Concrete barges float because of the sheer volume of water displaced by the barge. Acting in accordance with the laws of physics, the weight of water displaced equals the weight of the barge.
When reinforcing placement is complete and it has been inspected by the structural engineer, inside wall forms are installed, lined, plumbed and braced.
Wall forms can be removed several days after pouring. Then the snap tie (ties that hold the forms together) holes are plugged with a pre-cast cement cone and urethane caulking, then the walls receive two coats of cold tar epoxy coating.
The barge can be launched when the concrete reaches design strength which is normally about 7 days, but launching is usually 10-14 days after pouring.
As of December 1, 2013, the price for a new barge is $81 / sq.ft. All barges have epoxy coated reinforcing steel and the exterior of the walls is coated with two coats of polyurethane epoxy paint. A barge 16' x 40' x 6' would be $51,840. There is a minimum pricing size of 16x32x6 and a maximum pricing size of 20x46x6 at this rate.
Sizes range from 112x26, 32x65, down to 12x20. Barges larger than 20x46x6 can be priced upon request.
Some concrete barges built by the military during WWII are being used as houseboat hulls, and with better concrete and two coats of cold tar epoxy, today’s barges can be expected to last at least 40 years. With the use of fusion coated reinforcing the life expectancy exceeds 80 years.
Aquamaison, Inc. began building concrete barges in 1978, and from that time on was having reinforcing steel designed and inspected by an engineer, taking concrete samples for testing, and casting into each barge a date, barge number, and the name Aquamaison Inc.
It was not until four years later that the County included these procedures in the Houseboat Code, for other builders to follow.
Each barge pour has continuous on-site monitoring to ensure a monolithic structure, a vital element for waterproofness and a quality product, for which Aquamaison Inc. is renowned.