Canal Boat K7 (VT-AD-1020)

Wreck K7 was initially located in 1992 by Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and relocated during the 2003 Lake Survey. Dive verification in 1992 indicated that this site consisted of vessel wreckage of some type, however, poor dive conditions did not allow for a thorough assessment. The site was reinvestigated in August 2005, revealing the wreckage to be an early canal boat of unusual design.

Wreck K7 is partially disarticulated and largely buried. The visible remains consist only of the boat’s starboard side; most of the hull structure is likely present but buried below the sediments. The visible remains are 60ft (18.3m) long, however, hand probing indicated that the vessel’s total length was 81ft (24.7m). The length of this canal boat indicates it was built between 1823 and 1858 when the first enlargement of the Champlain Canal locks took place.

Preliminary archaeological drawing of Wreck K7. Drawn by Adam Kane, Pierre LaRocque and Joanne DellaSalla.

Currently Wreck K7 is the only archaeological example of a vertically planked Champlain canal boat. The planking along the run of the hull is oriented vertically and held in place by clamps running longitudinally along the inside of the hull. The vessel’s bow is constructed plank-on-frame. LCMM researchers could not locate or identify any archival or photographic evidence of this type of construction.

The two sides of the boat have separated with the port side entirely buried. The port side bow is intact up to the gunwale indicating that the buried hull structure is likely in good condition. Typical canal boat features, such as an iron band along the forward edge of the stem and rubrails with iron bands on their forward faces, were noted. The starboard (exposed) side is also in good condition, although it appears to be splayed outboard. A cleat was noted on the upper face of the starboard side. Divers hand probed the sediments inside the hull, but did not find evidence of cargo.

Information Source:
Adam I. Kane, A. Peter Barranco, Joanne M. DellaSalla, Sarah E. Lyman and Christopher R. Sabick, Lake Champlain Underwater Cultural Resources Survey, Volume VIII: 2003 Results and Volume IX: 2004 Results. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 2007.