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Anatomy of a Ship

February 21st, 2017 by Piper Smith

Though there are many ships that roam the ocean, each with an anatomy a bit different than the other, it is important to have basic knowledge of the components that make up these ships.

5 types of ships commonly known to roam the waters are Ship of the Line, Frigate, Snow, Corvette, Schooner, and Sloop.

Mast: tall pole sticking up from the deck of a ship.

There are 3 types of Masts:

  1. Foremast: front mast
  2. Mizzenmast: rear mast
  3. Mainmast: middle mast or only mast

Sails: piece of material extended on a mast to catch the wind and propel a boat, ship, or other vessel

4 types of sails:

  1. Jibs: a triangular staysail set forward of the forwardmost mast.
  2. Spankers: afore-and-aft sail set on the after side of a ship’s mast, especially the mizzenmast.

Jibs are at the bow, and Spankers are located at the stern of a ship.

       3. Stay Sails: a triangular fore-and-aft sail extended on a stay.

       4. Stays which are large ropes used to support a mast

Rigging: the system of ropes, cables, or chains employed to support a ship’s masts and to control or set the yards and sails

Two ways to rig a mast:

  1. Square Rigged: having the principal sails at right angles to the length of the ship, supported by horizontal yards attached to the mast or masts.
  2. Fore & Aft Rigged (Sloop Rigged): having one mast and a mainsail and jib rigged fore and aft.

Decks: a structure of planks or plates, approximately horizontal, extending across a ship or boat at any of various levels, especially one of those at the highest level and open to the weather.

9 types of decks:

  1. Poop: the aftermost and highest deck of a ship, especially in a sailing ship where it typically forms the roof of a cabin in the stern.
  2. Forecastle: the upper deck of a sailing ship forward of the foremast, or the forward part of a ship with the sailors’ living quarters.
  3. Spar: an upper deck of a ship or other vessel.
  4. Main: the highest complete deck on a vessel extending the full length and width of the ship
  5. Lower Deck: The deck of a ship situated immediately above the hold.
  6. Middle Deck: The middle deck of guns when the ship of the line carried three decks of guns.
  7. Berth: the deck on which the hammocks on a warship were formerly swung.
  8. Orlop: the lowest deck of a wooden sailing ship with three or more decks.
  9. Bilge: The bottom and lowest internal part of a ship’s hull.