Consort (nautical)

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Consort is a nautical term for unpowered Great Lakes vessels, usually a fully loaded schooner barge or steamer barge, towed by a larger steamer that would often tow more than one barge. The consort system was used in the Great Lakes from the 1860s to around 1920.[1] Mariner and historian Mark Thompson wrote that the unpowered barges were "uninspected vessels" not regulated by the marine safety laws. He reported that between 1870 and 1940, the dangerous practice towing unpowered vessels resulted in many of the most serious groundings when they broke loose or were cut loose during storms.[2]


  1. "Nautical Glossary". University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. Retrieved 25 April 2009.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. Thompson, Mark L. (2000). Graveyard of the Lakes. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press. pp. 331–332. ISBN 0-8143-3226-9. Retrieved April 1, 2011.