from The Century Dictionary.
- noun That part of a ship's hull which is abaft the midships or dead-flat.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
We're trying to get at the heart of, not the journey of the before-body to the after-body, just the fact that this is an endless journey of these people living their lives.
The "shake," to which reference has been made, is the tremulous or vibratory motion communicated to the after-body of the ship, and particularly to the stern, by the revolution of the propeller, often opening the seams, and in old ships sometimes starting the butts and causing dangerous leaks.
To settle this question, the Dwarf, a vessel of fine run, was taken into dock, and her after-body filled out by three separate layers of planking, so as to give it the form and proportions of the vessels then building.
Her bow was an almost exact reproduction of that of the gig, rather long and overhanging, with plenty of "flare" to lift her over a head sea, and she was provided with an even longer counter, which gave her after-body a remarkably smooth and easy delivery; while, for the rest, her water lines were almost those of a racing yacht, so that I concluded she would be exceedingly nimble under her canvas.
This opening, which was eighteen feet wide, extended forward sixty feet from the stern, dividing the after-body into two parts, which were connected abaft the wheel by planking thrown from one side to the other.