Plymouth Waterman’s barges, with a wide roomy stern designed to accommodate both passengers and stores, were used at Devonport serving naval and merchant ships.
They were rowed by a single oarsman using 10ft spoon-bladed oars pivoted in pairs of thole pins. Although the traditional work of these boats has disappeared, some have survived by being used for other purposes. Isis was converted for pleasure sailing with the addition of a centreboard and deck forward of the mast. Others can still be seen seine-netting for salmon on the River Tamar.