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Naval / Government Vessel
Government-owned vessels were mainly concerned with defense of the nation (i.e. the U.S. Navy), the regulation of foreign commerce via enforcement of tariffs and seizure of contraband (i.e. the U.S. Revenue Service), and aids to navigation (i.e. the U.S. Lighthouse Service; coastal life-saving was in the hands of civic organizations).
Naval vessels were classified according to a multitude of duties, which in turn determined hull form and size, propulsion (sail, engine-powered, oars), and numbers and duties of crews.
Revenue service vessels varied from small harbor craft, swift-sailing schooners for coastal and harbor patrols, and large square-rigged (and later engine-powered) ships for off-shore duty. These vessels worked closely with customs houses in seaports with significant foreign commerce.