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floating platform of wood, cork, or air-inflated rubber for conveying goods or people. Originally, several logs, bound together by vines, strips of animal skin, and later rope, formed a flat surface upon which goods and people could move across bodies of water. From prehistoric times to the 19th cent. rafting was an important means of transportation. Rafts were indispensable in the frontier period of American history; on rivers such as the Ohio and Mississippi they were used to convey settlers and transport supplies. Large rafts are still used occasionally on the Pacific coast to float lumber along the coastline. In recent times life rafts have come to replace lifeboats on many vessels. Because they are more easily handled and cannot capsize or crash in launching, life rafts can merely be thrown over the side of a ship or permitted to slide down into the water. They contain distress signals and other emergency paraphernalia to sustain the lives of persons awaiting rescue.



(1) A transport unit composed of bundles of logs that is used for timber flotation. Usually rafts are towed by a vessel; more rarely they float with the current of the river. The shape of river and lake rafts is usually rectangular, and their volume may be as much as 27,000 cu m. Seagoing rafts are cigar-shaped, and their volume may exceed 1,500 cu m.

(2) A platform made up of several connected floating objects, on top of which a plank flooring is usually laid. People and cargo are transported over water on rafts. The rafts are propelled by poles, oars, or sails. For making the rafts, logs, reed bundles, floats from hollow objects (barrels or boxes), or inflated containers are used.

(3) A means for rescuing people; part of the rescue equipment of a vessel or aircraft.


A quantity of timber or lumber secured together by means of ropes, chains, or rods and used for transportation by floating.
A rock fragment caught up in a magma and drifting freely, more or less vertically.
An accumulation or jam of floating logs, driftwood, dislodged trees, or other debris, formed naturally in a stream by caving of the banks.


a buoyant platform of logs, planks, etc., used as a vessel or moored platform


(Resource Area For Teaching, San Jose, CA, www.raft.net) A non-profit organization that offers materials and its Silicon Valley facility to help K-12 kids learn science, math, technology and art with hands-on activities. RAFT recycles surplus and used equipment as well as scrap materials and routinely sends trucks to local donors for pickup. See e-cycling.
References in periodicals archive ?
The spectacle will be crowned by champion fly boarder Jay St John who will entertain the crowds from around 10.15am and possibly make the rafts' progress a bit more challenging.
The Rybrook Shrewsbury Raft Race is the heart of the festival, which is taking place in the Quarry Park on June 2 and is now in its eighth year.
It is possible to raft in the river only from May 1 until October 31.
In total there were 14 tourists aboard the rafts and five guides.
The two officials were reportedly driving by the Fish Lake when they saw the group of women floating on the raft. The officials then pulled over and asked the women for a picture.
Critique: An inherently fascinating and seminal work of outstanding scholarship that is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of ten pages of Notes, a six page Glossary, a four page Bibliography, and a three page Index, "Rafts and Other Rivercraft in Huckleberry Finn" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library Literary Criticism collections in general, and Mark Twain supplemental studies reading lists in particular.
Yamashita, "Lateral loading tests on piled rafts and simplified method to evaluate sectional forces of piles," Geotechnical Engineering Journal of the SEAGS and AGSSEA, vol.
Rafters enjoyed glorious weather as they battled it out in the seventh raft race to find the 2016 champions.
Rajasankar, Chief Scientist, SERC said that preliminary studies inferred that the design increased yield substantially per unit of cultivable area and assembly of triangular raft, in inverted V shape, helped to reduce the drag force to increase stability.
The volunteers who come from across the company, include managing director Stuart Cameron, entered the Life Raft at 5pm on Friday and planned to remain inside until 5pm on Saturday.
There was an excellent turnout for the Great Strait Raft Run 2015 with 40 rafts and plenty of spectators HADYN IBALL
PARTICIPA P NTS in this year's Wellesbourne and Shakespeare Lions clubs' raft race are looking to raise more than PS10,000 for a good cause.