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York Boat

The York Boat was a large boat used during the fur trade based on an old Orkney (Scotland) design derived from Viking long boats. The York boat was first built at Albany Fort and was flat-bottomed with a pointed bow and a stern that was angled upwards at 45 degrees, making it easy to beach onto and back off of a sandbar or shore. 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 over land) where necessary due to its cumbersome size and weight.