Skip to main content
Select Source:

ship

ship, large craft in which persons and goods may be conveyed on water. In the U.S. Navy the term boat refers to any vessel that is small enough to be hoisted aboard a ship, and ship is used for any larger vessel; all submarines, no matter what size, are designated as boats, and ship-sized vessels are often referred to colloquially as boats (e.g. steamboats).

Seagoing vessels large enough to be called ships were used in ancient times by the Egyptians, Cretans, Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, and Chinese. Ancient ships were propelled by oars or by sails or by both. They were of different types for different functions. Heavy, slow ships with round bottoms were used to transport grain, while slim-keeled ships such as the trireme were used for warfare (see galley). In the Middle Ages Viking ships, propelled by both oars and sails, carried Leif Eriksson to America; their structure is well known from such evidences as the Gokstad ship (unearthed in 1880), which is 80 ft (24.4 m) long, 16 ft 6 in. (5 m) wide, and 6 ft 10 in. (2.1 m) deep.

The introduction of the mariner's compass, the sternpost rudder, and the lateen sail made possible the transoceanic voyages of the Portuguese who rounded Africa and of Columbus and other explorers of the New World, giving new impetus to the building and navigation of ships. Many sturdy and refined types of wooden sailing vessels up to three hundred feet in length were developed. Men-of-war included the ship of the line, the frigate, and the corvette. Differing especially in such details as number and position of masts, with sails either square-rigged or fore-and-aft, ships were differentiated into such types as brig, clipper, and schooner. Building wooden ships became an important industry, especially in Britain and the United States.

The success of Fulton's Clermont on the Hudson River (1807) prepared the way for the superseding of sailing ships by steamships (see steamship), and later in the 19th cent. steel began to replace wood as material for shipbuilding. Steel ships can be made much larger than wooden ships. The steam engine was followed by the steam turbine, which actuated the propeller directly or through gear mechanisms. Both methods of power production underwent many improvements through the years before the diesel engine came (1902–3) into maritime use. In some ships, diesel engines are now used to generate electricity, which is used to power propeller motors. In the 1950s nuclear power was introduced in military vessels and icebreakers; modern nuclear submarines can travel submerged for months at a time (see nuclear energy).

Modern freight ships are equipped with powerful machines for handling cargo; and, although jet transportation led to the demise of the great ocean liners, cruise ships continue to be built, providing the luxuries of the finest hotels. The pivotal vessels of modern warfare are the aircraft carrier and the submarine; other warships important in recent times include the battleship, cruiser, and destroyer.

See H. B. Mason, Encyclopedia of Ships and Shipping (1977); G. Blackburn, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ships, Boats, and Vessels (1982); K. J. Rawson and E. C. Tupper, Basic Ship Theory (1983); A. Kludas, Great Passenger Ships of the World (5 vol., 1986–87); Jane's Fighting Ships (pub. annually since 1897).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"ship." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ship." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 13, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ship

"ship." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ship

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

ship

ship in figurative and allusive phrases, a ship traditionally typifies the fortunes or affairs of a person, or the person themselves in regard to them. A ship is also the emblem of St Anselm, St Nicholas of Myra, and St Ursula, and the 7th-century French abbot St Bertin, whose monastery of Sithiu (Saint-Bertin) in northern France was originally accessible only by water.
do not spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar proverbial saying, early 17th century, in which ship represents a dialectal pronunciation of sheep. The original literal sense was ‘do not allow sheep to die for the lack of a trifling amount (or halfpennyworth) of tar’, tar being used to protect sores and wounds on sheep from flies, but the current sense was standard by the mid 19th century.

The saying is used generally to warn against risking loss or failure through unwillingness to allow relatively trivial expenditure.
Ship money was a tax raised in England in medieval times to provide ships for the navy; originally levied on ports and maritime towns and counties. It was revived by Charles I in 1634 without parliamentary consent and abolished by statute in 1640; the actual term is first recorded in William Prynne's Remonstrance against Shipmoney of 1636.
ship of fools a ship whose passengers represent various types of vice or folly; the expression comes from the title of Sebastian Brant's satirical work Das Narrenschiff (1494), translated into English by Alexander Barclay as ship The shyp of folys of the worlde (1509). In the 20th century, the American writer Katherine Anne Porter (1890–1980) used The Ship of Fools as the title of a novel (1962) depicting a group of passengers (mostly German) on a long voyage in which the ship is a microcosm of contemporary life.
ship of state the state and its affairs, especially when regarded as being subject to adverse or changing circumstances; a ship is taken here as the type of something subject to adverse or changing weather. The phrase (as ship of the state) is first recorded in English in a 1675 translation of Machiavelli's The Prince.
ship of the desert a camel; in his Relation of a Journey (1615), recounting his travels in Turkey and Egypt, the English poet George Sandys wrote, ‘Camels. These are the ships of Arabia, their seas are the deserts.’
ship of the line a sailing warship of the largest size, used in the line of battle; the term is recorded from the early 18th century.
ships that pass in the night people whose acquaintance is necessarily transitory; the phrase comes originally from a poem by Longfellow, ‘The Theologian's Tale: Elizabeth’ (1874).
a sinking ship used with reference to a situation in which people are deserting an organization or enterprise that is failing.
when one's ship comes home a traditional saying, mid 19th century; referring to a future state of prosperity which will exist when a cargo arrives.

See also abandon ship, the face that launched a thousand ships, one hand for oneself and one for the ship, little leaks sink the ship, rats desert a sinking ship, a woman and a ship ever want mending.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"ship." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ship." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 13, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ship

"ship." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved September 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ship

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Ships

366. Ships

See also 399. TRAVEL ; 408. VEHICLES

barratry
Law. an act of fraud by a master or crew at the expense of the owners of a ship or the owners of its cargo. Also spelled barretry. barratrous, adj.
bottomry
the pledging of a ship as security for a loan; if the ship is lost the debt is canceled.
cabotage
the act of navigating or trading along a coast.
demurrage
1. the delay of a ship at mooring beyond the time stipulated for unloading or other purposes.
2. the charge levied for such delay.
flotsam
material floating on the sea, especially debris or goods from ship-wrecks. Cf. jetsam .
jetsam, jetsom
1. part of a ships cargo thrown overboard, as to lighten the load in the event of danger.
2. such cargo when it is washed ashore.
3. anything which is discarded. Cf. flotsam .
lodemanage
Obsolete, the skill or art of the pilot; pilotage.
lodesman
Obsolete, a ships pilot.
loxodrome
a rhumb line or curve on the surface of a sphere intersecting all meridians at the same angle; hence, the course of a ship or aircraft following a constant compass direction. loxodromic, adj.
loxodromics, loxodromy
the art, science, or practice of sailing obliquely across lines of longitude at a constant bearing to them. loxodromic, adj.
naumachia, naumachy
1. a mock sea fight, as in ancient Rome.
2. the place where such fights were conducted.
naupathia
seasickness.
nauropometer
Rare. an apparatus for measuring the inclination of a heeling or listing ship.
nauscopy
the art, sometimes pretended, of being able to sight ships or land at great distances.
pallograph
an instrument for recording the vibrations of a steamship. pallographic, adj.
pharology
the technique or practice of guiding ships by means of signal lights, as in lighthouses.
pilotage
1. the act of piloting.
2. the skill or expertise of a pilot. See also 131. DUES and PAYMENT .
plunderage
1. the embezzling of goods on board ship.
2. the goods embezzled.
pratique
permission given to a ship to do business with a port once quarantine and other regulations have been complied with.
prisage
1. the former privilege of the English monarch to receive two tuns of wine from every ship importing twenty tuns or more.
2. Also called butlerage . a duty of two shillings on every tun imported by foreign merchants.
3. (in England) the Crowns share of merchandise seized lawfully as a prize at sea.
salvage
1. the recovery of a ship or its contents or cargo after damage or sinking.
2. the material recovered and the compensation to those who recover it.
3. the rescue and use of any found or discarded material.
spoliation
the act of seizing neutral ships with government permission in time of war. See also 81. CHURCH ; 391. THEFT .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Ships." -Ologies and -Isms. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Ships." -Ologies and -Isms. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 13, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ships

