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Ship and Boat: What is the Difference?

As confusing as it can be, though everyone knows that a boat is different from a ship, some still get mistakes as to which is which.

Boat and ships are both watercraft vessels.  The generally smaller and less complex vessels are ‘boats’, while the larger and more complex vessels are ‘ships’.  As the saying goes, ‘you can put a boat inside a ship, but you can’t fit a ship inside a boat’.

Boats are of modest size designed to float and provide passage across water, mostly lakes or in protected coastal areas.

Ships also floats on water and considered to be vessels which was built to transport either passengers or cargo.  Ships started off large, like cruise ships, containerships, etc.

Let us give more clarity to what a ‘boat’ or a ‘ship’ is, in different categories.

By Size.

A boat is a small to medium-sized watercraft with frames, powered by sails, engines or human force.

A ship is a larger vessel that allow for a variety of activities like transporting of people or goods, entertainment, public safety and warfare.

By Location of Operation

A boat can be used only in areas near the coast or within covered or secluded bodies of water like rivers, lakes, and streams. Mostly these are calm waters where boats can float freely by buoyancy.

A ship sails in deep-water like oceans and seas, where waves tossed here and there at different high levels, depending on the weather. They can transfer cargos or passengers from one side of the world to the other end by crossing different oceans for months or years.

By Navigation and Technology Equipments

A boat has less or nothing at all when it comes to navigation equipments or gadgets. It can move simply by natural buoyancy and flow of the water it’s in or by paddling to where you want to go. 

A ship needs all the latest and trustworthy navigational equipment and systems it can use for it to be manoeuvred on long journeys, especially when transporting important goods on different ports across oceans.

By Number of Crews

A boat can be manned by small size of crews, but still depending on how big the boat is and what it’s used for. Usually a boat can be handled by one or two persons, but fishing boat needs more than that.

A ship is technically large, meaning it has to be operated by trained seafarers.  It usually needs a captain to supervise the operation and a number of crew to execute the captain’s order of navigation.

By Capacity

A boat has limitations on how much it can carry on board because of its size, whether in passenger or cargo.

A ship can take as much as many people and cargos that weighs thousands of tons since it’s bigger and designed for such job.

By Construction and Design

A boat is much simpler when it comes to construction, the materials used for building it, and the mechanism is less complicated.

A ship is build from the hardest steel and took years to be build, because of the complexity of its structure and engineering. Machineries should also be put into specific places and navigational systems are taken into considerations for the ships safety during its long journey on what is mostly rough seas and weather conditions.



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BW Shipping Philippines Incorporated Has A New Home




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