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The Mayflower

In September 1620, a merchant ship called the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, a port on the southern coast of England. Normally, the Mayflower’s cargo was wine and dry goods, but on this trip the ship carried passengers: 102 of them, all hoping to start a new life on the other side of the Atlantic. Nearly 40 of these passengers were Protestant Separatists—they called themselves “Saints”—who hoped to establish a new church in the New World. Today, we often refer to the colonists who crossed the Atlantic on the Mayflower as “Pilgrims.”


Design Edit

In 1936, the American Merchant Marine Act was passed to subsidize the annual construction of 50 commercial merchant vessels which could be used in wartime by the United States Navy as naval auxiliaries, crewed by U.S. Merchant Mariners. The number was doubled in 1939 and again in 1940 to 200 ships a year. Ship types included two tankers and three types of merchant vessel, all to be powered by steam turbines. Limited industrial capacity, especially for reduction gears, meant that relatively few of these ships were built.

In 1940 the British government ordered 60 Ocean-class freighters from American yards to replace war losses and boost the merchant fleet. These were simple but fairly large (for the time) with a single 2,500 horsepower (1,900 kW) compound steam engine of obsolete but reliable design. Britain specified coal-fired plants, because it then had extensive coal mines and no significant domestic oil production.

The predecessor designs, which included the "Northeast Coast, Open Shelter Deck Steamer", were based on a simple ship originally produced in Sunderland by J.L. Thompson & Sons based on a 1939 design for a simple tramp steamer, which was cheap to build and cheap to run (see Silver Line). Examples include SS Dorington Court built in 1939. [5] The order specified an 18-inch (0.46 m) increase in draft to boost displacement by 800 long tons (810 t) to 10,100 long tons (10,300 t). The accommodation, bridge, and main engine were located amidships, with a tunnel connecting the main engine shaft to the propeller via a long aft extension. The first Ocean-class ship, SS Ocean Vanguard, was launched on 16 August 1941.

The design was modified by the United States Maritime Commission, in part to increase conformity to American construction practices, but more importantly to make it even quicker and cheaper to build. The US version was designated 'EC2-S-C1': 'EC' for Emergency Cargo, '2' for a ship between 400 and 450 feet (120 and 140 m) long (Load Waterline Length), 'S' for steam engines, and 'C1' for design C1. The new design replaced much riveting, which accounted for one-third of the labor costs, with welding, and had oil-fired boilers. It was adopted as a Merchant Marine Act design, and production awarded to a conglomerate of West Coast engineering and construction companies headed by Henry J. Kaiser known as the Six Companies. Liberty ships were designed to carry 10,000 long tons (10,200 t) of cargo, usually one type per ship, but, during wartime, generally carried loads far exceeding this. [6]

On 27 March 1941, the number of lend-lease ships was increased to 200 by the Defense Aid Supplemental Appropriations Act and increased again in April to 306, of which 117 would be Liberty ships.

Variants Edit

The basic EC2-S-C1 cargo design was modified during construction into three major variants with the same basic dimensions and slight variance in tonnage. One variant, with basically the same features but different type numbers, had four rather than five holds served by large hatches and kingpost with large capacity booms. Those four hold ships were designated for transport of tanks and boxed aircraft. [7]

In the detailed Federal Register publication of the post war prices of Maritime Commission types the Liberty variants are noted as: [7]

  • EC2-S-AW1: Collier (All given names of notable coal seams as Banner Seam, Beckley Seam and Bon Air Seam)
  • Z-EC2-S-C2: Tank carrier (four holds, kingposts) – example SS Frederic C. Howe
  • Z-ET1-S-C3: Tanker – example SS Carl R. Gray with some becoming the Navy's Armadillo-class tanker
  • Z-EC2-S-C5: Boxed aircraft transport (four holds, kingposts) – example SS Albert M. Boe, SS Charles A. Draper (photo showing holds, kingposts) with some becoming the Navy's Guardian-class radar picket ship

The Z-EC2-S-C2 Tank carrier type details had not been previously published until 17 August 1946 Federal Register. [7]

In preparation for the Normandy landings and afterward to support the rapid expansion of logistical transport ashore a modification was made to make standard Liberty vessels more suitable for mass transport of vehicles and in records are seen as "MT" for Motor Transport vessels. In that case four holds were loaded with vehicles while the fifth was modified to house the drivers and assistants. [8]

The modifications into troop transports also were not given special type designations. The troop transports are discussed below.

Propulsion Edit

By 1941, the steam turbine was the preferred marine steam engine because of its greater efficiency compared to earlier reciprocating compound steam engines. Steam turbine engines required very precise manufacturing techniques and balancing and a complicated reduction gear, however, and the companies capable of manufacturing them already were committed to the large construction program for warships. Therefore, a 140-ton [9] vertical triple expansion steam engine of obsolete design was selected to power Liberty ships because it was cheaper and easier to build in the numbers required for the Liberty ship program and because more companies could manufacture it. Eighteen different companies eventually built the engine. It had the additional advantage of ruggedness and simplicity. Parts manufactured by one company were interchangeable with those made by another, and the openness of its design made most of its moving parts easy to see, access, and oil. The engine—21 feet (6.4 m) long and 19 feet (5.8 m) tall—was designed to operate at 76 rpm and propel a Liberty ship at about 11 knots (20 km/h 13 mph). [10]

Construction Edit

The ships were constructed of sections that were welded together. This is similar to the technique used by Palmer's at Jarrow, northeast England, but substituted welding for riveting. Riveted ships took several months to construct. The work force was newly trained—no one had previously built welded ships. As America entered the war, the shipbuilding yards employed women, to replace men who were enlisting in the armed forces. [11]

    The construction of a Liberty ship at the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards, Baltimore, Maryland, in March/April 1943

Day 2 : Laying of the keel plates

Day 6 : Bulkheads and girders below the second deck are in place

Day 10 : Lower deck being completed and the upper deck amidship erected

Day 14 : Upper deck erected and mast houses and the after-deck house in place

Day 24 : Ship ready for launching

The ships initially had a poor public image due to their appearance. In a speech announcing the emergency shipbuilding program President Franklin D. Roosevelt had referred to the ship as "a dreadful looking object", and Time magazine called it an "Ugly Duckling". 27 September 1941, was dubbed Liberty Fleet Day to try to assuage public opinion, as the first 14 "Emergency" vessels were launched that day. The first of these was SS Patrick Henry, launched by President Roosevelt. In remarks at the launch ceremony, FDR cited Patrick Henry's 1775 speech that finished "Give me liberty or give me death". Roosevelt said that this new class of ships would bring liberty to Europe, which gave rise to the name Liberty ship.

The first ships required about 230 days to build (Patrick Henry took 244 days), but the average eventually dropped to 42 days. The record was set by SS Robert E. Peary, which was launched 4 days and 15 1 ⁄ 2 hours after the keel was laid, although this publicity stunt was not repeated: in fact much fitting-out and other work remained to be done after the Peary was launched. The ships were made assembly-line style, from prefabricated sections. In 1943, three Liberty ships were completed daily. They were usually named after famous Americans, starting with the signatories of the Declaration of Independence. In the 1940s, 17 of the Liberty Ships were named in honor of outstanding African-Americans. The first, in honor of Booker T. Washington, was christened by Marian Anderson in 1942, and the SS Harriet Tubman, recognizing the only woman on the list, was christened on 3 June 1944. [12]

Any group which raised war bonds worth $2 million could propose a name. Most bore the names of deceased people. The only living namesake was Francis J. O'Gara, the purser of SS Jean Nicolet, who was thought to have been killed in a submarine attack, but, in fact, survived the war in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. Other exceptions to the naming rule were SS Stage Door Canteen, named for the USO club in New York, and SS U.S.O., named after the United Service Organizations (USO). [13]

Another notable Liberty ship was SS Stephen Hopkins, which sank the German commerce raider Stier in a ship-to-ship gun battle in 1942 and became the first American ship to sink a German surface combatant.