"Ships." -Ologies and -Isms. . Retrieved September 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ships

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

ship

ship Vessel for conveying passengers and freight by sea. The earliest sea-going ships were probably Egyptian, making voyages to the e coast of Africa in c.1500 bc. In China, extensive sea voyages were being made by ships that carried more than one mast and featured a rudder by c.ad 200, some 1200 years before such ships appeared in Europe. In the Mediterranean region, the galleys of the Greek, Phoenician and Roman navies combined rows of oars with a single square sail, as did the Viking longboats, which were capable of withstanding violent seas. By the 14th and 15th centuries, carracks and galleons were being developed to fulfil the exploration of the New World. Fighting ships of the 17th and 18th centuries included frigates of various designs. Sailing freighters culminated in the great clippers of the late 19th century, some of which had iron hulls. A century or so earlier, the first steamships had been built. They were powered by wood or coal-burning steam engines that drove large paddle wheels, hence the term paddlesteamer. In 1819, the first Atlantic crossing was made by ‘steam-assisted sail’, and this crossing soon became a regular service. By the mid-19th century, steamships, such as Brunel's Great Britain (1844), were driven by propellers or screws. Marine steam turbines developed at the turn of the 19th century, and gradually replaced reciprocating (back-and-forth cranking) steam engines for large vessels, early examples being the ocean liners of the 1900s. Oil, rather than coal, soon became the favoured fuel for large marine engines. Diesel engines developed in the early 1900s, but were considered unreliable and, although less expensive to run, they did not replace steam turbines until the 1970s. Some of the newest military ships and icebreakers are fitted with nuclear engines in which heat from a nuclear reactor raises steam in boilers to drive steam turbines. See also aircraft carrier; boat; submarine

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"ship." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ship." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 13, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ship

"ship." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ship

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

ship

ship / ship/ • n. a vessel larger than a boat for transporting people or goods by sea. ∎  a sailing vessel with a bowsprit and three or more square-rigged masts. ∎  inf. any boat, esp. a racing boat. ∎  a spaceship. ∎  an aircraft. • v. (shipped , ship·ping ) 1. [tr.] (often be shipped) transport (goods or people) on a ship: the wounded soldiers were shipped home. ∎  transport by some other means: the freight would be shipped by rail. ∎  [tr.] send (a package) somewhere via the mail service or a private company: his papers have already been shipped to the University of Kansas. ∎  [tr.] Electr. make (a product) available for purchase. ∎  [intr.] dated embark on a ship: people wishing to get from London to New York ship at Liverpool. ∎  (of a sailor) serve on a ship: Jack, you shipped with the Admiral once, didn't you? 2. [tr.] (of a boat) take in (water) over the side. 3. [tr.] take (oars) from the oarlocks and lay them inside a boat. ∎  fix (something such as a rudder or mast) in its place on a ship. PHRASES: a sinking ship used in various phrases to describe an organization or endeavor that is failing, usually in the context of criticizing someone for leaving it: they have fled like rats from a sinking ship. ship out (of a naval force or one of its members) go to sea from a home port: Bob got sick a week before we shipped out. ship something out send (goods) to a distributor or customer, esp. by ship: spare parts were quickly shipped out. take ship set off on a voyage by ship; embark: finally, he took ship for Boston. when someone's ship comes in when someone's fortune is made.DERIVATIVES: ship·less adj. ship·pa·ble adj.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"ship." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ship." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 13, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ship-2

"ship." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved September 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ship-2

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

ship

ship sb. OE. sċip = OS. skip (Du. schip), skif (G. schiff), ON., Goth skip *skipam, OHG. of unkn. orig.
So ship vb. late OE. sċipian. Hence shipman (arch.) seaman, sailor. OE. sċipman. shipment XIX. shipmoney (hist.) impost for providing ships for the navy. XVII. shipper (-ER1) †seaman OE.; one who ships goods XVIII. ship-shape trim, orderly. XVIII. alt. of †ship shapen (XVII) ‘arranged in ship fashion’, i.e. SHIP sb., and pp. of SHAPE. shipwreck what is cast up from a wreck XI; destruction or loss of a ship XV.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"ship." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ship." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 13, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ship-4

"ship." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved September 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ship-4

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Ships

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Ships." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Ships." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 13, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ships

"Ships." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved September 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ships

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

ship

shipblip, chip, clip, dip, drip, equip, flip, grip, gyp, harelip, hip, kip, lip, nip, outstrip, pip, quip, rip, scrip, ship, sip, skip, slip, snip, strip, tip, toodle-pip, trip, whip, yip, zip •biochip • microchip • woodchip •sheepdip • skinny-dip • rosehip •landslip • payslip •fillip, Philip •gymslip • side-slip • polyp • oxlip •cowslip • pillowslip •julep, tulip •Cudlipp • paperclip • catnip • parsnip •turnip • handgrip • cantrip • hairgrip •airstrip • filmstrip • kirby grip •weatherstrip • gossip • airship •midship • kinship • godship • warship •gunship • worship • wingtip •fingertip • horsewhip • bullwhip •bunyip

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"ship." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ship." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 13, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ship-1

"ship." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved September 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ship-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Ships

Ships

INDUSTRIAL CODES

NAICS: 33-6611 Ship Building and Repairing

SIC: 3731 Ship Building and Repairing

NAICS-Based Product Codes: 33-66111, 33-66113, 33-66116, 33-66118, 33-6611A, and 33-6611W

PRODUCT OVERVIEW

Categories of Ships

When people think of ships they usually think of large vessels capable of crossing oceans. As an industrial category, however, shipbuilding includes other types of floating structures, including oil or gas drilling platforms, floating dockage, and dredges. Certain categories of vessels usually referred to as boats—ferryboats, fire-boats, tugboats, patrol boats, and crew boats—are made in the shipbuilding industry. So, too, are non-powered barges which, to the casual observer, seem to belong to the boat category. The Census Bureau typically assigns those products made by shipbuilding companies to the ship category, those made by boat-building companies to boats. The two industries are quite distinct in structure, organization, and clientele.

Within the shipbuilding industry itself, companies tend to specialize in the construction of one or the other two major kinds of ships. They are either predominantly naval shipbuilders or predominantly commercial ship builders. Both kinds of shipbuilding companies, however, will participate in the other category as well, but not to the same extent. Naval and commercial ships, in turn, divide into yet other categories and thus produce quite a diverse fleets of products.

Military ships are broadly divided into classes that serve brown water and blue water navies—terms that had their origin in the American Civil War but are now used all around the globe. Brown water ships are military vessels that operate in river systems, estuaries, and in coastal regions; they have a relatively limited cruising range and smaller size. Blue water ships are ocean-going and have a correspondingly extended range of operations. The United States' blue and brown water navies are roughly equally sized, operating 138 ships and 158 ships, respectively. China, by contrast, has a relatively small blue water navy of 53 vessels and a large 800 vessel brown water navy. These divisions, of course, do not refer to command and control, merely to ship size and deployment. In each of these cases—and in all countries that have these types of ships—a single navy controls both types.

The U.S. Navy arranges its ships under eight major categories, subdividing these into sixty-seven additional distinct types. The major categories, with their number of subdivisions in parentheses are: aircraft carriers (3), surface combatant ships (12), submarines (3), other combatants (10), combat logistics ships (5), mine warfare vessels (4), coastal defense ships (2), and auxiliary vessels (28).

Surface combatant ships include the familiar categories of battleships, destroyers, cruisers, and frigates (each type also further subdivided). Other combatants include amphibious, patrol, and landing ships, among others. Auxiliary vessels come in a great variety, many in the same categories as their commercial counterparts, including salvage ships, tankers, cargo vessels, hospital ships, transports, and others.

