The Wharf reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
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A wharf (plural wharfs, or (especially in American English) wharves, collectively wharfing or wharfage) is a fixed platform, commonly on pilings, roughly parallel to and alongside navigable water, where ships are loaded and unloaded. A pier extends perpendicularly to the shore.

Related terms dock -- harbor -- marina -- pier -- drydock -- floating dock -- berth.

Well known wharves

Image:Wharf_derby_wharf_salem_massachussets.jpg Derby Wharf, Salem, MA