EuroCanals Guides include articles on Buying a Barge in France and Buying a Barge in The Netherlands. Each article describes the major brokers, their locations and contact information, travel suggestions and glossaries of essential terms, with translations.
Buying a Barge in France is included in Waterways of France
Perhaps surprisingly, France has but one must-go place to search for a barge or canal cruiser to buy:
St-Jean-de-Losne, the "Center of the French Waterways" near Dijon, Burgundy. Several brokers there specialize in these vessels, and speak English. (Click on map.)
A second area to check is Strasbourg. Sales by private owner are scattered along the waterways; fluency in French will be needed to deal with these sellers.