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The standard barge was the workhorse ship of trade. They transported grain, silk, and other bulky goods up and down stream. Propelled by square sails and broad sweeps.  Barges were very large, slow-moving, and typically heavily laden. They were the supply ships of entire fleets, and the largest were staffed by a crew of one hundred.  Typically, a merchant would live aboard his vessel, docking it to sell his goods. They were used primarily in rivers and lakes. 
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