As I have noted in previous posts, there is a place for sail powered craft and canals in our "post carbon" future (as fossil fuels become less available and uneconomic).
Yet another demonstration project is underway in New York state, as a sail powered canal boat is under construction which will bring goods from Vermont to New York City via the Champlain Canal.
The Vermont Sail Freight Project is being put forward by a group of farmers, high school students, and community volunteers who are building a flat bottomed sailing barge which will soon be carrying a cargo of twelve tons of locally produced wheat, flour, dry beans, maple syrup, apples, cabbages, and hard cider, from Vermont to New York City - a trip of some 300 miles.
Ceres has three cargo holds and has a cargo capacity of about 13 tons. She draws less than 2 feet fully laden, has a hinged mast to pass under low bridges, and an integral sprit crane for handling bulk cargo.
Ooo - Vermont maple syrup. Brings a whole to meaning to "sweet sailing".
Check out their website, linked above, and also this article on Sail Transport Network: Building the Vermont Sail Freight Project.
Until next, sweet sailing.