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    Mar 8, 2008
      Does anyone know how far the swimheaded barges
      operated and what were the advantages of the
      configuration since it took around 100 years for them
      to be completely displaced as sailing vessels by the
      modern barge and even then the form was retained for
      lighters(The 2 swimheads on the active list are
      apparently converted lighters).The ones I can think of
      offhand are
      Easy build
      Sitting relatively deep in the water when light and
      giving a better grip on the water
      Closer approach to the bank for discharging cargo over
      the bows
      The swim would keep the bows up better in short steep
      seas,rather like a Dutch barge - important if holds
      not properly battened down - but would also slow it
      andy airey

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