The wreck of SS Richard Montgomery lies off the coast of Kent with 1,500 short tons (1,400 tonnes) of explosives still on board, enough to match a very small yield nuclear weapon should they ever go off. [14] [15] SS E. A. Bryan detonated with the energy of 2,000 tons of TNT (8,400 GJ) in July 1944 as it was being loaded, killing 320 sailors and civilians in what was called the Port Chicago disaster. Another Liberty ship that exploded was the rechristened SS Grandcamp, which caused the Texas City Disaster on 16 April 1947, killing at least 581 people.

Six Liberty ships were converted at Point Clear, Alabama, by the United States Army Air Force, into floating aircraft repair depots, operated by the Army Transport Service, starting in April 1944. The secret project, dubbed "Project Ivory Soap", provided mobile depot support for B-29 Superfortress bombers and P-51 Mustang fighters based on Guam, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa beginning in December 1944. The six ARU(F)s (Aircraft Repair Unit, Floating), however, were also fitted with landing platforms to accommodate four Sikorsky R-4 helicopters, where they provided medical evacuation of combat casualties in both the Philippine Islands and Okinawa. [16]

The last new-build Liberty ship constructed was SS Albert M. Boe, launched on 26 September 1945 and delivered on 30 October 1945. She was named after the chief engineer of a United States Army freighter who had stayed below decks to shut down his engines after a 13 April 1945 explosion, an act that won him a posthumous Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal. [17] In 1950, a "new" liberty ship was constructed by Industriale Maritime SpA, Genoa, Italy by using the bow section of Bert Williams and the stern section of Nathaniel Bacon, both of which had been wrecked. The new ship was named SS Boccadasse, and served until scrapped in 1962. [18] [19]

Several designs of mass-produced petroleum tankers were also produced, the most numerous being the T2 tanker series, with about 490 built between 1942 and the end of 1945.

Problems Edit

Hull cracks Edit

Early Liberty ships suffered hull and deck cracks, and a few were lost due to such structural defects. During World War II there were nearly 1,500 instances of significant brittle fractures. Twelve ships, including three of the 2,710 Liberties built, broke in half without warning, including SS John P. Gaines, [20] [21] which sank on 24 November 1943 with the loss of 10 lives. Suspicion fell on the shipyards, which had often used inexperienced workers and new welding techniques to produce large numbers of ships in great haste.

The Ministry of War Transport borrowed the British-built Empire Duke for testing purposes. [22] Constance Tipper of Cambridge University demonstrated that the fractures did not start in the welds, but were due to low temperature embrittlement of the steel used [23] the same steel used in riveted construction did not have this problem. She discovered that the ships in the North Atlantic were exposed to temperatures that could fall below a critical point at which the steel changed from being ductile to becoming brittle, allowing cracks to start easily. [24] The predominantly welded hull construction allowed small cracks to propagate unimpeded, unlike in a hull made of separate plates riveted together. One common type of crack nucleated at the square corner of a hatch which coincided with a welded seam, both the corner and the weld acting as stress concentrators. Furthermore, the ships were frequently grossly overloaded, increasing stresses, and some of the problems occurred during or after severe storms at sea that would have placed any ship at risk. Minor revisions to the hatches and various reinforcements were applied to the Liberty ships to arrest the cracking problem. The successor Victory ship used the same steel, with improved design to reduce potential fatigue.

Use as troop ships Edit

In September 1943 strategic plans and shortage of more suitable hulls required that Liberty ships be pressed into emergency use as troop transports with about 225 eventually converted for this purpose. [25] The first general conversions were hastily undertaken by the War Shipping Administration (WSA) so that the ships could join convoys on the way to North Africa for Operation Torch. [4] Even earlier the Southwest Pacific Area command's U.S. Army Services of Supply had converted at least one, William Ellery Channing, in Australia into an assault troop carrier with landing craft (LCIs and LCVs) and troops with the ship being reconverted for cargo after the Navy was given exclusive responsibility for amphibious assault operations. [26] Others in the Southwest Pacific were turned into makeshift troop transports for New Guinea operations by installing field kitchens on deck, latrines aft between #4 and #5 hatches flushed by hoses attached to fire hydrants and about 900 troops sleeping on deck or in 'tween deck spaces. [27] While most of the Liberties converted were intended to carry no more than 550 troops, thirty-three were converted to transport 1,600 on shorter voyages from mainland U.S. ports to Alaska, Hawaii and the Caribbean. [28]

The issue of hull cracks caused concern with the United States Coast Guard, which recommended that Liberty ships be withdrawn from troop carrying in February 1944 although military commitments required their continued use. [4] The more direct problem was the general unsuitability of the ships as troop transports, particularly with the hasty conversions in 1943, that generated considerable complaints regarding poor mess, food and water storage, sanitation, heating / ventilation and a lack of medical facilities. [4] After the Allied victory in North Africa, about 250 Libertys were engaged in transporting prisoners of war to the United States. [28] By November 1943 the Army's Chief of Transportation, Maj. Gen. Charles P. Gross, and WSA, whose agents operated the ships, reached agreement on improvements, but operational requirements forced an increase of the maximum number of troops transported in a Liberty from 350 to 500. [4] The increase in production of more suitable vessels did allow for returning the hastily converted Liberty ships to cargo-only operations by May 1944. [4] Despite complaints, reservations, Navy requesting its personnel not travel aboard Liberty troopers and even Senate comment, the military necessities required use of the ships. The number of troops was increased to 550 on 200 Liberty ships for redeployment to the Pacific. The need for the troopship conversions persisted into the immediate postwar period in order to return troops from overseas as quickly as possible. [4]

Use in battle Edit

On 27 September 1942 the SS Stephen Hopkins was the first (and only) US merchant ship to sink a German surface combatant during the war. Ordered to stop, Stephen Hopkins refused to surrender, so the heavily armed German commerce raider Stier and her tender Tannenfels with one machine gun opened fire. Although greatly outgunned, the crew of Stephen Hopkins fought back, replacing the Armed Guard crew of the ship's lone 4-inch (100 mm) gun with volunteers as they fell. The fight was short, and both ships were wrecks. [29]

On 10 March 1943 SS Lawton B. Evans became the only ship ever to survive an attack by the German submarine U-221. [30] The following year from 22 to 30 January 1944, Lawton B. Evans was involved in the Battle of Anzio in Italy. It was under repeated bombardment from shore batteries and aircraft throughout an eight-day period. It endured a prolonged barrage of shrapnel, machine-gun fire and bombs. The gun crew fought back with shellfire and shot down five German planes, contributing to the success of the landing operations. [31]

After the war Edit

More than 2,400 Liberty ships survived the war. Of these, 835 made up the postwar cargo fleet. Greek entrepreneurs bought 526 ships and Italians bought 98. Shipping magnates including John Fredriksen, [32] John Theodoracopoulos, [33] Aristotle Onassis, [34] Stavros Niarchos, [34] Stavros George Livanos, the Goulandris brothers, [34] and the Andreadis, Tsavliris, Achille Lauro, Grimaldi and Bottiglieri families were known to have started their fleets by buying Liberty ships. Andrea Corrado, the dominant Italian shipping magnate at the time, and leader of the Italian shipping delegation, rebuilt his fleet under the programme. Weyerhaeuser operated a fleet of six Liberty Ships (which were later extensively refurbished and modernized) carrying lumber, newsprint, and general cargo for years after the end of the war.

