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.
- Great Lakes
- New Zealand