New Zealand Maritime Index

Source: New Zealand Marine News
Reference ID:47030002
Publisher:New Zealand Ship and Marine Society
Title: The Scow "in the Shape of a Punt"
Author: Hawkins, Cliff
Abstract: The scow was planned as a shallow-draught vessel for the stowing of timber on deck. A primary requirement was that she would remain upright when aground and so allow a timber cargo to be taken in close to the sawmill and subsequently discharged at all states of the tide.

It was George Spencer, a shipmaster from North America and a resident of Matakana, who introduced the scow to New Zealand. He knew of such craft with a flat bottom and of shallow draught employed on the Great Lakes of North America, and he persuaded shipbuilder Septimus Meiklejohn of Omaha to construct a like vessel capable of carrying a sizeable cargo of timber on deck.

The article describes the design and construction of the early scows in some detail and goes on to cover the development into larger hold scows that traded across the Tasman.

By the 1930s the scows were well on their way to extinction and few were trading after the Second World War.

Descriptor 1: Biographies

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