Canal boats moored in a tightly-packed cluster in the Erie Basin ca. 1900. These flat bottomed boats, moved grain, potatoes and a variety of other produce and goods down the Erie Canal to Brooklyn's Red Hook. In the warm months they were ususally offloaded right away but in the winter months the canal boats stayed in the Basin with the families that crewed them. Grain would be stored the boats rather than paying the storage fees of the basin's warehouses.