Key Difference – Barge vs Vessel
Barge and vessel are two nautical terms that are often used interchangeably. Vessel is a generic term that is used to refer to any water craft of considerable size. Barge is a long, large, flat-bottomed boat that is used to transport goods on inland waterways. The key difference between barge and vessel is their route; vessels can be seen in both inland waterways and international waters whereas barges are only seen in inland waterways.
What is a Barge?
A barge is a long, spacious, flat-bottomed boat that is used to transport goods on inland waterways such as rivers and canals. Some barges are not powered and cannot propel on their own; they are towed or pushed by tow boards. These are usually used to transport very heavy or bulky items, typically with lower values.
Self-propelled barges are sometimes used when travelling downstream or upstream in placid waters, but when travelling upstream in faster waters, they are operated as unpowered barges, with the assistance of a tugboat. Sometimes several barges can be held together with rigging and towed by a single tugboat. This is called a tow.
The captain and the pilot of the barge steer the tugboat, and deckhands in the barge are supervised by the mate; the whole crew live abroad the towboat as they move along the inland waterways.
What is a Vessel?
The word vessel has many meanings in the English language. But, in this article, we are looking at vessels used in the shipping industry. As a nautical term vessel refers to any watercraft – any floating object used for the transportation of people or goods. Let’s look at some definitions to understand the meaning of this word more clearly.
The American heritage dictionary defines vessel as “a craft, especially one larger than a rowboat, designed to navigate on water”. The Oxford dictionary defines vessel as “a ship or large boat”.
From these definitions, it becomes clear that vessel is a craft of considerable size. Thus, vessel can be used to describe a ship or a large boat. This word is also used as a generic term for all types of craft designed for transportation on water, such as ships, boats or submarines.
What is the difference between Barge and Vessel?
Barge is a long, spacious, flat-bottomed boat that is used to transport goods on inland waterways.
Vessel is a nautical term used to refer to water crafts of considerable size.
Barges are used on inland waterways such as rivers and canals.
Vessels are used in both oceans and inland waterways.
Barges transport bulky goods.
Vessels transport both people and goods.
Barges are towed by a tugboat.
Vessels are often self-propelled.