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York Boat

Large boat used during the fur trade based on an old Scottish design taken from Viking long boats. The York boat was first built at Albany Fort and was flat-bottomed with a pointed front (called the bow) and back (a stern) that was angled upwards, making it easy to beach onto and back off of a sandbar. Made generally of spruce or tamarack that could withstand running rapids and repeated beachings, the York boat was rowed by six to eight men. Although much larger and capable of transporting more men and goods cross country than the canoe, the York boat was very difficult to portage (carry across pieces of land between water) where necessary due to its cumbersome size and weight.