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- noun Plural form of
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The traders were transom-sterned for the most part, with aftercastles that sometimes reached almost to the mainmasts.
Likewise there were raised constructions at bow and stern, something like small forts, called forecastles and aftercastles; the former word still remaining under our modern term forecastle.
High "forecastles" and "aftercastles," and heavy tops, thus became of little use and were discarded, as were also the oars used on smaller craft, as the art of sailing became better understood and vessels more seaworthy.
But as the fight was still at comparatively close quarters -- owing to the guns being small, and of no great range, -- warships were fitted with cumbrous "forecastles" and "aftercastles" (see illustration on page 69), and with heavy tops on the masts, to contain musketeers, in order to command the enemy's deck.
At the same time the cumbrous forecastles and aftercastles, which must have been equally inconvenient both in action and in a sea way, were removed.