/copy shop - although this can be expensive.) Remember though that copyright protects a document from being copied for any other purpose than for study.
As you must appreciate this list may not be a complete listing of all those plans that are available, so if you have any knowledge of others please let me know.
And finally do not forget, as with other scale models, it is important to do a lot of background research and if possible take a lot of photographs, before setting out on the long and sometimes fairly expensive task of Model Barge building.
Further Information can be had from:
The ASSOCIATION OF MODEL BARGE OWNERS (AMBO)
49 South Avenue, Thorpe Lea, EGHAM, Surrey TW20 8HQ