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Look out (Transport Steamer) on Tennessee River, ca. 1860 – ca. 1865
Dutch river steam-tugboat Mascotte II

A steamboat is a boat that is propelled primarily by steam power, typically driving propellers or paddlewheels. Steamboats sometimes use the prefix designation SS, S.S. or S/S (for 'Screw Steamer') or PS (for 'Paddle Steamer'); however, these designations are most often used for steamships.

The term steamboat is used to refer to smaller, insular, steam-powered boats working on lakes and rivers, particularly riverboats. As using steam became more reliable, steam power became applied to larger, ocean-going vessels.