A spud barge is a specialized type of boat used for marine construction operations. Spud barges are also referred to as jack-up barges, and are a flat-decked boat with a large area for storing construction supplies and equipment for use during construction. Spud barges may be used for pipe laying, heavy lifting, dive support and other similar tasks.
The purpose of a spud barge is to provide a flat, level and stable surface on the water from which construction operations may be performed. This work can take place offshore in the ocean, along a coastline or inland on a lake or river. The large surface area of a spud barge makes it easy to load equipment such as cranes and digging machines.
The name spud barge comes from the fact that these barges have several "spuds" on the bottom of them, which are like pipes, that are driven into the soil at the bottom of the water to provide stability. This extra stability isn't necessary for all construction operations, but when dealing with heavy construction equipment, the spuds become a necessity. Spud barges range in size and are available to rent or purchase in varying sizes and weight capacities from barge companies.