The size of military ships is typically given in light ship weight (LSW), in tons. This is a measure of the water displaced by the ships when they are in the water without fuel, stores, or personnel. Large or small as measured in LSW, military vessels are substantially more expensive than identically sized commercial ships—roughly one hundred times more expensive based on a study conducted by the RAND Corporation.

All other ships are classified as commercial, whether operated for carrying freight, cargo, liquids, or people for fishing, exploration, science, or special functions. The commercial designation usually signifies that these ships are used in commerce.

The Association of Western European Shipbuilders has created a new classification for ships based on their complexity, more precisely on the complexities of each type of ship from the viewpoint of the shipbuilder. The Association, in forming this classification, in effect asserted a well-known fact: two different ships with the same cargo space, expressed in tonnage, will have quite different costs to build. The average cost per ton of construction is not very revealing, hence the classification. The Association arranges ships into three groups in which Group 1 is the least complex and Group 3 the most complex to build.

Group 1 includes double-hulled oil tankers, bulk carriers, and combined carriers. Combined carriers can carry either liquids or solids. Typically these are large or very large vessels in which the more complex parts of the ship will represent a small percentage of total cost, most of which will be extensive cargo spaces without elaborate equipment.

Group 2 includes chemical tankers, general cargo ships, reefers, full container ships, RoRo vessels, automobile carriers, LPG carriers, and LNG carriers. The reefer designation is nautical jargon for refrigerated ships designed to carry large amounts of perishable goods that require cooling, introducing substantial additional refrigeration equipment and insulated cargo space. RoRo stands for roll on, roll off. These ships are loaded by trucks or mobile equipment and come with their own ramps, which are lowered on arrival and stowed before departure. Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) such as propane and butane, is kept in liquid form by compression, implying pressure vessels and compression equipment. LNG is the abbreviation for liquefied natural gas. Natural gas liquefies at very low (cryogenic) temperatures (−259 degrees Fahrenheit) and only under pressure. Ships carrying LNG must, therefore, have cryogenic cooling capabilities and pressurized tanks. Similar requirements also make other Group 2 ships more complex and expensive to build.

Group 3, the most complex, includes ferries, passengers ships, fishing vessels, and non-cargo carrying vessels, usually abbreviated as NCCVs. NCCVs include scientific vessels and ships that perform specific tasks such as cable-laying, maintenance, and other functions. With Group 3 vessels, the chief source of complexity is the need to house people for extended periods of time with all that that implies in facilities for feeding and accommodating people.

As mentioned, non-propelled floating structures are an important category within the shipbuilding industry. These products fall into each of the three groupings and include barges, dredges, floating docks, and drilling platforms, the last being the most complex.

Measuring Ships

Ship sizes are measured in Gross Registered Tons (GRTs, also rendered as GTs); abbreviations are used by the industry either in upper or lowercase letters. GRTs represent the carrying capacity of the ships excluding stores, fuels, and crews. It is calculated by translating 100 cubic feet of cargo capacity into one long or metric ton. But in the maritime world nothing is simple and traditional ways rule. A measure called deadweight tons, usually abbreviated as DWT or dwt, is also used. It represents the carrying capacity of ships including cargo, fuel, stores, crew, and anything else that is carried. Bulk carrier and tanker sizes are often reported in DWT. For example, a tanker of the subtype called a Suezmax may not have more than 200,000 dwt, the limit of the Suez Canal; a tanker type called Panamax must be no greater than 80,000 dwt to pass the Panama Canal. A Panamax-type bulk carrier must be no more than 100,000 dwt.

With the appearance of container ships, yet another measure of capacity came into use for such vessels, called the TEU. The abbreviation stands for twenty-foot equivalent units. The units refer to containers that fit on the back of a truck. A twenty-foot container is 19.5 feet long, 7.7 feet wide, and 8 feet high and will maximally carry 35,000 pounds—15.6 long tons. A Panamax container ship is defined as one with at least 3,000 and no more than 5,000 TEU.

These measures are useful to shippers in estimating the carrying capacity of vessels for various purposes, but in estimating the manufactured cost or value of a ship, one ship's GRT is not equivalent to another's GRT. It will cost significantly less to manufacture a Group 1 ship of 100,000 GRT than a Group 3 ship of the same capacity. In order to create a uniform measure that also reflects real cost per ton of capacity, the global industry, under European leadership (the OECD countries), has developed yet another measure called the Compensated Gross Ton (CGT/cgt). CGT is an attempt to characterize the economic cost of a ton of ships built. It is calculated by taking a ship's design-GRT rating and then re-expressing it by applying two factors that account for complexity of construction. A bulker, a car carrier, a reefer, and a passenger ship, each with a rating of 100,000 GRT, will have different CGT measures. The bulk carrier's compensated tonnage will be 32,500 cgt, thus lower than its rated capacity, because it is simpler to build. The car carrier will come in at 47,400 CGT, the reefer at 67,800 CGT, and the passenger ship 109,700 CGT—higher than its rated capacity because it is more complex to build. The CGT measure compensates for the different levels of complexity associated with each type of vessel in its building. The CGT measure is appearing with increased frequency in reports that aim to illuminate the market size of shipbuilding, whereas GRT continues to be used in determining capacity and maritime issues associated with draft and safety.

MARKET

The U.S. Market

The shipbuilding industry in the United States was a $14.15 billion market in 2005. The industry's shipments grew at an annual rate of 4.1 percent between 1997 and 2002 and then at a slightly lower rate of 3.5 percent per annum in the 2002–2005 period. Industry shipments include new construction as well as ship repair; the latter activity typically involves the rebuilding of ships, including massive repair of hulls after the ships have seen years of deployment on the oceans. Most oceangoing vessels require some degree of serious maintenance after three years of service; more work at longer intervals.

Within the shipbuilding category, and for the year 2002, the last year for which detailed data were available at time of writing, the split between military and commercial shipbuilding was roughly 67 percent military and 33 percent commercial. Military shipbuilding accounted for nearly half of all shipments (48%) and military ship repair for an additional 19 percent. Commercial ship construction was 12 percent of total industry output, commercial ship repair was 10 percent. The remainder was accounted for by shipbuilding and repair associated with vessels other than either commercial or military (5%), industrial and research vessels, or non-propelled floating structures (6%) including barges. The dominance of naval activity in U.S. shipyards is in part explained by the fact that the United States, once an important participant in commercial shipbuilding, barely has a presence in the field globally.

Shipbuilding in the United States is sometimes compared unfavorably with boat building because boats are being built at a brisk pace, 10.3 percent per year in the 1997–2005 period; ships sluggishly, at 4 percent per year in the same period. In 1997, measured in shipments, shipbuilding was twice the size of boat building. Eight years later, shipbuilding was just 20 percent larger than boat building. The two categories are, of course, only superficially alike. The naval component of shipbuilding is driven by political factors, the commercial component by major global economic forces. Growth in the boating sector, by contrast, is influenced principally by changes in disposable income.

During the eight-year period from 1997 to 2005, U.S. imports in goods grew at a rate of 6.7 percent per year from $876.4 billion in 1997 to $1,473 billion in 2005. Exports grew at 2.2 percent per year from $679.7 billion in 1997 to $807.5 billion in 2005. The trade deficit in goods advanced from $196.7 to $665.4 billion, an annual rate of growth of 16.5 percent. Thus, U.S. participation in ocean-based goods movement was quite brisk, even if the trade balance was unfavorable. However, shipbuilding in the United States did not benefit from this busy movement of tonnage because the U.S. share of the world's commercial shipbuilding activity is minute. At the same time, goods movement by water in the United States was not keeping up with other modes of transport. Thus shipbuilding to support domestic water transportation was also minimal. According to data collected by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics, in terms of ton-miles of goods delivered between 1993 and 2002, water-borne transportation saw the smallest amount of increase in the entire period, 4.2 percent, compared to truck (44.5%), rail (34.1%), and air (20.5%). Water transportation was also next to last in growth of dollar earnings, rail being last. These trends largely explain why shipbuilding in the United States is driven primarily by naval budgets. Those reflect the status of naval vessels and international politics, rather than economic trends.

