What are the Different Types of Ships?

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  • Written By: Jessica F. Black
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There are countless types of ships that serve multiple purposes ranging from enjoyment to combat. The most general types of ships are fishing vessels, cargo ships, naval ships, aircraft carriers, cruise ships, and personal boats. Each ship is uniquely different and individually crafted for its particular use. Ships are typically used for discovery, enjoyment, transportation, battle, and commerce. The demand for ships is steadily increasing due to the ability to transport high weight capacities across large bodies of water.

Types of ships have come a long way since small boats were first constructed from trees, shrubbery, and vines. Most of the first boats built were flat rafts that easily transported a few people to and from local coasts. Eventually, larger ships were created by hollowing out enormous pieces of wood and vertically attaching tall wooden posts to hang sails from. The sail boat dominated the ship industry for thousands of years before technology was able to enhance and modernize water transportation.

Fishing vessels are primarily one of two types: artisan, a small ship often used for personal fishing in local waters; and commercial, which is typically used to catch mass amounts of fish throughout the oceans for profit. Artisan boats are small classic fishing boats able to support a small number of people and equipment. Commercial boats are generally large and have electronic equipment, sleeping quarters, and room to house a large crew.


Cargo ships are drastically larger than fishing vessels. The length of the ship can exceed 1,300 feet (39.62 m). These ships can contain a wide variety of products, including furniture, vehicles, food, electronics, and other bulk merchandise.

Air craft carriers are a type of naval ship and are similar in purpose because they both exercise combat strategies. A naval ship is equipped with a multitude of weaponry and are typically constructed to resist damage during battle. Air craft carriers are generally used to launch and receive various military air crafts throughout most bodies of water. These ships are extremely large in size considering their uses, and can often hold thousands of service members.

There are many ships used for recreational purposes. A cruise ship is a luxurious vacation vessel that usually makes multiple stops at exotic locations. Most cruise ships have swimming pools, tennis courts, bars, restaurants, glamorous sleeping quarters, and many other activities are available to passengers. Other types of recreational ships include houseboats, speed boats, yachts, sport-fishing boats, pontoon boats, sail boats, and many others built for personal enjoyment.


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Post 2

@Mor - They keep building more cruise ships and they build them bigger and better with more facilities every time.

I wish they would concentrate more on making the ships environmentally friendly, so I didn't have to feel guilty about taking a cruise.

I really enjoy not having to worry about food or transport on a trip around an area, but if there was a less decadent way of doing this I would take it.

I really prefer the ancient kinds of ships. They still make war canoes known as Whakas in New Zealand as part of their cultural heritage. That's the type of sailing ship I'd be proud to sail in, particularly if I was able to contribute toward the forward motion with a paddle.

Post 1

It is amazing the kinds of facilities they offer on cruise ships now. I've been on one that had a basketball court and a climbing wall, as well as a separate disco room and game room for the teenagers. It also had an art gallery with a auction held every now and then for the art.

It had a film cinema and a theater for holding dancing shows and broadway shows. And that's not even counting the fitness centers and swimming pools.

And I've heard on other cruise ships they have ice skating rinks and outdoor movie areas, as well as wedding chapels and so forth.

It is a very luxurious way of traveling, but to tell the truth I think the food is the main thing for me. Being able to eat so much delicious and exotic food is a real treat. And another reason to be grateful for the fitness centers!

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