Coastal trading vessels, also known as coasters, are shallow-hulled ships used for trade between locations on the same island or continent. Their shallow hulls mean that they can get through reefs where deeper-hulled seagoing ships usually cannot. Coasters can load and unload cargo in shallow ports.
World war 2
During World war 2 there was a demand for coasters to support troops around the world. Type N3 ship and Type C1 ship was the designation for small cargo ships built for the United States Maritime Commission before and during World War II. Both were use for close to shore and short cargo runs. Government of the United Kingdom used Empire ships type Empire F as a merchant ship for coastal shipping. UK seamen called these "CHANTs", possibly because they had the same hull form and initially all the tankers were sold to foreign owners and therefore there was no conflict in nomenclature. The USA and UK both used coastal tankers also. UK used Empire coaster tankers and T1 tankers. Many coasters had some armament like: a 5-inch stern gun, 3-inch bow anti-aircraft gun and Oerlikon 20 mm cannon anti-aircraft gun. Armament was removed after the war. After the war many of the ships were sold to private companies all around the world. 
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- National Park Service, Scotts Bluff
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- marad.dot.gov, Coastal Tankers
- marad.dot.gov, Coastal Tanker
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- navsource.org USS Klickitat (AOG-64)
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- The Bay of Pigs Invasion-The sinking of the Houston (photos)
- (N3-M-A1 variant) Shipscribe: ENCELADUS (AK-80)
- (N3-M-A1 variant) Shipscribe: BAK-1 (S.S. Asa Lothrop)
- Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1940-1945
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