Is there still shipping on the Erie Canal?

New York’s canal system has been in continuous operation since 1825, longer than any other constructed transportation system on the North American continent. Over the years, it has been enlarged three times to accommodate larger boats and more traffic.

How did the Erie Canal affect the shipping of goods?

SUCCESS. The Erie Canal reduced travel time in half, and slashed shipping costs 90%. The typical cost for moving goods over land was $100 per ton; via the canal, the cost was $10 per ton. Within 10 years of the canal’s opening, that cost had further dropped to $4 per ton.

What did barges on Erie Canal carry?

These barges (14 ½ feet wide and 78 feet long) could carry 30 tons of cargo while being towed by only one mule.

How big a ship can go through the Erie Canal?

You must be able to clear 15′ 6” to cruise the full length of the Erie Canal. 7. Your vessel must have a beam of 23-feet or less – if cruising Canada’s Trent Severn Waterway.

Is the Erie Canal still used commercially?

Portions of the original canal are still operable, though tourism is now the main source of boat traffic along the Erie Canal. Commercial and shipping traffic declined abruptly after the completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959.

How deep is the Erie Canal now?

12-23 ft deep
Fast Facts

Canal dimensions, 1918- present Erie Barge Canal 12-23 ft deep x 120-200 ft wide; locks 310 ft long
Cost to build $7,143,789
Return on Investment 10 years
Number of aqueducts to bypass rivers and streams 18

Where were goods transported from on the Erie Canal?

Pulled by mules or horses, canal boats were capable of carrying 30 tons of produce—far more than wagons—which lowered the cost of transporting products from Buffalo to New York City from $100 per ton to less than $10 per ton. With ready access to markets, settlers moved into upstate New York and western territories.

Did the Erie Canal increase shipping costs?

The Erie Canal cost $7 million dollars to build but reduced shipping costs significantly. Before the canal, the cost to ship one ton of goods from Buffalo to New York City cost $100. After the canal, the same ton could be shipped for a mere $10.

How did mules pull barges on the Erie Canal?

Workers load a mule onto an Erie Canal boat with the help of a second mule and pulley system. Mules and horses were used to power canal boats. Attached to the boats by a rope, the animals walked along a towpath next to the canal, pulling the boats behind them as they went. Teams of horses or mules worked in shifts.

When did they stop using mules on the Erie Canal?

It operated for decades before 1905 when construction of the New York Barge Canal began and opened in 1918. It was after that when the Erie Canal ceased operations due to competition from railroads and the bigger better Barge Canal. And mules remained on the scene through it all.

Can a sailboat go through the Erie Canal?

Sailboats have two options but must take down the mast to transit the Erie Canal… We have always carried the mast. Plan a sturdy system to support the mast.

Can you take a sailboat through the Erie Canal?

Boating is free and no permit is needed to go through a lock. Lock tenders are on hand to assist you and make your experience going through the locks easy and enjoyable. It takes 15 to 20 minutes to go through a lock. Power boats and paddlers share the canal, so be mindful of speed limits and wakes.