In bow hauling, river boats (Inland navigation) were pulled on a long line from the bank, using human or animal muscle power, usually upstream (see fig. 1). On canals with little or no current, it was done in both directions. The practice relies upon the provision of a continuous, fixed tow path along the watercourse, the installation and maintenance of which (e.g. repairs after flooding, keeping the riverbank free of vegetation…
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“Bow hauling”, in:
Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy.
Consulted online on 27 April 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_029047>