The Global Shipbuilding Market

In contrast to boat building, which takes place very close to the actual use of the boats, shipbuilding has long been a global market. Estimates of its size vary among knowledgeable observers who all draw their basic data from statistics compiled by Lloyd's of London, the venerable maritime insurance firm. These data show order bookings by GRT—the translation of which into reliable market estimates is difficult.

In a 2005 study conducted for the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense (MOD), the RAND Corporation provides a rough estimate that generally matches estimates made by others. According to RAND, the global market for shipbuilding is around $50 billion, divided into military ships of around $16 billion and commercial ships of around $34 billion. These numbers will vary from year to year but represent an average for the first decade of the twenty-first century. Thus, for instance, data on commercial ship completions in 1999, 2000, and 2001 show their aggregate values as $33.6, $34.8 and $37.2 billion, respectively. Order values for 2003 were $38 billion. Variances appear in estimating the commercial segment, from $32 to $45 billion, which may be due to inclusion or exclusion of ship repair work. There is general agreement that the United States is the dominant producer of naval ships, commanding approximately 46 percent of that market. The U.S. share of the commercial market, however, is approximately 0.4 percent—down from a level of 10 percent in 1979.

Based on new delivered tonnage data from Lloyd's Register's World Fleet Statistics, Asia was the dominant supplier of commercial vessels in 2004 with 86.3 percent of tonnage delivered (up from 74.1% in 1994). Other regions, showing their percent of deliveries in 1994 in parentheses, were Western Europe with 6.7 percent in 2004 (16% in 1994), Eastern Europe with 4.5 percent (5.9%), the Americas with 0.8 percent (1.8%) and All Others with 1.8 percent (2.2%). Leading Asia were South Korea with 42.6 percent of the Asian sector, Japan with 41.9 percent, and China with 13.5 percent. The leading producer in Western Europe was Germany, with 36 percent of that sector; the leader in Eastern Europe was Croatia with 43 percent of tonnage produced. In the Americas, the United States represented 91 percent of the tonnage put on water, Brazil 9 percent.

Not surprisingly, the driving force behind commercial shipbuilding is the growing volume of trade as global shipbuilding is a function of globalization. For instance, using data from Bureau of Transportation Statistics (citing Clarkson Shipping Review & Outlook), the greatest growth in GRT built in the 1996–2000 period was in container ships. Growth in tonnage put into the water (GRT built, in other words), has been 9.6 percent per year; this growth clearly matches the highest growth in tons of trade goods shipped, which was also tonnage moving as containerized cargo; such cargo was growing at an annual rate of 9 percent. Dry bulk carriers grew in this period at 2.4 percent per year versus tonnage of dry cargo, increasing at 2.3 percent. The exception to this pattern was in tankers. Liquids shipped increased annually at 2.3 percent, but tanker GRT lagged in growth at 1.7 percent per year. A surge in tanker orders, however, occurred in the 2002–2004 period to correct this imbalance.

KEY PRODUCERS/MANUFACTURERS

The dominance of South Korea and Japan in shipbuilding produces household names as key producers of ships in the world. The leading companies in South Korea are Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries, and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. Key producers in Japan are Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding. The Japanese companies look back on venerable histories. Mitsubishi began in 1884 as a shipyard called Nagasaki; the Mitsubishi name arose in 1934. Kawasaki began in 1878 and Mitsui in 1917. The South Korean leaders, however, originated in the 1970s and have had a spectacular growth since. South Korean companies took the world lead in raw tonnage built in 2000, slipped to second place in 2001, and have been leading since. At 14.8 and 14.5 million GRT built respectively in 2004, these two countries each produced 15 times more ship-ping than their next rival, Germany, which produced 958,000 GRT in 2004.

Key producers in Europe include ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems AG (Germany), Aker ASA (Norway), Odense Steel Shipyard Group (Denmark), Navantia (Spain), and Fincantieri SpA (Italy). European shipbuilders have undergone major consolidations and reorganizations. Aker, for instance, has absorbed a number of companies, including Kvaerner ASA, another Norwegian leader and Alstom's shipyard operations in France, the latter famed for having built the Queen Mary II. Navantia, a leading shipbuilder in Europe, was formed in 2005 from Baan and IZAR; it is a state-owned company and leading producer of naval as well as commercial shipping. Fincantieri is an element of IRI Group, Italy's largest state-owned industrial conglomerate, and represents 90 percent of all shipbuilding in Italy. The company produces both military and commercial ships and became active in building passenger ships in the late 1990s after having abandoned that business for nearly a quarter of a century.

European companies also tend to be multinationals; whatever may be their base of operations, they also own shipyards in other European countries and beyond. Aker, for instance, is the owner of the Aker Philadelphia Shipyards (formerly Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyards). In addition to shipyards in Norway, Aker also owns shipyards in Germany, Finland, Romania, and Brazil. Odense owns shipyards in Norway, Germany, Lithuania, and Estonia. ThyssenKrupp, with six operations in Germany, also has shipyards in Sweden and Greece. Thyssen, alongside Navantia and Fincantieri, is a major factor in naval shipbuilding.

U.S. participants in the shipbuilding business are Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics, responsible for most of the military shipbuilding activity in the United States—and hence also leading participants in naval shipbuilding activity in the world. Northrop's operations are centered on the Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and the Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans, both founded in 1938, acquired by Litton Industries, and then by Northrop Grumman. The third shipyard owned by Northrop Grumman is Newport News in Virginia, which began in 1891 and, having been owned by Tenneco, came to be acquired by Northrop in 2001.

General Dynamics' shipbuilding activities are also built of three properties by acquisition. These were originally Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut, founded in 1899, Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine, founded in 1833, and National Steel Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) of San Diego, California, begun in the 1960s.

The top eight participants in the commercial shipbuilding market, based on the 2004 U.S. order book, expressed in GRT, were NASSCO (40.7%), Avondale (20.7%), Ingalls (9.2%), Quality Shipyards LLC (8%), Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard Inc. (later Aker, 7.7%), Halter Marine Pascagoula, Inc. (6.5%), Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co. Inc. (2%), and Marinette Marine Corp. (1.4%). These companies accounted for 96 percent of all commercial orders, the top three, also the leaders in naval contracts, held the lion's share at 70.6 percent. Another thirteen companies also participated in the commercial market.

MATERIALS & SUPPLY CHAIN LOGISTICS

Shipbuilding is centered on seaports, and shipyards are almost always located near major steel production centers for the simple reason that the making of ships' hulls is the principal building activity of shipyards—and the finished product is almost always too large for transport to the point of use except by water. Approximately 70 percent of the dollar value of most commercial ships, according to the RAND study, are represented by purchased equipment transported to the shipyards for installation. Important components are power plants (steam engines, diesel engines) and related fluid power equipment componentry. At the same time, however, heavy industry, not least steel production, is located in coastal areas, at Great Lakes ports, or on major waterways; such industry itself is highly dependent on water-borne transportation to obtain its major raw materials, be that ores, petroleum products, or scrap. Major manufactured components reaching the shipyards do not typically travel very far.

DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL

Ships are purchased directly by institutional buyers (transportation companies and governments) from shipyards, typically by competitive procurement or in one-on-one negotiation after long-term relationships are established. Operationally, nearly 70 percent of large ocean-going commercial ships (1,000 GRT or greater) are controlled by owners concentrated in ten countries. Of these Greece, Japan, and Norway are the leading three. As might be expected, the location of ship-owning firms tends to influence from which countries these firms purchase their ships. It is not surprising that Japan is a leading shipbuilder or that Norway, a small Nordic country, should have a dominant worldwide position as a shipbuilding nation. Naval construction is also closely held, as it were. Countries that do not build their own naval vessels purchase them from close allies. Shipbuilders are also predominantly military or commercial. If concentrated on military shipbuilding, they function, in effect, as privately held extensions of publicly managed defense procurement. In Spain and Italy this relationship is formalized. Both countries maintain state-owned shipbuilding corporations.

