part of a keel, and, by pressing against the water side-ways when a side wind blew, prevented the raft from making much of what is called leeway--that is, drifting in the direction in which the wind happened to be blowing. Some sorts of Dutch vessels use lee-boards for this purpose at the present time.
The rafts now in use on the great rivers of America are exceedingly curious in many respects. One peculiarity of many of them is that they float themselves, not goods, to market--the pine logs of which they are constructed being the marketable commodity. Some of these "lumber-rafts," as they are called, are of great size; and as their navigators have often to spend many weeks on them, slowly floating down the rivers, they build huts or little cottages on them, cook their provisions on board, and, in short, spend night and day in their temporary floating-homes as comfortably as if they were on the land.
When these rafts approach a waterfall or a rapid, they unfa
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