Monthly Archives: April 2015

Keep Your Boats Straight, Part II

(Just an observation – the midnight to 1:30 a.m. for chaperone duty on a trip with a high school band is a productive time for writing!)

In the previous post, we discovered that a flatboat was an economical way to move a sizeable load of cargo down a river. As long as the crew intended the trip to be a one-way journey, a flatboat was fine. However, if a captain wanted to make a business of regular trips carrying cargo, a flatboat had serious disadvantages. For one thing, a new boat would have to be built every time a trip was planned. For farmers who took their crops to market one time per year, building a boat before the trip might not be such a big deal. For the man who wanted a regular business of shipping, the expense would have been a deal-breaker – not to mention there would be no way to return products from down-river towns like New Orleans against the river current to the potential customers inland.

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