KEY USERS

The largest category of ship users are commercial transportation companies active in global trade. This trade, broken down by tonnage, is dominated by liquids, most notably petroleum, liquid gases, and chemicals, approximately 45 percent of tonnage carried. Next in total tonnage carried is general cargo, finished and semi-finished products, commanding 32 percent of global trade. Carriers of bulk cargo (coal, iron ore, grain, and phosphates) represent the third largest category with 23 percent of tonnage.

The top ten nations controlling the largest commercial fleets in 2000 were, in order of rank, Greece, Japan, Norway, the United States, China, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, and Sweden—thus large trading nations, importers and exporters, and combinations of these. In this listing the United States and the United Kingdom stand out because they are large fleet owners that barely participate in commercial shipbuilding. Cruise lines operating ships for tourism are a very small fraction of the total market.

The ten largest blue water navies are those operated by the United States, Japan, China, Russia, France, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Italy, India, and Turkey. The world's largest user of deep sea naval vessels is the United States, also holding a commanding share of naval shipbuilding activity. China, North Korea, Russia, the United States, and South Korea are the largest operators of brown water navies, shown in order of the number of ships deployed.

Petroleum companies are the key users of oil-drilling rigs and vessels deployed in undersea exploration.

ADJACENT MARKETS

It would appear that the most obvious adjacent market to shipbuilding would be boat building—because the ships and boats are functionally so very similar. But this adjacency is peripheral at best. Boats are almost exclusively used for recreational activities. The companies that build them are typically quite small operations that belong to light-gauge manufacturing whereas shipbuilding is heavy industry.

Railroads are the closest markets to transportation by water in that the rails are capable of moving bulk commodities at a relatively low cost. In the United States truck transport has, at least apparently, been effectively competing both with rail and barge traffic. But viewed in closer detail, a different pattern emerges. In the United States bulk goods have shrunk as a proportion of all goods distributed as affluence has grown and as globalization has shifted production overseas. Where once ores, timber, steel, aluminum, and raw textiles were moved close to population centers by barge and rail, now finished products are moving much greater distances, crossing the Atlantic and the Pacific in cardboard boxes or as finished vehicles—opening avenues to trucking. The globalization trend has favored shipbuilding globally but has slowed growth of water transport domestically.

From another perspective, there are no alternatives to moving bulk goods across the world's oceans except by water. Air transportation has essentially captured the market for transporting people from one continent to the other, this shift from water to air having been largely accomplished by the late 1950s. Oil pipelines between countries have captured some of the market from shipping where feasible, but transoceanic pipelines have never been built. Adjacent markets to shipping, in the sense of competition with shipping, takes the form of global rearrangement of production. But such rearrangement also always uses shipping because the world's natural resources are unevenly distributed.

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

According to Douglas-Westwood Associates, a research organization based in the United Kingdom, important areas of research and development in the marine industries include efforts to move from hydraulic actuation and control of systems to all-electric systems. Such systems are more efficient and more rapid. Electrical propulsion is under broad development in naval applications because it offers more silent operations. Commercial shipbuilders are looking at electrical propulsion as well, but in order to gain more commercial control. A limited number of companies dominate the engine market. They attempt to sell not only the engine but entire packages including the control systems operated from the bridge, the gearing, and the propeller and, in doing so, limit the shipbuilders choices. Electrical propulsion systems offer shipbuilders more options in terms of the designs they can use to mix and match equipment and therefore to prepare more competitive bids that can benefit their buyers. More sophisticated deployment of marine electronics is under development in efforts to reduce ship-based employment and introduce electronic position charting and global communications.

From time to time, attempts to introduce genuinely new propulsion systems, combining petroleum-driven prime movers with modern approaches to using wind power—the return of the sail—surface in interesting prototypes. These approaches involve new kinds of semi-rigid sail structures (aerofoils) automatically controlled by computerized equipment interpreting instrument readings in ways that would have amazed sailors of old who had to clamber up masts in furious gales to shorten sail. No such vessels have taken commercial hold, but might in the future as petroleum grows becomes more expensive.

Denmark is a leader in this development. The country is at the forefront in wind turbine technology that can be used directly to generate electrical power for ship propulsion. Turbines combined with modern sail surfaces could significantly reduce fuel use at sea. In 2005 the Danish Environmental Protection Agency announced it was working on just such a prototype. A German company, SkySails, already offers a much less complicated approach to exploiting wind power. The company sells sail systems which freighters can deploy under favorable wind conditions in order to reduce their fuel consumption by 10 to 35 percent.

CURRENT TRENDS

The three most important trends affecting shipbuilding are globalization of commerce, growing pressures on fossil fuel energy sources, and international tensions—the last closely associated with competition for energy. Rapid industrialization in the world's two most populous nations, China and India, are a major factor influencing globalization. In effect a redistribution of production from a Western to an Asian dominance is taking place while the purchasing power remains, at least temporarily, concentrated in the West. To accommodate this polarity, shipping is a crucial mechanism. Pressures on energy resources take the form of potential shortages, threats to sources due to international tensions, and concern with global warming thought to be caused by carbon dioxide emissions. These factors influence naval procurement, energy-conserving technologies, development of alternative propulsion systems, and more efficient transport of raw fuels.

TARGET MARKETS & SEGMENTATION

In the shipbuilding sector, demand is defined by the buyer. Producers are aligned to service this demand. They maintain capabilities designed to build ships of the required type and complexity. Shipbuilders oriented to service naval buyers are more likely to seek new markets than well-established commercial builders. The new markets may be export opportunities for naval vessels or participation in the commercial sector. More balanced order books can protect such companies against downturns in naval shipbuilding budgets. For instance, the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense (MOD) commissioned RAND Corporation to explore diversification opportunities for British shipbuilders in attempts to improve the latter's competitiveness and to keep them healthy as profitable resources to serve MOD's needs.

RELATED ASSOCIATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS

American Shipbuilding Association, http://www.usships.org

Community of European Shipyards Associations (CESA), http://www.cesa-shipbuilding.org/index.phtml?sid=

Shipbuilding Association of Canada, http://www.shipbuilding.ca

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Birkler, John. et. al. Differences Between Military and Commercial Shipbuilding. RAND Corporation. 2005.

DeNavas-Walt, Carmen, Bernadette D. Proctor, and Cherryl Hill Lee. "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005." Current Population Reports. August 2006.

A New Compensated Gross Ton (CGT) System. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 25 October 2006.

"Share of Aggregate Income Received by Each Fifth and Top 5 Percent of Households (all Races): 1967 to 2000." Current Population Survey. 21 March 2000.

"U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services." U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Press Release, April 2006.

Westwood, John, Barney Parsons, and Will Rowley, Douglas-Westwood Associates. "Global Ocean Markets." The Hydrographic Journal. January 2002.

Wind Power Used Profitably. SkySails. Available from 〈http://skysails.info/index.php?L=1〉. 2007.

see also Boats

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Ships." Encyclopedia of Products & Industries - Manufacturing. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Ships." Encyclopedia of Products & Industries - Manufacturing. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 13, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/manufacturing/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ships

"Ships." Encyclopedia of Products & Industries - Manufacturing. . Retrieved September 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/manufacturing/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ships

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Ships

SHIPS

From the earliest times, ships and boats were propelled by human power and wind power. In the nineteenth century very large and efficient sailing ships (many 70 to 100 m long) were transporting passengers and cargo to ports all over the world. In the Western world most of the cargoes were carried by sailing ships until the 1890s. By the middle of the nineteenth century, with the development of reliable steam engines, the designers of ships began to use coal-burning steam power plants to propel ships, using paddle wheels and then propellers. Other power plants were developed in the late nineteenth century and during the twentieth century, including steam turbines, spark-ignition engines, diesel engines, gas turbines, and nuclear power plants. These ship power plants were developed from their land-based counterparts to operate in the severe ocean environment. A relatively new power source, the fuel cell, is being developed to provide electrical power for underwater vessels and also is being evaluated for future applications in surface ships.