The term "Liberty-size cargo" for 10,000 long tons (10,200 t) may still be used in the shipping business. [ citation needed ]

Some Liberty ships were lost after the war to naval mines that were inadequately cleared. Pierre Gibault was scrapped after hitting a mine in a previously cleared area off the Greek island of Kythira in June 1945, [35] and the same month saw Colin P. Kelly Jnr take mortal damage from a mine hit off the Belgian port of Ostend. [36] In August 1945, William J. Palmer was carrying horses from New York to Trieste when she rolled over and sank 15 minutes after hitting a mine a few miles from destination. All crew members, and six horses were saved. [37] Nathaniel Bacon ran into a minefield off Civitavecchia, Italy in December 1945, caught fire, was beached, and broke in two the larger section was welded onto another Liberty half hull to make a new ship 30 feet longer, named Boccadasse. [38]

As late as December 1947, Robert Dale Owen, renamed Kalliopi and sailing under the Greek flag, broke in three and sank in the northern Adriatic Sea after hitting a mine. [39] Other Liberty ships lost postwar to mines include John Woolman, Calvin Coolidge, Cyrus Adler, and Lord Delaware. [40]

On December 21, 1952, the SS Quartette, a 422-foot-long (129 m) liberty ship weighing 7,198 tons, struck the eastern reef of the Pearl and Hermes atoll at a speed of 10.5 kn (19 km/h 12 mph). The ship was driven further onto the reef by rough waves and 35 mph (56 km/h) winds, which collapsed the forward bow and damaged two forward holds. [41] The crew was evacuated by the SS Frontenac Victory the following day. The salvage tug Ono arrived on December 25 to attempt to tow the ship clear, but persistent stormy weather forced a delay of the rescue attempt. On January 3, before another rescue attempt could be made, the ship's anchors tore loose and the Quartette was blown onto the reef. It was deemed a total loss. Several weeks later, it snapped in half at the keel and the two pieces sank. [42] The wreck site now serves as an artificial reef which provides a habitat for many fish species. [43]

In 1953, the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), began storing surplus grain in Liberty ships located in the Hudson River, James River, Olympia, and Astoria National Defense Reserve Fleet's. In 1955, 22 ships in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet were withdrawn to be loaded with grain and were then transferred to the Olympia Fleet. In 1956, four ships were withdrawn from the Wilmington Fleet and transferred, loaded with grain, to the Hudson River Fleet. [44]

Between 1955 and 1959, 16 former Liberty ships were repurchased by the United States Navy and converted to the Guardian-class radar picket ships for the Atlantic and Pacific Barrier.

In the 1960s, three Liberty ships and two Victory ships were reactivated and converted to technical research ships with the hull classification symbol AGTR (auxiliary, technical research) and used to gather electronic intelligence and for radar picket duties by the United States Navy. The Liberty ships SS Samuel R. Aitken became USS Oxford, SS Robert W. Hart became USS Georgetown, SS J. Howland Gardner became USS Jamestown with the Victory ships being SS Iran Victory which became USS Belmont and SS Simmons Victory becoming USS Liberty. [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] All of these ships were decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register in 1969 and 1970.

USS Liberty was a Belmont-class technical research ship (electronic spy ship) that was attacked by Israel Defense Forces during the 1967 Six-Day War. She was built and served in World War II as SS Simmons Victory, as a Victory cargo ship.

From 1946 to 1963, the Pacific Ready Reserve Fleet – Columbia River Group, retained as many as 500 ships. [50]

In 1946, Liberty ships were mothballed in the Hudson River Reserve Fleet near Tarrytown, New York. At its peak in 1965, 189 hulls were stored there. The last two were sold for scrap to Spain in 1971 and the reserve permanently shut down. [51] [52]

Only two operational Liberty ships, SS John W. Brown and SS Jeremiah O'Brien, remain. John W. Brown has had a long career as a school ship and many internal modifications, while Jeremiah O'Brien remains largely in her original condition. Both are museum ships that still put out to sea regularly. In 1994, Jeremiah O'Brien steamed from San Francisco to England and France for the 50th anniversary of D-Day, the only large ship from the original Operation Overlord fleet to participate in the anniversary. In 2008, SS Arthur M. Huddell, a ship converted in 1944 into a pipe transport to support Operation Pluto, [53] was transferred to Greece and converted to a floating museum dedicated to the history of the Greek merchant marine [54] although missing major components were restored this ship is no longer operational.

Liberty ships continue to serve in a "less than whole" function many decades after their launching. In Portland, Oregon, the hulls of Richard Henry Dana and Jane Addams serve as the basis of floating docks. [55] SS Albert M. Boe survives as the Star of Kodiak, a landlocked cannery, in Kodiak Harbor at 57°47′12″N 152°24′18″W  /  57.78667°N 152.40500°W  / 57.78667 -152.40500 .

SS Charles H. Cugle was converted into MH-1A (otherwise known as USS Sturgis). MH-1A was a floating nuclear power plant and the first ever built. MH-1A was used to generate electricity at the Panama Canal Zone from 1968 to 1975. She was also used as a fresh water generating plant. She is anchored in the James River Reserve Fleet. [56]

Fifty-eight Liberty ships were lengthened by 70 feet (21 m) starting in 1958. [57] This gave the ships an additional 640 long tons (650 t) of carrying capacity at a small additional cost. [57] [ citation needed ] The bridges of most of these were also enclosed in the mid-1960s in accordance with a design by naval architect Ion Livas.

In the 1950s, the Maritime Administration instituted the Liberty Ship Conversion and Engine Improvement Program, which had a goal to increase the speed of Liberty ships to 15 knots (28 km/h 17 mph), making them competitive with more modern designs, as well as gaining experience with alternate propulsion systems. Four ships were converted in the $11 million program. [58] SS Benjamin Chew had its existing condensers modified and a new superheater and geared turbine installed to give the ship 6,000 shp, up from 2,500. SS Thomas Nelson had its bow lengthened, diesel engines installed in place of the original steam engine, and movable cranes outfitted in place of the original cargo handling gear. The GTS (Gas Turbine Ship) John Sergeant had its bow extended, and its steam engine replaced with a General Electric gas turbine of 6,600 shp, connected to a reversible pitch propeller via reduction gearing. John Sergeant was considered overall to be a success, but problems with the reversible pitch propeller ended its trial after three years. GTS William Patterson had its bow extended and its steam engine replaced with 6 General Electric GE-14 free-piston gas generators, connected to two reversible turbines and capable of 6,000 shp total. William Patterson was considered to be a failure as reliability was poor and the scalability of the design was poor. [59] [60] All four vessels were fueled with Bunker C fuel oil, though John Sergeant required a quality of fuel available at limited ports and also required further treatment to reduce contaminants. [61] Three were scrapped in 1971 or 1972 and the diesel-equipped Thomas Nelson was scrapped in 1981.

Ship - History


Contents encyclopedia Spacecraft:

  • Seagoing merchant vessel Egypt
  • Warship Egypt
  • Ship Aegean (Crete)
  • Phoenician merchant ship
  • Phoenician warship
  • Assyro-Phoenician merchant ship
  • Assyro-Phoenician ship
  • Greek BIREME
  • Greek merchant ship
  • Roman BIREME
  • Roman trireme (Trier)
  • Rome commercial ship
  • Roman pentera (pentekotera)
  • Roman Galley
  • The vessel is Etruscan
  • Gokshtadsky ship (drakar)
  • Norman shnekker
  • Norman Knorre
  • Boat Conqueror
  • Russian combat lodya (Boat)
  • Nordic dromon
  • Genoa trading ship
  • merchant ship
  • Ship Richard III
  • Hanseatic kogg
  • Danish warship
  • French merchant ship
  • The ancient Chinese junk
  • Mediterranean ship
  • Venice freighter
  • Commercial vessel Nordic

Sometimes rightly say that our planet would be more correct to call Earth, and Ocean.

Because the water is covered with more than two-thirds of its surface.

Not surprisingly, the people in ancient times tried to find a way to overcome the water barrier, and then spaces. Scientists believe that the history of shipbuilding and navigation, has about 8 thousand years. This is the age attribute prow, found in the Gulf in February-of-Forth (Scotland).

An interesting finding was made in Germany during the excavations of prehistoric people stop mid Stone Age (13-12 thousand BC. E.). This well-preserved paddle, whose age is estimated at nine thousand years.

