Canal Boat Replica Certification Application


What is certification?


The American Canal Society (ACS) offers its certification of operational canal boat replicas by completing and submitting this application form. Approved applicants will receive a 9" X 12" weather-proof. gold-lettered plaque of certification with the name of the certified boat, which may be mounted conspicuously on board for visitors to see.


Criteria for certification:


The term "replica" implies that the design is based on credible evidence of a historical canal boat or general type of boat that operated in the vicinity of the replica. These are the general key criteria for certification:


1. The general exterior appearance of the boat, including size and proportions, should be consistent with historical examples.


2. Preferably, most materials visible to visitors should be traditional materials in forms reasonably historic in nature, i.e., wood, canvas, planks, beams, hemp rope and clapboard, etc. in order to convey an authentic sense of history. However, modern materials such as plywood, sheet plastic, 2" X 4's, or nylon rope or fabric are acceptable, if designed to simulate traditional materials. Metal or fiberglass hulls and structural elements are also permitted, provided they are essentially unrecognized as such by laypersons. Contemporary amenities such as rest rooms, bars, or table service, etc. are acceptable where required for public use.


3. Traditional motive power by mules or horses by towline is preferred, but electric power systems, well concealed, are acceptable. Combustion and steam engines, if consistent with local historical examples, are also acceptable.


4. Boat should operate publicly on an actual historical canal segment, or in a physical setting that duplicates one, i.e., with a towpath. Operation through an actual lock is highly desirable, but not required. Likewise, costumed crew and historical docents are highly desirable, but not required. Such details heighten the sense of history for visitors.


Materials required for certification:


1. Available photos, plans, sketches, and dimensions of the existing or proposed replica design, describing her general shape, size, and configuration.


2. Historical photos, plans, lines, or drawings of boat or boats on which the replica boat is patterned.


3. A written description and itemization of construction methods and materials used or proposed, the method of operation plan, and the physical, geographical, and historical area in which the operation will or does take place.


Submission of materials


Submit this completed application and materials required to: Carroll Gantz, Chair, Canal Boat Committee; 817 Treeloft Trace, Seabrook Island, SC 29455. Materials will be returned after review, upon the request of the applicant.


Processing of application


1. After application and materials are received, they are reviewed by the Canal Boat Committee, (CBC) which prepares a recommendation for the ACS Board of Directors.


2. ACS Board reviews applications, materials, and CBC recommendations for decision.


3. If certification is approved, a 9" X 12" weather-proof, gold-lettered plaque is ordered, and delivered to the applicant for display on boat.


4. If certification is not approved, applicant will receive a CBC Chair report with reason (s) for denial. The applicant may respond to appeal the decision and describe corrective measures to be taken for reconsideration.




The general design of the plaque is attached.




Any questions about the application procedures or status of review should be directed to Mr. Gantz (Email:; Phone: 843-768-3780).


Posted 4/8/07