Types of Barges / Trawlers / Ferries


A barge is a type of vessel which is mainly used for the purpose of carrying cargo. However, the most important part about barges is the fact that they are not independent boats or vessels. They have to be tugged or towed along by other naval vessels in the water. Barges are mostly used in smaller water parts like rivers, lakes or canals; however they are now used extensively at sea ports.

A barge is flat-shaped on its bottom, just like a raft. The main reason for this particular shape is to ensure that the cargo-carrying capacity is enhanced and more bulk can be hauled and transferred.

Barges have been a presence in the modern world right before the time of the industrial revolution. Prior to the Industrial Revolution in Europe, marine barges were used as the main method of transportation to ferry cargo across places connected by small water bodies. But post the Industrial Revolution and the invention of the steam engine and consequently trains, the demand for barges as cargo-transporters started to reduce because of speed constraints.

In contemporary times, however, marine barges can still be found because of the way they have evolved as an important tool of utility.

Types of Barges

The different types of barges can be elaborated as follows:

  • Barracks Barge: A barracks barge is also known as houseboat. Houseboats are a very common site in places like Cambodia, North India (Kashmir), Laos, Australia and Canada. As the name suggests, these types of barges are mainly used for residential purposes and look very eye-catching while they float as stationary objects in rivers and lakes.
  • Dry Bulk Cargo Barges: These types of barges, as their name suggests, are used to haul and ferry dry cargo. When the aspect of dry cargo is considered, it includes food grains, sand, minerals like steel and coal and other dry commodities that can be transferred through the system of barges.
  • Barges Carrying Liquid Cargo: These types of barges are completely opposite to the dry bulk cargo barges.  These barges are very useful in carrying petrochemicals, fertilizers that are used mainly in the liquid state, and other necessary important industrial liquid chemicals.
  • Car-float Barges: This type of marine barge was mainly used during the early 20th century to ferry rail carts. In simple terms it can be said that these rail-carts attached to the barges were like portable rail-sets ferried from one location to another. In today’s times, car-float barges, still function in some parts of United States of America.

In addition to these types of barges, there are also other varieties of marine barges like the power barge which is used as a portable power plant. There are also Royal Barges which operate mainly during ceremonies by royals or monarchs in nations where the monarchy is still notably present like in the United Kingdom.

A barge is a very important application in maritime technology. With the help of marine barges the cargo-carrying problem can be reduced to a great extent. As there are many variants of the apparatus, the problem of choice is also solved. As per the need and requirements, one can utilize the most fitting barge as an effective cargo-carrier and thereby ensure complete safety of the goods and items transported.

Types of Trawlers

Although the term trawler is generally associated with fishing, it encompasses a few other interpretations as well. There are different types of trawlers that are used across the world. Many of these trawlers are not known widely among the general public. In this article we will have a look at the various types of trawlers used in the shipping world.

The few main varieties of trawlers can be explained as follows:

Fishing Trawler: As mentioned above, the fishing trawler is the most commonly known variant of the shipping vessel. This particular trawling system uses fishing nets that are attached to the trawler. The nets spread in the water mechanically and are propelled when the trawler moves. In other words, the fishing net used by a fisherman is dragged in the water not by physical force but with the help of the mechanized trawler. Because of the usage of trawlers in today’s times, it can be said that fishermen find fishing a more productive activity than what it used to be before.

Recreational Trawler/Trawler Boats/Trawler Yachts: These trawler types are the lesser known variety of the naval vessel. Generally known as the recreational trawler or cruise trawler, trawler yachts are basically boats built in the form of trawlers. In some areas, such trawlers are also known as trawler boats. The main feature of these trawler varieties is the fact that they have a higher engine capacity and are designed for the purpose of comfort and luxury. Their main duty is to provide recreation and relaxation. By using terminologies like trawler yachts and trawler boats, there is a distinguishing point provided so as to help laymen avoid using wrong trawler terms.

It has to be noted that since trawler yachts and trawler boats are mainly used as passenger naval vessels, the speed of the trawler increases considerably. Fishing trawlers have an average speed of about seven to nine knots, while the speed of the trawler yachts is nearly the double of that.