From an ordinary raft rowing up to the first vessels passed millennium. Ancient monuments of Babylon, Assyria, Egypt, China and the Pacific show that the age of the ship began about 5 thousand years ago, and over 3 thousand BC. There the court, moving through the oars and sails. Mediterranean Sea through the exceptionally favorable climatic conditions has been the cradle of European civilization.

Rapidly developed and strengthened trade ties, and that ships were needed, because the relationship between the developed countries the most beneficial and convenient for a maritime routes.

Phoenicians, Egyptians and Babylonians were the military fleet. It was intended both to protect its shipping from pirates, and for the war at sea.

Over time, as traders, as well as warships continuously improved by acquiring new maneuvering and fighting qualities. Increased in their displacement.

Narrow and long warships is the complete opposite of awkward trading vessels. They also had a double engine: oars and sail. Each warship was in the bow of the ram. Initially, that was easier to row, making low side. But at the same number of oars could arrange a limited number of oarsmen, and the speed was low. It began to increase over time to build ships with two, three, then four or five rows of oars.

Tens and hundreds of oarsmen muscular power to propel BIREME, trireme, kvantiremy and pentery. Stories are known to the court and a large number of tiers oars.

The invention of the sail is much improved maneuverability of ships and their ability to cover great distances. However, the first-rigged at first consisted of direct reykovogo sail that can be used only when passing wind.

It took a long time that people had invented the sail, which allowed the ship to move against the wind.

Latin and oblique gafelny Parusa marked the beginning of a new trend: instead of one uncomfortable to handle the sails put a few smaller, more convenient in the management of the ship.

Ancient ships were so good and rational, and that today in many parts of the world are building the court is almost the same design, as well as thousands of years ago.

Appearance of the ancient vessels and their expected sizes carefully preserved for individual sources (drawings, prints, paintings, bas-reliefs, frescoes, models) were reconstructed by modern researchers.

Authors <. >shows the entire evolution of the ship from the ancient to the present days.


Ships are generally larger than boats, but there is no universally accepted distinction between the two. Ships generally can remain at sea for longer periods of time than boats. [3] A legal definition of ship from Indian case law is a vessel that carries goods by sea. [4] A common notion is that a ship can carry a boat, but not vice versa. [5] A US Navy rule of thumb is that ships heel towards the outside of a sharp turn, whereas boats heel towards the inside [6] because of the relative location of the center of mass versus the center of buoyancy. [7] [8] American and British 19th century maritime law distinguished "vessels" from other craft ships and boats fall in one legal category, whereas open boats and rafts are not considered vessels. [9]

In the Age of Sail, a full-rigged ship was a sailing vessel with at least three square-rigged masts and a full bowsprit other types of vessel were also defined by their sailplan, e.g. barque, brigantine, etc. [10]

A number of large vessels are usually referred to as boats. Submarines are a prime example. [11] Other types of large vessel which are traditionally called boats are Great Lakes freighters, riverboats, and ferryboats. [9] Though large enough to carry their own boats and heavy cargoes, these vessels are designed for operation on inland or protected coastal waters.

In most maritime traditions ships have individual names, and modern ships may belong to a ship class often named after its first ship.

Pronouns Edit

In the northern parts of Europe and America a ship is traditionally referred to with a female grammatical gender, represented in English with the pronoun "she", even if named after a man. This is not universal usage and some English language journalistic style guides advise using "it" as referring to ships with female pronouns can be seen as offensive and outdated. [ citation needed ] [12] [13] In many documents the ship name is introduced with a ship prefix being an abbreviation of the ship class, for example "MS" (motor ship) or "SV" (sailing vessel), making it easier to distinguish a ship name from other individual names in a text.

Prehistory and antiquity Edit

Asian developments Edit

The first sea-going sailing ships were developed by the Austronesian peoples from what is now Taiwan. Their invention of catamarans, outriggers, and crab claw sails enabled their ships to sail for vast distances in open ocean. It led to the Austronesian Expansion at around 3000 to 1500 BC. From Taiwan, they rapidly colonized the islands of Maritime Southeast Asia, then sailed further onwards to Micronesia, Island Melanesia, Polynesia, and Madagascar, eventually colonizing a territory spanning half the globe. [14] [15] [16]

Austronesian rigs were distinctive in that they had spars supporting both the upper and lower edges of the sails (and sometimes in between), in contrast to western rigs which only had a spar on the upper edge. [14] [15] [16] The sails were also made from woven leaves, usually from pandan plants. [17] [18] These were complemented by paddlers, who usually positioned themselves on platforms on the outriggers in the larger boats. [15] [19] Austronesian ships ranged in complexity from simple dugout canoes with outriggers or lashed together to large edge-pegged plank-built boats built around a keel made from a dugout canoe. Their designs were unique, evolving from ancient rafts to the characteristic double-hulled, single-outrigger, and double-outrigger designs of Austronesian ships. [16] [19]

Early Austronesian sailors influenced the development of sailing technologies in Sri Lanka and Southern India through the Austronesian maritime trade network of the Indian Ocean, the precursor to the spice trade route and the maritime silk road, which was established at around 1500 BC. [20] Some scholars believe that the triangular Austronesian crab claw sail may have influenced the development of the lateen sail in western ships due to early contact. [16] The junk rigs of Chinese ships is also believed to be originally Javanese in origin. [21] [22] [23]

In the 1st century AD, the people from Nusantara archipelago already made large ships over 50 m long and stood out 4–7 m out of the water. They could carry 700-1000 people and 260 ton cargo. These ships known as kunlun bo or k'unlun po (崑崙舶, lit. "ship of the Kunlun people") by the Chinese and kolandiaphonta by the Greeks. It has 4-7 masts and able to sail against the wind due to the usage of tanja sails. These ships reaching as far as Ghana. [24]

In China, miniature models of ships that feature steering oars have been dated to the Warring States period (c. 475–221 BC). [25] By the Han dynasty, a well kept naval fleet was an integral part of the military. Sternpost-mounted rudders started to appear on Chinese ship models starting in the 1st century AD. [25] However, these early Chinese ships were fluvial (riverine), and were not seaworthy. [26] [27] The Chinese only acquired sea-going ship technologies in the 10th century AD Song Dynasty after contact with Southeast Asian djong trading ships, leading to the development of the junks. [21] [22] [23]

Mediterranean developments Edit

In 3000 BC, Ancient Egyptians learned how to assemble wooden planks into a hull. [28] They used woven straps to lash the planks together, [28] and reeds or grass stuffed between the planks helped to seal the seams. [28] [note 1] The Greek historian and geographer Agatharchides had documented ship-faring among the early Egyptians: "During the prosperous period of the Old Kingdom, between the 30th and 25th centuries BC, the river-routes were kept in order, and Egyptian ships sailed the Red Sea as far as the myrrh-country." [29] Sneferu's ancient cedar wood ship Praise of the Two Lands is the first reference recorded (2613 BC) to a ship being referred to by name. [30]

The ancient Egyptians were perfectly at ease building sailboats. A remarkable example of their shipbuilding skills was the Khufu ship, a vessel 143 feet (44 m) in length entombed at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza around 2500 BC and found intact in 1954.

The oldest discovered sea faring hulled boat is the Late Bronze Age Uluburun shipwreck off the coast of Turkey, dating back to 1300 BC. [31]

By 1200 B.C., the Phoenicians were building large merchant ships. In world maritime history, declares Richard Woodman, they are recognized as "the first true seafarers, founding the art of pilotage, cabotage, and navigation" and the architects of "the first true ship, built of planks, capable of carrying a deadweight cargo and being sailed and steered." [32]

14th through the 18th centuries Edit

Asian developments Edit

At this time, ships were developing in Asia in much the same way as Europe. [ according to whom? ] Japan used defensive naval techniques in the Mongol invasions of Japan in 1281. It is likely that the Mongols of the time took advantage of both European and Asian shipbuilding techniques. [ according to whom? ] During the 15th century, China's Ming dynasty assembled one of the largest and most powerful naval fleets in the world for the diplomatic and power projection voyages of Zheng He. Elsewhere in Japan in the 15th century, one of the world's first iron-clads, "Tekkōsen" (鉄甲船), literally meaning "iron ships", [33] was also developed. In Japan, during the Sengoku era from the fifteenth to 17th century, the great struggle for feudal supremacy was fought, in part, by coastal fleets of several hundred boats, including the atakebune. In Korea, in the early 15th century during the Joseon era, "Geobukseon"(거북선), was developed. The "turtle ship", as it was called is recognized as the first armored ship in the world.

