large flat-bottomed boat with square ends
Common clues: Flat
bottomed boat; Tub; Refuse transportation; Garbage barge; Garbage
tower; It’s full of garbage; Harbor hauler; Square-ended
boat; Trash taker
3 times a year
Odyssey of the Mobro 4000
scow, in the original sense, is a flat bottomed boat with a blunt
bow, often used to haul garbage or similar bulk freight; cf.
barge. The etymology of the word is from Dutch schouwe, meaning
such a boat.
uniquely American design, the schooner rigged scow was widely
used for coastal and inland transport from around 1850 through
the early 1900s. Scow schooners had a broad, shallow hull, and
used centerboards, bilgeboards or leeboards rather than a deep
keel. The broad hull gave them stability, and the retractable
foils allowed them to move even heavy loads of cargo in waters
far too shallow for keelboats to enter. The squared off bow and
stern allowed the maximum amount of cargo to be carried in the
hull. The smallest sailing scows were sloop rigged (making them
technically a scow sloop), but otherwise similar in design. The
scow sloop eventually evolved into the inland lake scow, a type
of fast racing boat.
scow schooner Alma, of San Francisco, built in 1891, restored in
the 1960s, and designated a national historic landmark in 1988,
was one of the last scow schooners in operation. She is a smaller
example, 59 feet in length, 22.6 feet in beam, with a draft of 4
feet and a loaded displacement of 41 tons.
the early 20th century, smaller sloop and cat rigged scows became
popular sailboats on inland lakes throughout the midwestern
United States. First popularized by Johnson Boat Works in
Minnesota, these boats were distinguished by their larger sail
plans, retractable bilgeboards, and (in some classes) twin
rudders. There are many active racing classes throughout the
Midwest, Western New York, the New Jersey Shore and parts of the
Breck Marshall, a 20-foot Crosby catboat
to the connotations of the old definition of "scow"
(large and slow), the inland lake scows are extremely fast--the
wide, flat bottom hull allows them to plane easily. As a
consequence of this, the A scow is the highest rated centerboard
boat according to the US Portsmouth yardstick numbers.
squared off shape and simple lines of a scow make it a popular
choice for simple home-built boats made from plywood. Phil Bolger
and Jim Michalak, for example, have designed a number or small
sailing scows, and the PD Racer is a growing class of home-built
sailing scow. Generally these designs are created to minimize
waste when using standard sheets of 4 foot by 8 foot sheets of
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