"This steamboat was exactly like a decked scow"
The sailing scow Winnie, New Zealand (c. 1900)
Public DomainThe sailing scow Winnie, New Zealand (c. 1900) - Credit: National Library of New Zealand

A scow is a flat-bottomed boat with square ends. Although chiefly employed as barges in the transport of bulk freight, scows can also be used as punts, rowing boats, or sailing boats.

In Britain the term typically referred to a large flat-bottomed boat, very full in the bilges, used as a lighter or as a ferry to transport men a short distance at sea.

 

 

'Paddling in the Old Scow'
Public Domain'Paddling in the Old Scow' - Credit: Alexander Russell Bond