European developments Edit

Until the Renaissance, navigational technology remained comparatively primitive compared to Austronesian cultures. [ citation needed ] This absence of technology did not prevent some civilizations from becoming sea powers. Examples include the maritime republics of Genoa and Venice, Hanseatic League, and the Byzantine navy. The Vikings used their knarrs to explore North America, trade in the Baltic Sea and plunder many of the coastal regions of Western Europe.

Towards the end of the 14th century, ships like the carrack began to develop towers on the bow and stern. These towers decreased the vessel's stability, and in the 15th century, the caravel, designed by the Portuguese, based on the Arabic qarib which could sail closer to the wind, became more widely used. The towers were gradually replaced by the forecastle and sterncastle, as in the carrack Santa María of Christopher Columbus. This increased freeboard allowed another innovation: the freeing port, and the artillery associated with it.

The carrack and then the caravel were developed in Portugal. After Columbus, European exploration rapidly accelerated, and many new trade routes were established. [34] In 1498, by reaching India, Vasco da Gama proved that access to the Indian Ocean from the Atlantic was possible. These explorations in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans were soon followed by France, England and the Netherlands, who explored the Portuguese and Spanish trade routes into the Pacific Ocean, reaching Australia in 1606 and New Zealand in 1642. [35]

Specialization and modernization Edit

Parallel to the development of warships, ships in service of marine fishery and trade also developed in the period between antiquity and the Renaissance.

Maritime trade was driven by the development of shipping companies with significant financial resources. Canal barges, towed by draft animals on an adjacent towpath, contended with the railway up to and past the early days of the industrial revolution. Flat-bottomed and flexible scow boats also became widely used for transporting small cargoes. Mercantile trade went hand-in-hand with exploration, self-financed by the commercial benefits of exploration.

During the first half of the 18th century, the French Navy began to develop a new type of vessel known as a ship of the line, featuring seventy-four guns. This type of ship became the backbone of all European fighting fleets. These ships were 56 metres (184 ft) long and their construction required 2,800 oak trees and 40 kilometres (25 mi) of rope they carried a crew of about 800 sailors and soldiers.

During the 19th century the Royal Navy enforced a ban on the slave trade, acted to suppress piracy, and continued to map the world. A clipper was a very fast sailing ship of the 19th century. The clipper routes fell into commercial disuse with the introduction of steam ships with better fuel efficiency, and the opening of the Suez and Panama Canals.

Ship designs stayed fairly unchanged until the late 19th century. The industrial revolution, new mechanical methods of propulsion, and the ability to construct ships from metal triggered an explosion in ship design. Factors including the quest for more efficient ships, the end of long running and wasteful maritime conflicts, and the increased financial capacity of industrial powers created an avalanche of more specialized boats and ships. Ships built for entirely new functions, such as firefighting, rescue, and research, also began to appear.

21st century Edit

In 2019, the world's fleet included 51,684 commercial vessels with gross tonnage of more than 1,000 tons, totaling 1.96 billion tons. [37] Such ships carried 11 billion tons of cargo in 2018, a sum that grew by 2.7% over the previous year. [38] In terms of tonnage, 29% of ships were tankers, 43% are bulk carriers, 13% container ships and 15% were other types. [39]

In 2002, there were 1,240 warships operating in the world, not counting small vessels such as patrol boats. The United States accounted for 3 million tons worth of these vessels, Russia 1.35 million tons, the United Kingdom 504,660 tons and China 402,830 tons. The 20th century saw many naval engagements during the two world wars, the Cold War, and the rise to power of naval forces of the two blocs. The world's major powers have recently used their naval power in cases such as the United Kingdom in the Falkland Islands and the United States in Iraq.

The size of the world's fishing fleet is more difficult to estimate. The largest of these are counted as commercial vessels, but the smallest are legion. Fishing vessels can be found in most seaside villages in the world. As of 2004, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimated 4 million fishing vessels were operating worldwide. [40] The same study estimated that the world's 29 million fishermen [41] caught 85,800,000 tonnes (84,400,000 long tons 94,600,000 short tons) of fish and shellfish that year. [42]

Because ships are constructed using the principles of naval architecture that require same structural components, their classification is based on their function such as that suggested by Paulet and Presles, [43] which requires modification of the components. The categories accepted in general by naval architects are: [44]

    – Multihulls including wave piercers, small-waterplane-area twin hull (SWATH), surface effect ships and hovercraft, hydrofoil, wing in ground effect craft (WIG). vessels – Platform supply vessel, pipe layers, accommodation and cranebarges, non and semi-submersible drilling rigs, production platforms, floating production storage and offloading units.
    work craft
  • Dry cargo ships – tramp freighters, bulk carriers, cargo liners, container vessels, barge carriers, Ro-Ro ships, refrigerated cargo ships, timber carriers, livestock & light vehicle carriers.
  • Liquid cargo ships – Oil tankers, liquefied gas carriers, chemical carriers.
  • Passenger vessels
  • Recreational boats and craft – rowed, masted and motorised craft
  • Special-purpose vessels – weather and research vessels, deep sea survey vessels, and icebreakers.
  • Submersibles – industrial exploration, scientific research, tourist and hydrographic survey. and other surface combatants – aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates, corvettes, minesweepers, etc.

Some of these are discussed in the following sections.

Inland vessels Edit

Freshwater shipping may occur on lakes, rivers and canals. Ships designed for those venues may be specially adapted to the widths and depths of specific waterways. Examples of freshwater waterways that are navigable in part by large vessels include the Danube, Mississippi, Rhine, Yangtze and Amazon Rivers, and the Great Lakes.

Great Lakes Edit

Lake freighters, also called lakers, are cargo vessels that ply the Great Lakes. The most well-known is SS Edmund Fitzgerald, the latest major vessel to be wrecked on the Lakes. These vessels are traditionally called boats, not ships. Visiting ocean-going vessels are called "salties". Because of their additional beam, very large salties are never seen inland of the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Because the smallest of the Soo Locks is larger than any Seaway lock, salties that can pass through the Seaway may travel anywhere in the Great Lakes. Because of their deeper draft, salties may accept partial loads on the Great Lakes, "topping off" when they have exited the Seaway. Similarly, the largest lakers are confined to the Upper Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie) because they are too large to use the Seaway locks, beginning at the Welland Canal that bypasses the Niagara River.

Since the freshwater lakes are less corrosive to ships than the salt water of the oceans, lakers tend to last much longer than ocean freighters. Lakers older than 50 years are not unusual, and as of 2005, all were over 20 years of age. [45]

SS St. Marys Challenger, built in 1906 as William P Snyder, was the oldest laker still working on the Lakes until its conversion into a barge starting in 2013. Similarly, E.M. Ford, built in 1898 as Presque Isle, was sailing the lakes 98 years later in 1996. As of 2007 E.M. Ford was still afloat as a stationary transfer vessel at a riverside cement silo in Saginaw, Michigan.

