Advantages and Disadvantages

  • They are quite expensive to maintain and build
  • They can only travel about 5 mph
  • They have dangers of sinking and boiler explosions


  • They revolutionized the idea of river travel and trade
  • Can carry people, such as guests and family members. But it will also transmit your goods with you.
  • They can travel against the current.


  • The first steam powered ship was called Pyroscaphe, and was built in 1783 by Marquis Claude de Jouffroy. Only traveled some 15 minutes before the engine failed.
  • John Fitch sailed his boat in Pennsylvania only 2 years later, in 1785. He succeeded and started commercial services on a river between Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. It could carry about 30 passengers.
Steamboats On The Red