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Standard Canal Boat (Wreck LL)


Sonar image of Wreck LL.

Wreck LL is a standard canal boat located during the sonar portion of the 1999 Lake Survey Project, and preliminarily documented in August 1999. The remains of the vessel sit upright on the lakebed in shallow water. Approximately fifty percent of the vessel’s structure, composed primarily of the bottom and the sides of the hull, remains intact. The vessel does not appear to contain cargo, an indication that it was intentionally sunk after its working life had ended.

Wreck LL has a length of 93ft (28.4m) from the forward end of the stem to the after end of the transom. The width is 14ft (4.3m) and the depth is unknown. These measurements indicate that Wreck LL was built after the opening of the enlarged locks in the Champlain Canal in 1858. The terminus post quem for Wreck LL is 1858.


Plan drawing of Wreck LL. Inking by Adam Kane.

The vessel’s remains are generally in poor condition. Much of Wreck LL is buried below the bottom sediments, while the exposed portions are heavily encrusted with zebra mussels. The remains no longer contain any of the decking, hatches, steering equipment, cabin roof, or rudder. The bow contains the vessel’s most interesting features including a windlass and a breasthook. The central portion of the hull is largely open with deck beams spaced at intervals of 10 to 13 feet (3.1 to 4.0m). Wreck LL’s stern is also open with visible features including the sternpost and two lodging knees.

Wreck LL is a poorly preserved, heavily mussel-encrusted example of a mid-nineteenth century standard canal boat. The wreck has limited archaeological potential as it appears to have been scuttled and is therefore unlikely to contain significant cultural remains relating to its occupants.

 

Information Source:
Adam I. Kane and Christopher R. Sabick, Lake Champlain Underwater Cultural Resources Survey, Volume IV: 1999 Results and Volume V: 2000 Results. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 2002.