A barge is a shoal-draft flat-bottomed boat, built mainly for river and canal transport of bulk goods. Originally barges were towed by draft horses on an adjacent towpath. Barges have changed throughout time. From 1967-1983 barges were considered a flat bottom boat that was nineteen feet in length or larger. Today, barges may be self-propelled, usually with a slow-revving diesel engine and a large-diameter fixed-pitch propeller. Otherwise, "dumb barges" must be towed by tugs, or pushed by pusher boats. Compared to a towed barge, a pusher system has improved handling and is more efficient, as the pushing tug becomes "part of the unit" and it contributes to the momentum of the whole.Read more on Wikipedia
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