Scow Define

Discover the world of scows and their versatile uses in transportation and recreation. Learn about the characteristics, case studies, and statistics of these flat-bottomed boats.

What is a Scow?

A scow is a type of flat-bottomed boat with sloping sides used primarily for transporting cargo on rivers and canals. They are commonly seen in industrial areas where heavy materials need to be moved efficiently over water.

Characteristics of a Scow

  • Flat bottom for easy navigation in shallow waters
  • Sloping sides for stability and easy loading/unloading
  • Usually made of wood or metal for durability

Uses of Scows

Scows are used for a variety of purposes, including transporting construction materials, bulk goods, and waste. They are also popular for recreational activities like sailing and fishing.

Case Studies

In the 19th century, scows played a crucial role in the transportation of goods along the Erie Canal, significantly reducing the cost of shipping and boosting trade in the region.


According to the US Census Bureau, the number of scows in operation has been steadily increasing in recent years, indicating their continued importance in the shipping industry.

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