High-speed ships and large-displacement slower ships can have power requirements of 30,000 to 75,000 kW (approximately 40,000 to 100,000 hp) for propulsion. Some nuclear-powered aircraft carriers have power plants that develop 200,000 kW. In addition to the power required to propel the vessel, some energy and power have to be provided for various ship services, such as heating, lighting, and cooling; this is often described as the "hotel load." Power also is required to refrigerate the cargo in some vessels and to pump oil in tankers.

SHIP RESISTANCE

Experiments by William Froude in the nineteenth century indicated that ship resistance has two main components: frictional, and wave-making resistance or drag. Frictional resistance is caused by the movement of the underwater hull (wetted surface area) through the viscous fluid, water. Wave-making drag is the component of resistance resulting from the energy expended on the waves generated by the moving ship. Short, bluff ships have less wetted surface area than long, slender ships for the same displacement and therefore have lower frictional drag. The long, slender ships, however, tend to generate smaller waves and thus have lower wave-making drag at high ship speeds, where wave-making drag predominates. Placing bulbous bows on large commercial ships such as tankers has been shown to reduce wave-making drag. In addition to frictional and wave-making drag, there is form drag induced by the complex fluid flow around the hull near the stern of many ships, and there is also the wind resistance of the structure of the ship above the sea surface.

Information on ship resistance has been determined from large numbers of tests on scale models of ships and from full-size ships, and compilations of these experimental results have been published. For a new and innovative hull form the usual procedure is to construct a scale model of the ship and then to conduct resistance tests in a special test facility (towing tank). Alternatively, analytical methods can provide estimates of ship resistance for a range of different hull shapes. Computer programs have been written based on these theoretical analyses and have been used with success for many ship designs, including racing sailboats.

Methods for reducing wave-making drag are often introduced for ships that operate at high speed. Lifting the hull partly or completely out of the water by using hydrodynamic lift or air pressure has been investigated for high-speed ship designs. Fast but short-range ferries have been built on these principles using planing hulls, air-cushion designs, and hydrofoil configurations. In air cushion and surface-effect ships, 15 to 30 percent of the total power has to be supplied to the fans that provide the air pressure to lift the hulls.

Another concern is the ability of a ship to operate in storms. The pounding of waves on the hull increases the resistance; this can cause structural damage, and the violent ship motions can harm the passengers, cargo, and crew of the ship. Some designers have proposed special configurations that can maintain the ship speed in storms.

PROPULSORS

Propellers are the predominant propulsive devices driving ships, although water jets are now used in some high-speed ships. An experimental installation in a small ship of a magnetohydrodynamic propulsor has been tested, but it achieved rather low propulsive efficiency. Fish-like propulsion also has been examined for possible application to ships and underwater vehicles.

In the middle of the nineteenth century some ship designers began to replace paddle wheels with propellers (or screws). A propeller has a series of identical blades placed around a hub that is driven by the engine. W. J. M. Rankine presented a theoretical model of the ideal propeller in his classic paper "On the Mechanical Principles of the Action of Propellers" (1865). He demonstrated that the efficiency of an ideal frictionless propeller to produce a specified thrust was improved as the propeller diameter was increased. There are, of course, practical limitations to the propeller diameter, depending on the ship geometry and to some extent on the fabrication capabilities of the propeller manufacturers. Designers have developed the shapes of the propeller blades to achieve good efficiency.

Methods for defining the details of the geometry of the propeller and its blading to achieve high efficiency are well established and are continuously being improved. Digital computer programs have been developed that are widely used to provide the design and analysis of propulsors. These programs were originally used to design conventional propellers, and the methods have been extended to apply to propellers in ducts and also to the pumps for waterjets.

To produce thrust it is necessary to apply torque to the propeller; this results in a swirling flow downstream of the propeller from the reaction of this torque acting on the water. The swirling flow is not used to produce thrust and is therefore a source of energy loss. Several methods have been developed to raise the propulsive efficiency by canceling or removing this swirling flow. Stationary blades (stators) upstream or downstream of the propeller have been installed in a few propellers for this purpose, and counterrotating screws have been used. An additional device downstream of the propeller that rotates freely, called a Grim wheel or a vane wheel, has been used in some applications. The inner portion of the vane wheel absorbs the swirling energy from the propeller wake while the outer portion acts as an additional propeller and produces thrust.

In the 1930s ducts or nozzles surrounding highly loaded propellers were introduced. Experiments had shown that propeller efficiency was improved, and many of these devices (often referred to as Kort nozzles) have been used in tugs and fishing boats. Theoretical analysis of ducted propellers has shown that the efficiency can be improved compared to conventional propellers when some of the thrust is produced by the fluid flow around the nozzle.

The designer is expected to develop a propeller design to minimize the power required by the power

Ship Type Large Tanker Container Ship Fast Ferry Navy Destroyer Aircraft Carrier Submarine
Length, m 334 290 45 142 330 110
Displacement, t 344,000 82,000 200 9,000 1000,000 7,000
Operating Speed, kt 15.3 24 44 10-32 10-30+ 32
Range, n.miles 27,000 21,000 125 6,000 Unlimited Unlimited
Power Plant Type Large Diesel Large Diesel 2 Gas Turbines 4 Gas Turbines 2 Nuclear Reactors Nuclear Reactor
Propulsion Power, kW 25,000 38,000 8,400 78,000 194,000 26,000
Ship Service Power, kW 3,000 3,000 100 3,000 8,000 2,000
Fuel Heavy Oil Heavy Oil Light Diesel Light Diesel Nuclear Nuclear
Fuel Load, t 8,400 6,600 7.5 1,00    

plant to propel the ship at the design speed. At this speed the effective power, Pe, is the product of ship resistance and ship speed and would be determined by model tests, correlations of experimental results, or computed using theoretical predictions, discussed earlier. The shaft power developed by the engine, Ps, is the power required to drive the propeller through the transmission and shafting. The propulsive efficiency or propulsive coefficient (PC) is the ratio of effective power to shaft power: PC = Pe /Ps. The propulsive coefficient is usually between 60 and 75 percent for most ship designs.

The propulsor, in a steady situation, has to provide the thrust equivalent to the resistance of the ship. The prediction of this balance between ship resistance and propeller thrust is a complex process because the water flow in the stern region of the ship interacts with the flow through the propeller. The ship resistance may be modified by the action of the propeller, while the propeller efficiency usually is influenced by the disturbed flow regime near the stern of the ship.

The phenomenon of propeller cavitation often occurs at high ship speed and on highly loaded propellers. It provides a very serious limitation to propeller performance because it can damage the propeller and ship components near it. In addition, the efficiency may be reduced and the phenomenon can cause noise and vibration. Cavitation occurs when the local pressure of the water on the blade surface is reduced below the vapor pressure of the water passing over the blade surface. The high velocity of the water passing over regions of the propeller blades creates this reduction in pressure. The water boils when the local pressure becomes very low, and pockets of water vapor are formed at the blade surface. These vapor pockets and their subsequent collapse cause the problems associated with cavitation. Modern methods of propeller design have allowed designers to predict the onset of cavitation and to define the performance limitations.

WATERJETS

Waterjets have been developed for application to high-speed ships. The waterjet has an inlet usually on the side or bottom of the ship in the region of the stern, which allows water to flow into a water pump. The pressure of the water is raised in the pump, and the water is expelled as a jet to produce the desired thrust. The direction of the jet flow can be controlled to provide maneuvering forces, eliminating the need for rudders. The propulsive coefficient of modern waterjets usually is lower than propellers for the same application, but they have been used where severe cavitation would occur in conventional propellers.

