Charles F. Mercer
The Charles F. Mercer was funded through private donations for use on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park in Potomac, Md. Scarano Boat Builders was selected from among a number of candidates to design and construct the Charles F. Mercer. Her hull was built out of aluminum for ease of maintenance and durability, but her decks and house are made of wood to give a more authentic appearance. She is propelled by two mules along a towpath.
LOA: 58 feet
Type: 19th century canal boat
Construction: Aluminum hull, Douglas fir decks, Port Orford Cedar house.
Year launched: 2006
Certification: USCG certified for 70 passengers
Current location: Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park in Potomac, MD
Trivia: In 2004, the third-graders of Seven Locks Elementary School were so disappointed upon learning that the Mercer’s predecessor, the Canal Clipper III, was out of commission that they launched a fundraising project to replace it. The $3,000 they raised was the seed money for the project.
Top speed: The two mules can tow the boat at speeds of up to 4 mph.