Merchant ship Edit

Merchant ships are ships used for commercial purposes and can be divided into four broad categories: fishing, cargo ships, passenger ships, and special-purpose ships. [46] The UNCTAD review of maritime transport categorizes ships as: oil tankers, bulk (and combination) carriers, general cargo ships, container ships, and "other ships", which includes "liquefied petroleum gas carriers, liquefied natural gas carriers, parcel (chemical) tankers, specialized tankers, reefers, offshore supply, tugs, dredgers, cruise, ferries, other non-cargo". General cargo ships include "multi-purpose and project vessels and roll-on/roll-off cargo". [2]

Modern commercial vessels are typically powered by a single propeller driven by a diesel or, less usually, gas turbine engine., [47] but until the mid-19th century they were predominantly square sail rigged. The fastest vessels may use pump-jet engines. [ citation needed ] Most commercial vessels have full hull-forms to maximize cargo capacity. [ citation needed ] Hulls are usually made of steel, although aluminum can be used on faster craft, and fiberglass on the smallest service vessels. [ citation needed ] Commercial vessels generally have a crew headed by a sea captain, with deck officers and engine officers on larger vessels. Special-purpose vessels often have specialized crew if necessary, for example scientists aboard research vessels.

Fishing boats are generally small, often little more than 30 meters (98 ft) but up to 100 metres (330 ft) for a large tuna or whaling ship. Aboard a fish processing vessel, the catch can be made ready for market and sold more quickly once the ship makes port. Special purpose vessels have special gear. For example, trawlers have winches and arms, stern-trawlers have a rear ramp, and tuna seiners have skiffs. In 2004, 85,800,000 tonnes (84,400,000 long tons 94,600,000 short tons) of fish were caught in the marine capture fishery. [48] Anchoveta represented the largest single catch at 10,700,000 tonnes (10,500,000 long tons 11,800,000 short tons). [48] That year, the top ten marine capture species also included Alaska pollock, Blue whiting, Skipjack tuna, Atlantic herring, Chub mackerel, Japanese anchovy, Chilean jack mackerel, Largehead hairtail, and Yellowfin tuna. [48] Other species including salmon, shrimp, lobster, clams, squid and crab, are also commercially fished. Modern commercial fishermen use many methods. One is fishing by nets, such as purse seine, beach seine, lift nets, gillnets, or entangling nets. Another is trawling, including bottom trawl. Hooks and lines are used in methods like long-line fishing and hand-line fishing. Another method is the use of fishing trap.

Cargo ships transport dry and liquid cargo. Dry cargo can be transported in bulk by bulk carriers, packed directly onto a general cargo ship in break-bulk, packed in intermodal containers as aboard a container ship, or driven aboard as in roll-on roll-off ships. Liquid cargo is generally carried in bulk aboard tankers, such as oil tankers which may include both crude and finished products of oil, chemical tankers which may also carry vegetable oils other than chemicals and gas carriers, although smaller shipments may be carried on container ships in tank containers. [49]

Passenger ships range in size from small river ferries to very large cruise ships. This type of vessel includes ferries, which move passengers and vehicles on short trips ocean liners, which carry passengers from one place to another and cruise ships, which carry passengers on voyages undertaken for pleasure, visiting several places and with leisure activities on board, often returning them to the port of embarkation. Riverboats and inland ferries are specially designed to carry passengers, cargo, or both in the challenging river environment. Rivers present special hazards to vessels. They usually have varying water flows that alternately lead to high speed water flows or protruding rock hazards. Changing siltation patterns may cause the sudden appearance of shoal waters, and often floating or sunken logs and trees (called snags) can endanger the hulls and propulsion of riverboats. Riverboats are generally of shallow draft, being broad of beam and rather square in plan, with a low freeboard and high topsides. Riverboats can survive with this type of configuration as they do not have to withstand the high winds or large waves that are seen on large lakes, seas, or oceans.

Fishing vessels are a subset of commercial vessels, but generally small in size and often subject to different regulations and classification. They can be categorized by several criteria: architecture, the type of fish they catch, the fishing method used, geographical origin, and technical features such as rigging. As of 2004, the world's fishing fleet consisted of some 4 million vessels. [40] Of these, 1.3 million were decked vessels with enclosed areas and the rest were open vessels. [40] Most decked vessels were mechanized, but two-thirds of the open vessels were traditional craft propelled by sails and oars. [40] More than 60% of all existing large fishing vessels [note 2] were built in Japan, Peru, the Russian Federation, Spain or the United States of America. [50]

Special purpose vessels Edit

A weather ship was a ship stationed in the ocean as a platform for surface and upper air meteorological observations for use in marine weather forecasting. Surface weather observations were taken hourly, and four radiosonde releases occurred daily. [51] It was also meant to aid in search and rescue operations and to support transatlantic flights. [51] [52] Proposed as early as 1927 by the aviation community, [53] the establishment of weather ships proved to be so useful during World War II that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) established a global network of weather ships in 1948, with 13 to be supplied by the United States. [52] This number was eventually negotiated down to nine. [54]

The weather ship crews were normally at sea for three weeks at a time, returning to port for 10-day stretches. [51] Weather ship observations proved to be helpful in wind and wave studies, as they did not avoid weather systems like other ships tended to for safety reasons. [55] They were also helpful in monitoring storms at sea, such as tropical cyclones. [56] The removal of a weather ship became a negative factor in forecasts leading up to the Great Storm of 1987. [57] Beginning in the 1970s, their role became largely superseded by weather buoys due to the ships' significant cost. [58] The agreement of the use of weather ships by the international community ended in 1990. The last weather ship was Polarfront, known as weather station M ("Mike"), which was put out of operation on 1 January 2010. Weather observations from ships continue from a fleet of voluntary merchant vessels in routine commercial operation.

Naval vessels Edit

Naval vessels are those used by a navy for military purposes. There have been many types of naval vessel. Modern naval vessels can be broken down into three categories: surface warships, submarines, and auxiliary ships.

Modern warships are generally divided into seven main categories: aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, frigates, corvettes, submarines and amphibious assault ships. The distinction between cruisers, destroyers, frigates, and corvettes is not rigorous the same vessel may be described differently in different navies. Battleships were used during the Second World War and occasionally since then (the last battleships were removed from the U.S. Naval Vessel Register in March 2006), but were made obsolete by the use of carrier-borne aircraft and guided missiles. [59]

Most military submarines are either attack submarines or ballistic missile submarines. Until the end of World War II the primary role of the diesel/electric submarine was anti-ship warfare, inserting and removing covert agents and military forces, and intelligence-gathering. With the development of the homing torpedo, better sonar systems, and nuclear propulsion, submarines also became able to effectively hunt each other. The development of submarine-launched nuclear and cruise missiles gave submarines a substantial and long-ranged ability to attack both land and sea targets with a variety of weapons ranging from cluster munitions to nuclear weapons.

Most navies also include many types of support and auxiliary vessel, such as minesweepers, patrol boats, offshore patrol vessels, replenishment ships, and hospital ships which are designated medical treatment facilities. [60]

Fast combat vessels such as cruisers and destroyers usually have fine hulls to maximize speed and maneuverability. [61] They also usually have advanced marine electronics and communication systems, as well as weapons.

Some components exist in vessels of any size and purpose. Every vessel has a hull of sorts. Every vessel has some sort of propulsion, whether it's a pole, an ox, or a nuclear reactor. Most vessels have some sort of steering system. Other characteristics are common, but not as universal, such as compartments, holds, a superstructure, and equipment such as anchors and winches.

Hull Edit

For a ship to float, its weight must be less than that of the water displaced by the ship's hull. [62] There are many types of hulls, from logs lashed together to form a raft to the advanced hulls of America's Cup sailboats. A vessel may have a single hull (called a monohull design), two in the case of catamarans, or three in the case of trimarans. Vessels with more than three hulls are rare, but some experiments have been conducted with designs such as pentamarans. Multiple hulls are generally parallel to each other and connected by rigid arms.

Hulls have several elements. The bow is the foremost part of the hull. Many ships feature a bulbous bow. The keel is at the very bottom of the hull, extending the entire length of the ship. The rear part of the hull is known as the stern, and many hulls have a flat back known as a transom. Common hull appendages include propellers for propulsion, rudders for steering, and stabilizers to quell a ship's rolling motion. Other hull features can be related to the vessel's work, such as fishing gear and sonar domes.

