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Try searching for "dutch canal boat" and you'll get plenty of hits, in English. I'm not sure what Idiens is thinking of, but a flat-bottomed shoal-draft Dutch sailboat, designed for sailing in shallow seas is not suitable for inland waterways.
"can the masts come down on these boats" Yes, typically you rig primer cord around the mast and detonate it, then cut the rigging clear with wire cutters. Or you find a yard with a crane, and pull the mast.
" but I wouldn't think it impractical for a ship that would sail the ocean "
Ships are defined generally as more than 100 feet long. Smaller craft are "boats". No offense, but I think you've got a blurry romantic picture of "things that float" without the details pencilled in. What is comfortable at sea, what is practical at sea, what is comfortable to live in, and how to live in a space smaller than a travel trailer, are all very different from barge boats and canal boats.
Do some internet searches on "barge boats" and "canal boats" and "inland waterways of Europe" or wherever you plan to go, and just believe that there are real reasons why people are not using other kinds of boats. Or, take sailing lessons and then charter the kind of boat you think you can use--and you may find out why it isn't being used that way.