barge

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barge,

large boat, generally flat-bottomed, used for transporting goods. Most barges on inland waterways are towed, but some river barges are self-propelled. There are also sailing barges. On the Great Lakes and in the American coastal trade, huge steel barges are used for transporting bulk cargoes such as coal. Large flat-bottomed barges called lighters are used for transporting cargo to or from a vessel that cannot be berthed at a pier or dock; LASH (for lighter-aboard ship) vessels are equipped to receive and unload lighters on board and thus reduce the time spent in port. Barge towing, done in the past by men or by horses or mules, is now accomplished mostly by steam or motor tugboat or by other, self-propelled barges. In use since the dawn of history, barges were common on the Nile in ancient Egypt. Some were highly decorated and used for carrying royalty; use of such state barges persisted in Europe until modern times.

barge

[bärj]
(naval architecture)
A large cargo-carrying craft which is towed or pushed by a tug on both seagoing and inland waters.

barge

1. a vessel, usually flat-bottomed and with or without its own power, used for transporting freight, esp on canals
2. a vessel, often decorated, used in pageants, for state occasions, etc.
3. Austral informal a heavy or cumbersome surfboard
References in classic literature ?
At that moment, however, as our evil fate would have it, a tug with three barges in tow blundered in between us.
Running in cake-ice all the way, and several times escaping jams in the Yukon Flats, the barges made their hundreds of miles of progress farther into the north and froze up cheek by jowl with the grub-fleet.
Let the men have their breakfast, bo'sun," he went on, "and have the fire out in the galley in half an hour at the latest, so that we can call these barges of explosives alongside.
At every mooring-chain and rope, at every stationery boat or barge that split the current into a broad- arrowhead, at the offsets from the piers of Southwark Bridge, at the paddles of the river steamboats as they beat the filthy water, at the floating logs of timber lashed together lying off certain wharves, his shining eyes darted a hungry look.
Might as well try to win a race in a soup-tureen as hope to get away from them in this old barge.
Just then, as luck would have it, a barge came along and took her aboard, and--"
One was the barge which he had brought from Mackinaw; another was of a larger size, such as was formerly used in navigating the Mohawk River, and known by the generic name of the Schenectady barge; the other was a large keel boat, at that time the grand conveyance on the Mississippi.
An ancient and still bullet-speckled stern-wheel steamer, with a barge lashed to her side, came round the river bend.
A strayed Indian from Lake Le Barge was willing to take his place; but Kama was obdurate.
Mournfully from the barge Arthur answered and bade him pray, for "More things are wrought by prayer than the world dreams of," and so he said farewell,
We must pall the barge all its length in blackest samite.
All the livelong day the search went on; upon the river, with barge and pole, and drag and net; upon the muddy and rushy shore, with jack-boots, hatchet, spade, rope, dogs, and all imaginable appliances.