SHIP POWER PLANTS

Most ships are powered by thermal power plants, including diesel engines, gas turbines, and nuclear systems. Merchant ships usually have diesel engines, while gas turbines or a combination of diesel engines and gas turbines often power naval vessels. Some of the larger ships in the U.S. Navy have nuclear power plants.

Large, low-speed diesel engines are remarkably efficient and convert about 45 percent of the energy of the fuel-air reaction into power. In addition, the cooling water and engine exhaust can be used to generate steam to provide heat and power for the ship. The steam has been used in some designs to generate power through steam turbines.

Improvements also have been made to the gas turbine for naval applications. An intercooled recuperative (ICR) gas turbine has been designed to improve the fuel consumption of naval power plants. The engine has a recuperator to take the heat that would otherwise be wasted in the exhaust and transfers it to the air entering the combustor. The new engine is expected to save about 30 percent of the fuel consumed, compared to the simple gas turbine. The ICR engine is, however, larger and more expensive than the simple gas turbine.

In the early steam ships the paddle wheels and propellers were directly connected to reciprocating steam engines. The large low-speed diesel engines of today are able to operate efficiently at the low propeller speeds and usually are directly connected by shafts to the propellers. Other ship power plants, such as steam turbines, gas turbines, and medium-speed diesel engines, operate most efficiently at higher rotational speeds than propellers. Speed converters have to be provided to reduce the rotational speed from the high engine speed to the low propeller speed. Mechanical reduction gearboxes are generally used to provide this conversion. Electric drives, consisting of high-speed electric generators driven by steam turbines coupled to low-speed electric motors, were used during World War II, when there was a shortage of gearboxes. A modern version of electric drive sometimes is used in cruise ships and also is being evaluated for the U.S. Navy.

Submarines, submersibles, and other underwater vehicles have a difficult operational problem, namely the absence of atmospheric oxygen, which is necessary for all thermal engines except nuclear power plants. At about the beginning of the twentieth century rechargeable batteries were developed, and these batteries, coupled to electric motors and propellers, were used to propel submarines under the sea. Spark ignition engines and later diesel engines provided the power for operation at the surface and to recharge the batteries. Since 1985, stored oxygen has been used in some thermal power plants and in fuel cells for experimental underwater vehicles. Nuclear power plants, which do not require oxygen for power generation, were introduced in 1954 to power U.S. military submarines. Other nations also have developed nuclear power for naval submarines.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS

Two of the main environmental concerns are the atmospheric pollutants generated by ship's engines, and the possibility of damaging oil spills from accidents and ship operations.

Commercial ships have traditionally used the least expensive and therefore the most polluting oil fuels. Large diesel engines can now operate successfully with the lowest grade of fuel oils, and these fuels have a relatively high sulfur content. As a result the harmful SO x by-products are released to the atmosphere. In addition, the combustion process in diesel engines produces harmful NOX pollutants. International, national, and local restrictions have encouraged engine manufacturers to develop remedial methods to reduce pollution.

The reduction of SO x is best achieved by reducing the sulfur content of the fuel oil. Ship engineers are required to replace high-sulfur fuel with expensive higher-grade oil fuel as their ships approach coastlines where strict pollution restrictions apply.

Higher-grade fuels also reduce NO x production in diesel engines, but more stringent methods are required to satisfy pollution regulations in some areas (e.g., California). Experiments conducted on diesel engines indicate that the concentration of NO x in the exhaust gases increases as the engine power is reduced as ships approach coasts and harbors. Two approaches have been evaluated to improve the situation. First, changes to the combustion process have been tried by such measures as recirculating some of the exhaust and by the addition of water to the fuel to form an emulsion. Tests on engines have shown that about a 25 percent reduction in NO x can be attained with such methods. The second approach has involved attempts to clean up the exhaust by catalytic reactions. Catalytic converters, as used in automobiles, have not been successful up to now, because diesel engines operate with too much oxygen in the exhaust products. An alternative approach using ammonia vapor as the catalyst has been shown to reduce the NO x in the exhaust by more than 80 percent. This has been termed the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) method; it relies on the excess oxygen in the exhaust products to react with the ammonia and the NO x to produce harmless water vapor and nitrogen. Careful measurement of the pollutants in the exhaust gases ahead of the ammonia injector has to be provided so the optimum quantity of ammonia can be injected.

In the last 30 years of the twentieth century, there were very damaging oil spills from the grounding of tankers filled with crude oil. In addition, there have been many smaller accidents, as well as routine operations, that have resulted in significant amounts of oil being released to the environment.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has issued a series of rules to tanker designers in an attempt to minimize the outflow of oil after accidental side or bottom damage. New tankers are required to have double hulls or other structural innovations to minimize tanker spills.

When cargo ships and fishing boats are involved in accidents, there are various measures that have to be carried out to limit the flow of fuel oil into the water. Accidents in harbors and close to shore are treated with great care. Oil booms would be placed around the vessel to prevent the spread of oil, and skimmers would be brought to the area to collect the oil released to the environment. In extreme cases the fuel oil cargo may be burned when the oil could not be pumped out or when a stranded vessel could not be refloated.

Routine operations of many ships have resulted in oil pollution. Cleaning up minor spills on deck and in the engine room is now treated very carefully. Fuel-oil and crude-oil tanks are cleaned from time to time. In the past the polluted oil-water mixture was dumped overboard, but now it must be pumped ashore for treatment.

A. Douglas Carmichael Clifford A. Whitecomb

See also: Aerodynamics; Diesel Cycle Engines; Diesel Fuel; Engines; Environmental Problems and Energy Use; Nuclear Fission Fuel; Thermodynamics; Transportation, Evolution of Energy Use and; Turbines, Gas; Turbines, Steam; Waves.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Giles, D. L. (1997). "Faster Ships for the Future." Scientific American 277(4):126–131.

Rankine, W. J. M. (1865). "On the Mechanical Principles of the Action of Propellers." Trans Institute of Naval Architects 6:13–39.

van Manen, J. D., and van Oossanen, P. (1988). "Propulsion." In Principles of Naval Architecture, Vol. 2, ed. E. V. Lewis. Jersey City, NJ: The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

van Manen, J. D., and van Oossanen, P. (1988). "Resistance." In Principles of Naval Architecture, Vol.2, ed. E. V. Lewis. Jersey City, NJ: The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Ships." Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Ships." Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 13, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ships

"Ships." Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy. . Retrieved September 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ships

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Ships

SHIPS

Ships were invented before the beginning of recorded history. The Egyptians developed true sails by 3500 b.c.e., and the first sail-only boats were being used by 2000 b.c.e. For almost 4,000 years the leading technological developments involved refinements in sails and the design of larger and more powerful ships. The nineteenth century brought the development of steam power; after that time ships driven by electricity, fossil fuels, and even nuclear energy were developed.

Humans have used ships in warfare for almost the entire period of their development, first as a means of transporting soldiers and supplies, later as tactical vehicles for raids and looting expeditions, and then for strategic control of the seas. During the cold war era nuclear-equipped ships and submarines that were dispersed across the oceans to render them less vulnerable played a significant role in the nuclear deterrence strategy known as mutually assured destruction (Till 1984). Today, in a world where loose aggregations of terrorist organizations are considered the enemy, the role of a navy is being redefined again in light of incidents such as the 2000 suicide attack on the U.S.S. Cole by men in a small, innocuous motorboat packed with explosives.


Commerce

Throughout history ships have served as unifying forces, promoting multilateralism and cultural diversity through trade. However, ships also were used as tools of colonialism and exploitation. Some analysts have observed that the more contact Europeans made with African culture, the more contempt they manifested and the more violence they committed (Scammell 1995). Ships also served as unwitting vectors of diseases such as smallpox, which decimated the native population of the Americas. Chartered shipping companies often acted as proxies of government, carrying out policies of ruthless exploitation that went well beyond what governments could do in the face of public opinion (Jackson and Williamson).


