Ship without its own propulsion

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A tug on the Spree in 1928 - a tug pulls the attached barges

Ships without their own propulsion are mainly used for inland navigation . They are either pulled or pushed and are mainly used to transport people and goods. The names differ depending on the application.


A lighter (also called a barge) is a non-propulsion, floating cargo container that is moved in a pushed convoy. In the Niederfinow ship lift, non-powered barges are pulled into the trough with an electric towing system.


Barges are used to transport goods that are unloaded from ocean-going vessels in tow to the warehouses in the port area or in the surrounding area. In the port of Hamburg , the leader of a barge is known as the Ewerführer . Classic freight goods are: sand , gravel , coal , scrap , rubble and waste .

Buildership ship

A site huts ship can be compared to a site trailer . It has no drive of its own and is towed to its areas of use. It serves as a lounge and is equipped with a hob, heating, toilet, washing facility and office / work room as required. Building huts are also often converted into houseboats or houseboats .


Prahm on slip trolley

The Prahm originally referred to a flat ferry (Prahmfähre) for transferring people, cattle and wagons. It was one of the smallest ships that carried goods. In the construction industry, Prahm is a large, flat, elongated square watercraft for carrying out construction work in the water, the term Startprahm is also used in sailing regattas . This is also a flat, floating platform.


Barges around 1932

The barge evolved from the early tow barges . There were open barges, those with hatch covers and tank barges . The crew had apartments on the barges, the skipper, also known as the skipper, lived aft (at the back) with his family and in front, mostly in the so-called Vorunter, the sailors. Barges are still used today on the Weser, Elbe and Danube, and you can still see them in the Netherlands.

Towed ship

One speaks of a towed ship when a ship that is unable to maneuver, be it due to an engine or rudder failure, is moved by one or more tugs, for example to a shipyard for repair. On the Middle Rhine between Sankt Goar and Bingen, tugs are occasionally used to support motor ships in the ascent if they are not sufficiently motorized.

Image examples

See also


  • Holger Patzer: The river and port shipping of the DDG Hansa . HM Hauschild, Bremen 2009, ISBN 3-89757-140-4 .
  • Arnold Kludas , Harry Braun: Ewerführer . An illustrated history of the Ewerführer on Hamburg's waterways. 2nd Edition. The Hanse - Sabine Groenewald Verlage, Hamburg 2002, ISBN 3-434-52602-1 .

Web links

Commons : Ships without their own propulsion  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Easier  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Niederfinow towing facility (scroll down far).
  2. Example of a rebuilt site ship .