Hulls are subject to various hydrostatic and hydrodynamic constraints. The key hydrostatic constraint is that it must be able to support the entire weight of the boat, and maintain stability even with often unevenly distributed weight. Hydrodynamic constraints include the ability to withstand shock waves, weather collisions and groundings.

Older ships and pleasure craft often have or had wooden hulls. Steel is used for most commercial vessels. Aluminium is frequently used for fast vessels, and composite materials are often found in sailboats and pleasure craft. Some ships have been made with concrete hulls.

Propulsion systems Edit

Propulsion systems for ships fall into three categories: human propulsion, sailing, and mechanical propulsion. Human propulsion includes rowing, which was used even on large galleys. Propulsion by sail generally consists of a sail hoisted on an erect mast, supported by stays and spars and controlled by ropes. Sail systems were the dominant form of propulsion until the 19th century. They are now generally used for recreation and competition, although experimental sail systems, such as the turbosails, rotorsails, and wingsails have been used on larger modern vessels for fuel savings.

Mechanical propulsion systems generally consist of a motor or engine turning a propeller, or less frequently, an impeller or wave propulsion fins. Steam engines were first used for this purpose, but have mostly been replaced by two-stroke or four-stroke diesel engines, outboard motors, and gas turbine engines on faster ships. Nuclear reactors producing steam are used to propel warships and icebreakers, and there have been attempts to utilize them to power commercial vessels (see NS Savannah).

In addition to traditional fixed and controllable pitch propellers there are many specialized variations, such as contra-rotating and nozzle-style propellers. Most vessels have a single propeller, but some large vessels may have up to four propellers supplemented with transverse thrusters for maneuvring at ports. The propeller is connected to the main engine via a propeller shaft and, in case of medium- and high-speed engines, a reduction gearbox. Some modern vessels have a diesel-electric powertrain in which the propeller is turned by an electric motor powered by the ship's generators.

Steering systems Edit

For ships with independent propulsion systems for each side, such as manual oars or some paddles, [note 3] steering systems may not be necessary. In most designs, such as boats propelled by engines or sails, a steering system becomes necessary. The most common is a rudder, a submerged plane located at the rear of the hull. Rudders are rotated to generate a lateral force which turns the boat. Rudders can be rotated by a tiller, manual wheels, or electro-hydraulic systems. Autopilot systems combine mechanical rudders with navigation systems. Ducted propellers are sometimes used for steering.

Some propulsion systems are inherently steering systems. Examples include the outboard motor, the bow thruster, and the Z-drive.

Holds, compartments, and the superstructure Edit

Larger boats and ships generally have multiple decks and compartments. Separate berthings and heads are found on sailboats over about 25 feet (7.6 m). Fishing boats and cargo ships typically have one or more cargo holds. Most larger vessels have an engine room, a galley, and various compartments for work. Tanks are used to store fuel, engine oil, and fresh water. Ballast tanks are equipped to change a ship's trim and modify its stability.

Superstructures are found above the main deck. On sailboats, these are usually very low. On modern cargo ships, they are almost always located near the ship's stern. On passenger ships and warships, the superstructure generally extends far forward.

Equipment Edit

Shipboard equipment varies from ship to ship depending on such factors as the ship's era, design, area of operation, and purpose. Some types of equipment that are widely found include: [ citation needed ]

    can be the home of antennas, navigation lights, radar transponders, fog signals, and similar devices often required by law.
  • Ground tackle comprises the anchor, its chain or cable, and connecting fittings. [63]
  • Cargo equipment such as cranes and cargo booms may be used to load and unload cargo and ship's stores.
  • Safety equipment such as lifeboats, liferafts, and survival suits are carried aboard many vessels for emergency use.

Hydrostatics Edit

Ships float in the water at a level where mass of the displaced water equals the mass of the vessel, such that the downwards force of gravity equals the upward force of buoyancy. As a vessel is lowered into the water its weight remains constant but the corresponding weight of water displaced by its hull increases. If the vessel's mass is evenly distributed throughout, it floats evenly along its length and across its beam (width). A vessel's stability is considered in both this hydrostatic sense as well as a hydrodynamic sense, when subjected to movement, rolling and pitching, and the action of waves and wind. Stability problems can lead to excessive pitching and rolling, and eventually capsizing and sinking. [ citation needed ]

Hydrodynamics Edit

The advance of a vessel through water is resisted by the water. This resistance can be broken down into several components, the main ones being the friction of the water on the hull and wave making resistance. To reduce resistance and therefore increase the speed for a given power, it is necessary to reduce the wetted surface and use submerged hull shapes that produce low amplitude waves. To do so, high-speed vessels are often more slender, with fewer or smaller appendages. The friction of the water is also reduced by regular maintenance of the hull to remove the sea creatures and algae that accumulate there. Antifouling paint is commonly used to assist in this. Advanced designs such as the bulbous bow assist in decreasing wave resistance.

A simple way of considering wave-making resistance is to look at the hull in relation to its wake. At speeds lower than the wave propagation speed, the wave rapidly dissipates to the sides. As the hull approaches the wave propagation speed, however, the wake at the bow begins to build up faster than it can dissipate, and so it grows in amplitude. Since the water is not able to "get out of the way of the hull fast enough", the hull, in essence, has to climb over or push through the bow wave. This results in an exponential increase in resistance with increasing speed.

This hull speed is found by the formula:

where L is the length of the waterline in feet or meters.

When the vessel exceeds a speed/length ratio of 0.94, it starts to outrun most of its bow wave, and the hull actually settles slightly in the water as it is now only supported by two wave peaks. As the vessel exceeds a speed/length ratio of 1.34, the hull speed, the wavelength is now longer than the hull, and the stern is no longer supported by the wake, causing the stern to squat, and the bow rise. The hull is now starting to climb its own bow wave, and resistance begins to increase at a very high rate. While it is possible to drive a displacement hull faster than a speed/length ratio of 1.34, it is prohibitively expensive to do so. Most large vessels operate at speed/length ratios well below that level, at speed/length ratios of under 1.0.

For large projects with adequate funding, hydrodynamic resistance can be tested experimentally in a hull testing pool or using tools of computational fluid dynamics.

Vessels are also subject to ocean surface waves and sea swell as well as effects of wind and weather. These movements can be stressful for passengers and equipment, and must be controlled if possible. The rolling movement can be controlled, to an extent, by ballasting or by devices such as fin stabilizers. Pitching movement is more difficult to limit and can be dangerous if the bow submerges in the waves, a phenomenon called pounding. Sometimes, ships must change course or speed to stop violent rolling or pitching.

Ship - History

Graf Spee
The first major naval campaign of Word War II, took place when the British navy pursued the Graf Sree, a German battlecruiser who was on a mission to attack British merchant vessels. Between September 30 and December 7, 1939 the Graf Spee, under the command of Captain Hans Langsdorff sank nine cargo ships with a total tonnage of 50,089. Not a single crewmen or passenger on any of the sunk vessels was killed.

The British navy correctly deduced that the Graf Sree would next head for the area off of Montevideo to intercept more shipping. A British task force composed of the cruisers Ajax, Achilles and Exeter converged on Graf Spree. On the morning of December 12, 1939 the found the Graf Spee. The Graf Spee opened fire first, damaging the Exeter. All three British troops responded. The British ships responded. In the ensuing battle both the British ships and the Graf Spee were damaged, but the cumulative effect of three British ships damaged the Graf Spee severely. The Graf Spee headed for Montevideo requesting time for repairs. The Uruguayans refused, while the British rushed additional forces toward Montevideo. Captain Langsdorff then decided to scuttle the Graf Spee in Montevideo harbor.

