A punt is a small boat with the particularity that the bow has a square form. This kind of boat is meant to be sailed in shallow waters and rivers and is propelled with a pole, which is push against the bed of the river so the embarkation can be moved.
Punts were created with a different purpose that the one is having today (pleasure trip boats), they were for transportation created for cargo, as platforms for fowling and angling, and some of them were used as fishing boats.
Depending of the country the definition of the punt can vary, for example: in Canada all the boats that have a square shape bow are called punts.
Punts are different from other small boats, because it has no keel, stem, or sternpost. The way that a punt is built is pretty much like a ladder, because both lateral panels are connected with small pieces of wood and at that time they are pretty much like a ladder.
Punts have no keel that is why when in the water they draw a little bit even when they fully charged. These boats can face any direction and can fit in narrow passages, which is why they are known for being very maneuverable. The boat is very stable and can carry a lot of weight, these characteristics made the boat a suitable way of transportation.
Traditionally punts are made of wood but there are some that are done with fiberglass (boats made with racing purpose). There are both large and small punts, depending of the person who owns the boat it can have several ways of utilization.
The punt bottom is made with large planks that join the fore and the aft. These planks have a small distance between them so when they get wet they can swell.
The most traditional punts are not propelled with oars, an engine or sailed, they use poles. Punts that are generally for pleasure trips are propelled by aluminum poles, although a lot of traditional punters prefer the wooden pole.
The punt boat is pretty popular furthermore among the tourists that enjoin calm trips in the rivers of the cities that have this kind of boat, especially in England.