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Coteau-du-Lac in Vaudreuil-Soulanges RCM, Quebec — French Canadian Region
 

The Durham boat

Le bateau Durham

 
 
The Durham boat Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 6, 2014
1. The Durham boat Marker
Inscription. English:
Of American origin, the Durham boat was introduced into Canada in around 1810. Since it was a flat-bottomed, shallow-draught vessel, it could be used in rapids, and shoal without running aground. It was equipped with an oar that served as a rudder. Even though it did not have a keel or a centreboard, it could still be handled with ease on the turbulent waterways of North America. The Durham boat was propelled downstream by oars and upstream by poles. It could also be navigated with a sail when the wind was favorable. The sail was usually square and it was used in the presence of the down wind.

The trip up the St. Lawrence River was long and exhausting in a Durham boat. It usually took 10 to 12 days to get from Montréal to Kingston, while the return trip could be done in 3 to 4 days. Today, freighters can travel the same distance in approximately 18 to 20 hours by passing through the St. Lawrence Seaway.

A Boat for Transporting Merchandise
Durham boats could measure up to 27.4 m long by 3.65 m wide. Long and narrow, these vessels were designed primarily to transport merchandise and were therefore not very comfortable for their crews.

Crew size varied depending on the difficulty of the journey. Only 4 or 5 men were needed to travel down the St. Lawrence, while the return
The Durham boat Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 6, 2014
2. The Durham boat Marker
trip upstream required approximately 10 men. The crew slept on the deck under tarpaulins, whenever they could find enough room. The skipper alone was entitled to a cabin located in the stern of the boat.

The carrying capacity of the Durham boat was 350 barrels of flour or 35 metric tons.

In 1835, around 300 Durham boats were used to transport merchandise on the St. Lawrence River.

The mast of the Durham boat measured 10 to 12 m high. Since it had a special joint located a few feet above the deck, it could be lowered rapidly without displacing the cargo when the vessel passed under bridges, through canals.

French:
D’origine américaine, le bateau Durham fit son apparition au Canada vers 1810. Bateau à fond plat et de faible tirant d’eau, il pouvait franchir rapides et hauts-fonds san s’échouer. Doté d’un aviron tenant lieu de gouvernail, cette embarcation n’avait ni quille ni dérive, ce qui ne l’empêchait pas d’évoluer avec aisance sur les cours d’eau tumultueux de l’Amérique du Nord. Le bateau Durham était propulsé à l’aviron pour descendre les cours d’eau et à la perche pour les remonter. Il pouvait aussi naviguer à la voile par vent favorable. Celle-ci était généralement carrée et ne servait que par vent arrière.

La remontée du fleuve Saint-Laurent en bateau Durham était longue et exténuante. Partant de Montréal,
Mockup of a Durham boat image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 6, 2014
3. Mockup of a Durham boat
il fallait en général de dix à douze jours pour atteindre Kingston, alors que le retour s’effectuait en trois ou quatre jours. Aujourd’hui, un cargo empruntant la voie maritime du Saint-Laurent prend de 18 à 20 heures pour franchir la même distance.

Un bateau conçu pour le transport des marchandises
Les dimensions du bateau Durham pouvaient atteindre 27,4 m de long par 3,65 m de large. Étroite et effilée, cette embarcation, si pratique pour le transport des marchandises, s’avérait en revanche très inconfortable pour l’équipage. Celui-ci variait en nombre selon la difficulté du voyage. Pour descendre le fleuve Saint-Laurent, quatre à cinq hommes suffisaient, tandis qu’a la remontée une dizaine d’hommes étaient nécessaires. Ceux-ci dormaient sur la pont, sous des toiles, là ou ils pouvaient trouver de la place. Le capitaine était le seul à disposer d’une petite cabine à l’arrière du bateau.

La capacité de charge maximum d’un bateau Durham était de 350 barils de farine ou de 35 tonnes.
En 1835, environ 800 bateau Durham étaient utilisés pour le transport des marchandises sur le fleuve Saint-Laurent.

Le mât du bateau Durham avait une hauteur de dix à douze mètres. Fixé au-dessus du pont, on pouvait le rabattre rapidement, san déplacer la cargaison, lorsqu’on passait sous les ponts, dans les canaux.
 
Erected by
Models of boats used on the Coteau-du-Lac canal image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 6, 2014
4. Models of boats used on the Coteau-du-Lac canal
Durham boat at the top.
Parks Canada / Parcs Canada.
 
Location. 45° 17.279′ N, 74° 10.542′ W. Marker is in Coteau-du-Lac, Quebec, in Vaudreuil-Soulanges RCM. Marker can be reached from Chemin du Fleuve just from Rue du Fort, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 307 Chemin du Fleuve, Coteau-du-Lac, Quebec J0P 1B0, Canada.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A dry canal (a few steps from this marker); A very busy canal (a few steps from this marker); Destination: Great Lakes / Destination: Les Grands Lacs (within shouting distance of this marker); Adapting the canal to new needs (within shouting distance of this marker); A canal that must be preserved (within shouting distance of this marker); What is a lock canal? (within shouting distance of this marker); North blockhouse / Le blockhaus nord (within shouting distance of this marker); A canal excavated in the rock (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Coteau-du-Lac.
 
More about this marker. This marker is located at Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site.
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar of 1812Waterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 28, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 258 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 28, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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