Pearl Harbor

The War between Japan and the United States began at 6:37 in the morning of December 7th. The destroyer Ward, depth charged a Japanese midget submarine outside the entrance to Pearl Harbor. No warning was passed to the commanders of Pearl Harbor. At 7:58 the word went out AIR RAID PEARL Harbor-This is no Drill”
When the Japanese attacked Eight battleships, five cruisers, twenty six destroyers and various other auxiliary ships were in port.
The first ship to be hit was the battleship West Virginia. It took a half dozen bomb and torpedo hits. Quick damage control on the part of a couple of junior officers aboard the West Virginia kept it from capsizing and thus it settled upright, saving the majority of its crew.
The battleship Oklahoma capsized after receiving five torpedo hits. 415 officers and men went down with it.
The battleship Nevada was the only battleship to get under way, but it was hit by five bombs. It was beached at Waipo Point.

At 756 an 1,800 pound bomb exploded in the ammunition magazine of the Arizona. It set off a series of explosions that sunk the ship in a matter of minutes, killing 1,103 of its crew of 1,411.
At 8:04 two torpedo struck the battleship California, it sunk slowly to the bottom.
Both the Battleships Tennessee and Maryland were damaged by bombs but did not sink. The target ship Utah was struck by two torpedoes and it capsized. Finally the battleship Pennsylvania which was in drydock was hit by one 550 pound bomb.

The British navy at the direction of Prime Minister Churchill sent two of there leading battleships the Repulse and the Prince of Wales to the Pacific. The ships were supposed to be accompanied by the carrier Indomitable, but she had run aground at Jamaica. Thus the Repulse and Prince of Wales proceeded from Singapore to intercept the advancing Japanese forces without air support. The Japanese were tracking the force and on December 10 Japanese aircraft based in Indo China(Vietnam) attacked the British ships. A total of 85 Japanese aircraft attacked the two battleships. In a matter of hours both ships were sunk. The Japanese lost four aircraft, the British two of their most powerful ships. 840 officers and men went down with the ships.

On December 29th 1812 The USS Constitution commanded by Captain William Bainbridge, captures the HMS Java.

December 12, 1862- The USS Cairo is sunk by a Confederate mine on the Yazoo River.
On December 16th, 1941 the USS Swordfish operating the in China Sea sank the Japanese freighter the Atsutusan.

December 4th 1943- The USS Sailfish sinks the Japanese Escort Carrier Chuyo off Honshu Japan

December 16th 1943- The German Submarine U-73 is sunk by the US destroyers Trippe and Woolsey

December 19th 1943- The USS Grayback SS-208 sinks the Japanese destryoer Numakaze between Taiwan and Kyushu

December 11th 1944 USS Reid is sunk of Leyte by Kamikaze

December 15th 1944 USS Hawkbill sinks the Japanese Destroyer Momo

Liberty Ship Design Flaws

Many early Liberty ships were affected by deck and hull cracks and indeed several were lost. About 1,200 ships suffered from cracks during the war (about 30% of all Liberty-class ships), and 3 were lost when the ship suddenly split in two. Though the work force was largely untrained in the method of welding ships together, it was not worker error that caused these failures. Rather, the failures were caused by a design oversight.

The cause of the failures was discovered by Constance Tipper, an engineering professor at Cambridge. She found that the grade of steel used to make Liberty ships suffered from embrittlement, in which materials become brittle. Ships operating in the North Atlantic were often exposed to temperatures below a critical temperature, which changed the failure mechanism from ductile to brittle. Because the hulls were welded together, the cracks could propagate across very large distances this would not have been possible in riveted ships.

A crack stress concentrator contributed to many of the failures. Many of the cracks were nucleated at an edge where a weld was positioned next to a hatch the edge of the crack and the weld itself both acted as crack concentrators. Also contributing to failures was heavy overloading of the ships, which increased the stress on the hull. Engineers applied several reinforcements to the ship hulls to arrest crack propagation and initiation problems.

What you will need:

  • 1 litre plastic round bottle of something.
  • Popsicle sticks (lots)
  • Glue gun with glue sticks
  • Blue paper
  • Sharp scissors
  • Pen
  • Printed landscape/seascape/townscape (optional)


  1. Lay our four popsicle sticks and draw a arrow headed line across one side to make the shape of the ship.
  2. Using the sharp scissors, you the parent cut along these lines. Once cut, glue them all together side by side.
  3. Take 10 popsicle sticks and cut a quarter off of each one. Do not discard them, keep them, you will need them for the front of the ship.
  4. Using your glue gun, start gluing the first layer down, overlapping the little pieces that make the front.
  5. With another popsicle stick cut it in three equals this will become the back to the boat. Glue these down, overlapping and taking in turns.
  6. Take two more popsicle sticks and on one of them cut 2 cm off.
  7. Draw out your sails and cut them out. Get your kids to decorate them with maritime themes. Is your ship a pirate ship or a legal ship?!
  8. Glue the sails on to the popsicle sticks.
  9. Put dollops of glue on the bottom of the ship and press your ship sail popsicle sticks into the glue and hold until they dry.
  10. Measure out your ship on the plastic bottle, now add half a centimetre to each side. Draw a rectangle around it and cut it out.
  11. Measure out some blue paper to fit on this plastic cut out part and glue it down.
  12. Before you glue your ship down on to the paper, make sure that the sails aren’t too tall to fit inside the bottle. If they need trimming do so.
  13. Slowly fit your ship into the bottle and ta da you have your very own ship in a bottle!

1) We didn’t attach the ship part to the bottle. This way, it meant we could play with the ship in water. Go on try it on some water, it should float!

2) If you would rather take a short cut, then skip out the popsicle stick ship. Instead why not buy a little figure of a ship and glue it to the bottom of the bottle, adding any sea and background if you wish. Ta, super easy and simple short cut for you to do.

Buried boat

In 1903 Knut Rom, one of Hansen’s neighbors, bought the Oseberg farm. Rom continued to search the property and soon did find something: a wooden fragment measuring only eight inches. It was a small find that heralded something much bigger.

Sixty miles away, in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, Rom approached Professor Gabriel Gustafson of the University Museum of National Antiquities. At first it seemed the veteran archaeologist might dismiss this farmer out of hand— but after Rom presented him with the wooden fragment, Gustafson marveled at the rich, intricate carving. He had no doubt about the fragment’s Viking origins. (Why were archaeologists so excited to find a Viking comb?)

The very next day the professor went to Oseberg and explored the mound to evaluate the site. On August 10, 1903, he informed the Norwegian press that a significant, new Viking burial ship had been found. Despite the fortune teller’s predictions, Knut Rom, not Hansen, turned out to be the beneficiary of the treasure hunt: Rom received 12,000 Norwegian kroner (about $1,400) for the land—a considerable sum of money at the time.

Ship - History

Lowell's Boat Shop
Photo by Jet Lowe, NPS Historic American Engineering Collection (MA,153-42)

Schooner Ernestina
Photo from NPS Maritime Heritage Program collection
By the early 1840s, Essex no longer had its own fishing fleet, but had turned to year-round shipbuilding fostering a symbiotic relationship with the successful fishermen in Gloucester. In other words, when Gloucester had successful fishing runs and needed more boats, Essex prospered by supplying the boats. By 1845, shipbuilding in Essex was firmly established. The town became widely recognized as North America's leading producer of the popular "schooners," which enabled fishermen to sail far offshore and withstand rough seas. These large wooden vessels featured two masts carrying two principal sails supported by booms and gaffs and had one or more triangular head sails rigged to a bowsprit. By the 1850s, 15 Essex shipyards launched more than 50 vessels a year, most of which were built for the Gloucester fleet. A typical Essex shipyard consisted of a plot of land near the water with a few shipways, a shop for yard tools and enough space to store timber. Few shipyards had an on-site office and business was often conducted at the builder's home. Of the 4,000 vessels built in Essex during its 350-year shipbuilding history, only 5 of the fishing schooners exist today. The Schooner Ernestina and the Schooner Adventure remain in Massachusetts.

Boston Naval Yard
Photo from NPS Maritime Heritage Program collection

Watch the video: Οι ελιγμοί του Νήσος Ρόδος που κόβουν την ανάσα!


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