In 1800-1820, what sort of ferry boats were used by the general public in England and how were they powered? In particular I am interested in ferries used to access the Isle of Wight, and also whatever boats were used to cross the English Channel to France.
Paddle steamers made their appearance in the early 1800s:
Of course, every kind of boat could be used as a ferry, even small foot powered paddle boats. The 1827 scene below is from the United States, but the same kind of boats were used in the English channel:
I'm not sure about the Isle of Wight, but for the River Mersey refer to... http://www.lyricsfreak.com/s/stanley+holloway/runcorn+ferry_20307672.html