‘Scows, and barges, or other vessels of box model’: Comparative capital investment in the sailing scows of the Great Lakes of North America and in New Zealand

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Abstract

Boxy and with ‘unseaworthy form’, the sailing scow was not the most aesthetically pleasing of watercraft. Yet the durable hull design based upon European predecessors found a new home in North America where it proliferated on the Atlantic, Gulf, Pacific and Great Lakes coasts because of its practicality for largely unimproved waterways. Scows were widely used on the Great Lakes in the nineteenth century, moving beyond shallow waters and gaining a reputation for reliability in long-distance trade. Late in the century, the technology arrived in New Zealand, where it prospered in a niche market that combined open water voyages and shallow river, port, or beach loading and unloading. The Great Lakes scows presented an alternative for entry into ship ownership on the North American frontier. The development of the New Zealand scow confirmed these findings comparatively in an international context during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-105
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Maritime History
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

Keywords

  • Canada
  • Great Lakes
  • New Zealand
  • Schouw
  • chine
  • hull
  • scow

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