Safety

The most common type of ship collision involves two ships heading toward each other on a course that would lead them to pass each other without incident. At the last moment one of the ships turns into and collides with the other. These accidents always involve a classic misinterpretation of visual data: The captain of one ship assumes that the other ship is going away from his or her vessel and is turning to set a course landward of the first ship (Perrow 1984).

Technology, usually improperly used, can make captains complacent and careless. Studies of ship groundings have revealed that officers did not take soundings even though they knew they were in shoal water, failed to monitor the tide and current, did not keep a proper record of bearings, did not recheck the radar, and failed to adjust a magnetic compass, which in one disastrous case deviated 20 percent from true north (Moody 1948).


Design Issues

Huge ships, like skyscrapers, present safety issues that are implicit in their design. "[L]uxury passenger liners constitute the most serious fire risk afloat. Superimpose a hotel, a cinema, and a pleasure pier onto a very large cargo vessel..." with all of the possibilities for chaos that would entail (Sullivan 1943).

After the Titanic disaster in 1912 it was revealed that the ship did not carry enough lifeboats to accommodate every passenger and crew member. The Titanic had twenty boats that could carry only a third of its total passenger and crew capacity (Jim's Titanic Website 2004). When the Andrea Doria sank in 1956, it listed an angle greater than that envisioned by the designers, and so the lifeboats on the uphill (port) side could not be launched ("Andrea Doria: The Life Boats" 2004).


The Environment

Ships have a significant environmental impact. They act as a vector for invasive species such as hydrilla weed and zebra mussels, which arrive attached to a ship's hull or in the ballast and are released into local environment, where they drive out native species. Ships sometimes accidentally hit and damage fragile coral reefs such as those in Pennekamp State Park, Florida, and marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, and manatees frequently are maimed or killed after colliding with ships' propellers.

The public consciousness long retains the names of ill-fated oil tankers that dump their cargoes into the marine environment. On the evening of March 23, 1989, the Exxon Valdez, as a result of navigational errors, grounded in Prince William Sound, Alaska, with more than 53 million gallons of oil aboard. Approximately 11 million gallons of oil were spilled, resulting in the deaths of 250,000 seabirds, 2,800 sea otters, 300 harbor seals, 250 bald eagles, up to 22 killer whales, and billions of salmon and herring eggs (Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustees Council 2004).

However, the quiet dumping of engine oil during normal operations accounts for a majority of the oil that pollutes marine environments (Boczek 1992). A variety of treaties provide an international regime that governs dumping and oil spills. Those treaties include the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, four 1958 Geneva conventions, the 1969 Brussels Convention passed in response to the Torrey Canyon disaster, another 1969 Convention on Civil Liability for oil spills, and a December 1988 annex to the Marpol agreement that established strict controls over garbage disposal from ships at sea (Boczek 1992).

Dangerous cargoes sometimes explode in port, as occurred in the July 17, 1944, incident in Port Chicago, California, when a Pacific-bound navy ship being loaded with explosives by a work crew consisting mostly of black sailors exploded, killing 320 men. Concerned about another explosion, 258 black sailors refused an order to load ammunition on another ship and were court-martialed ("A Chronology of African-American Military Service" 2004). Later large-scale peacetime ship explosions include the April 16, 1947, explosion of the S.S. Grandcamp at the pier in Texas City, Texas, killing 576 people (Galvan 2004), and the May 26, 1954, explosion aboard the carrier U.S.S. Bennington at sea, which killed 100 sailors (Hauser 1954).

Status of Seafarers

Contrary to popular belief as reflected in movies such as Ben Hur, most oared ships in antiquity were not operated by slaves. Citizen rowers were less expensive because they were paid only when aboard ship and their deaths did not cost the state anything. However, Athens turned to the use of slaves at a point in the Peloponnesian War when it ran out of available citizens (Casson 1994).


In 1598 the chronicler Hakluyt wrote of sailors: "No kinde of man of any profession in the commonwealth passe their yeres in so great and continuall hazard ... and ... of so many so few grow to gray haires" (quoted in Scammell 1995, p. 131). Sailors faced a high mortality rate from disease, accidents, and combat. Unable to recruit enough sailors, the British government began the impressment, and essentially enslavement, of unwilling agricultural and industrial workers in the 1500s, a policy that would continue for almost three centuries (Scammell 1995). However, the sea was one of the few careers that allowed people of humble rank to move up to positions of status and power (Scammell 1995). A significant path out of the working class was blazed by engineers (Dixon 1996).


Today the lives of itinerant seamen on cargo ships are still dangerous, grindingly hard, and poorly compensated (Kummerman and Jacquinet 1979).


JONATHAN WALLACE

SEE ALSO Roads and Highways.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Boczek, Boleslaw A. (1992). "Global and Regional Approaches to the Protection of the Marine Environment." In Maritime Issues in the 1990's: Antarctica, Law of the Sea and the Marine Environment, ed. Dalchoong Kim. Seoul: Institute of East and West Studies. Summary of international law pertaining to the marine environment and shipping.

Casson, Lionel, (1994). Ships and Seafaring in Ancient Times. London: British Museum Press. Overview of ships in antiquity.

Dixon, Conrad. (1996). "The Rise of the Engineer in the 19th Century." In Shipping, Technology and Imperialism, ed. Gordon Jackson and David Williams. Hants, UK: Scolar Press. An account of the engineering profession as a pathway out of the working class.

Kummerman, Henri, and Robert Jacquinet. (1979). Ship's Cargo, Cargo Ships. London: McGregor Press. An overview of issues pertaining to modern cargo shipping.

Moody, Lieutenant Alton P. (1948). Why Ships Ground. Address to the fourth annual meeting of the Institute of Navigation. In the collection of the New York Public Library. An interesting brief analysis of the reasons why ships hit obstacles at sea.

Perrow, Charles. (1984). Normal Accidents: Living with High Risk Technologies. New York: Basic Books. Fascinating analysis of the elements of human error which contribute to high technology accidents.

Scammell, G. V. (1995). Ships, Oceans and Empire: Studies in European Maritime and Colonial History, 1400–1750. Brookfield, VT: Ashgate. Includes essays on ships as tools of colonialism.

Sullivan, A. P. L. (1943). Ships and Fire: Suggested in Outline by the Deputy Chief of Fire Staff. Liverpool and London: C. Birchall & Sons. In the collection of the New York Public Library. A brief summary of the reasons ships catch fire.

Till, Geoffrey. (1984). Maritime Strategy and the Nuclear Age, 2nd edition. London: Macmillan. The continuing relevance of warships in the age of nuclear weapons.


INTERNET RESOURCES

"Andrea Doria: The Life Boats." (2004). Available at http://www.andreadoria.org/TheLifeboats/Default.htm. Why half the Andrea Doria lifeboats weren't available after the collision.

"A Chronology of African-American Military Service from WWI through WWII." (2004). Available at http://www.africanamericans.com/MilitaryChronology4.htm. Includes a summary of the port Chicago incident.

Hauser, Don. "A Personal Account of Explosion Aboard U.S.S. Bennington, May 26, 1954." Available on the Crew Stories website, http://www.uss-bennington.org/stz-explosion-dhauser54.html.

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustees Council. (2004). "Exxon Valdez Q&A." Available at http://www.evostc.state.ak.us/facts/qanda.htm. Useful summary of facts relating to the causes and impact of the Exxon Valdez grounding..

Galvan, Jose. (2004). "The Texas City Disaster." Available at http://www.useless-knowledge.com/articles/apr/july107.html.

Jim's Titanic Website. (2004). "Titanic Facts and Figures." Available at http://www.keyflux.com/titanic/facts.htm. Contains a description of the inadequacy of the Titanic lifeboats.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Ships." Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Ships." Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 13, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ships

"Ships." Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. . Retrieved September 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ships

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.