Apart from the aspect of speed, another major feature of the trawler boats that their design is subject to customisation; which means that they can be designed and constructed the way a person wants them to be. Around the world, there are several such well-known trawler yacht builders who create unique and excellent varieties of trawler boats and trawler yachts.

Naval Trawlers: The concept of naval trawlers was very popular during the World Wars’ time. Naval Trawlers were so named because they were designed in the shape of trawlers. The major feature and advantage of a naval trawler was the fact that they were bulkier and were capable of successfully launching underwater missiles and mines at the enemy vessel. This trawler variety is no longer famous owing to the wide-scale development in military engineering and armaments. In addition to these to trawler types, there is also a concept known as bottom trawling. Bottom trawling is similar to the first variety of trawlers i.e. fishing trawlers.

In contemporary times, trawlers are more of a necessity than an item of comfort. They are exceedingly helpful to fisher folk as they help in catching fish faster and in large amounts. Also, considering that there are trawler yachts and trawler boats that provide recreational feasibility to patrons, it is seen that the concept of a trawler can be used in many different ways. This multi-dimension of a simple concept is what makes trawlers very useful and alluring simultaneously.

Types of Ferries

Ferries are types of boats which are very commonly found in areas where the main modem of transportation happens through water. In such areas, ferries are used not just to transport passengers from one shore to another but to carry cargo as well. Ferries are native to Greece and over the centuries have made their presence known not just in Greece and Europe but wide across the world.

However, the term “ferry” is a very generic one. There are many different types of ferries that are in existence today. The name by which each ferry is known is unique and is named so because of its major characteristic or feature. Some of the main types of ferries can be listed as follows:

  • Catamarans: Catamarans are a famous ferry type. They generally are operated as passenger boats and are exceedingly popular wherever they are used. Speed is the major USP of a catamaran and for this reason alone a catamaran ride is favourite among people – young and old alike. One of the most famous catamaran services are operated in the UK by the shipping company Stena Line.
  • Channel Ferries: In simple terms, channel ferries are ferries that cross the English Channel as their routine voyage. Channel ferries as a means of transportation were introduced in the early 19th century because of the difficulties posed to ships in the treacherous English Channel waters in both England as well as France. The Channel ferries were small and speedier thus making them a very trustworthy transportation vessel in the English Channel. In today’s times, there are many variants of Channel ferries that undertake journey not just between England and France but via the English Channel to other parts of Europe as well.
  • Car Ferries: Car ferries are basically cargo ferries that help carry cars and other automobile vehicles. Car ferries have two different interpretations. In the United States, car ferries are used to ferry railway carts or cars. These railway cars are loaded into the ferry with the help of tracks that can be attached and detached at will. These attachable and detachable adjustments are also called as Roll-On/Roll-Off ramps. These ramps form the car ferry type in the United Kingdom.
  • Roll-On/Roll-Off Ferries: These ferries are also known as Ro-Ro ferries. They are a very useful ferry type especially when it comes to cargo hauling in the form of other vehicles. This type of ferry is mainly used in the United Kingdom. There are also certain other ferries that use such Ro-Ro ramps for boarding of vehicles in addition to the ferrying of passengers. Such ferries are called as cruise ferries.
  • Double-Ended Ferries: The front and the back portion of this type of ferry – known as the prow and the stern – can be alternated. In simple terms, it can be said that while making a journey to a particular port, the prow and the stern remain as the parts mentioned; while the ferry makes a return journey, the prow gets converted into the stern and vice verse.


There are various companies that offer ferry services. But there is no other like the Ferry Crossings. Ferry Crossings’ ferry services are widely known throughout Europe and they are exceedingly popular among people who are keenly interested in taking ferry tours and cruises.

In certain places in the world, ferries are a way of life. Without them, normal existence comes to a pause in these areas. In other areas, ferries provide excursion tours and services and thus become a major source of entertainment for the general public. With so many utilities provided, there is no doubt that a ferry is unique and the services provided are completely singular and unlike any other medium of transportation.

Credits: Diliff/wikipedia.org