Barge FAQs:

Q: Is a barge a flat-bottomed boat?

A: Yes, and built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods.

Q: Are barges not self-propelled and must be towed or pushed by towboats?

A: Yes, and canal barges or towed by draft animals on an adjacent towpath.

Q: Are barges purpose-designed to be powered on waterways by long slender poles — thereby becoming known on American waterways as poleboats as the extensive west of North America was settled using the vast tributary river systems of the Mississippi drainage basin?

A: Yes.

Q: Are barges used today for low-value bulk items?

A: Yes, as the cost of hauling goods by barge is very low.

Q: Are barges extensively used in surveying?

A: Yes, and mapping, laying and burial of subsea optic fibre cables worldwide and other support services.

Q: Were barges the predominant and most efficient means of inland transportation in many regions?

A: Yes.

Q: Is a barge attested from 1300?

A: Yes, and from Old French barge, from Vulgar Latin barga.

Q: Are barges often known as lightermen?

A: Yes.

Q: Are barges usually made for the particular canal in which they will operate?

A: Yes.

Q: Are barges also used for very heavy or bulky items?

A: Yes, a typical American barge measures 195 by 35 feet , and can carry up to about 1,500 short tons of cargo.