I hear it time after time, people referring to cruise ships as boats, but what is the difference? I don’t think there are any laws that stipulate if you get it wrong then you shall be banished to a life at sea aboard the Black Pearl, but whichever way you look at it, a cruise SHIP is most certainly NOT A BOAT!!!
I am by no means a maritime expert, but there are a few things that are very different between the two that can help when trying to work out whether a specific mode of water based transportation would be classed as a boat or a ship. As I am so kind (and tired of hearing people refer to the likes of Britannia as a boat) I thought I would share some of these with you today.
1: Size is the most obvious difference between the two and I offer you this famous saying that will help keep you right in the future (before you let the B word slip out!) – A ship can carry a boat, but a boat can’t carry a ship. The next time you bump into your Captain, please, for the sanity of cruise-a-holics everywhere, don’t refer to his grand ocean going vessel as a boat – I beg you!
2: There are also big differences in how the two actually operate, for example, a ship (including cruise ships, navy ships, tankers and container ships) are often operated in oceanic areas and are built for cargo and passenger transportation, where as a boat is operated in smaller bodies of water and probably wouldn’t be the ideal choice for crossing the Atlantic Ocean during a force 10 storm.
3: When it comes to technology, the two couldn’t be any further apart. Ships offer some incredible, state-of-the-art navigational systems, where as a boat will usually offer a much less complicated set of operational equipment – unless you are aboard a fishing boat or yacht, of course.
4: Another good thing to think about is the crew – when was the last time you spotted a crew of 1,500 on a boat?
5: Construction also comes into play as ships are incredibly complicated structures that take a serious amount of planning and model testing. Even the weight and placement of the smallest addition must be taken into consideration because it could affect the stability of the vessel. A boat is a lot less complex than a ship when it comes to design complexities. OK, so it’s not quite as simple as folding a piece of paper and seeing if it floats, but it certainly won’t take several years to plan, another two to build and cost $500 million.
6: Propulsion – that thing that makes the ship or boat move in the water – also differs between the two. A boat can be powered by sails, motor or human force, where as a ship has dedicated engines to propel it.
So, the above are some examples of the differences between a ship (primarily a cruise ship) and a boat, but as I said at the beginning, I don’t think in the grand scheme of things that there is a set-in-stone right or wrong perception of all water transportation. Why? Because I would actually refer to a passenger ferry, such as King Seaways, as a ship, but technically it would be classed as a boat. I also don’t agree with calling a Submarine a boat – IT’S A SUBMARINE! – but because it can be hoisted aboard a ship, it too is classed as a boat. And on that note, who wouldn’t love to own a power catamaran!?
Regardless of anything written above, I think we have all now established that A CRUISE SHIP IS NOT A BOAT and as that was the actual point of the blog (but I needed to say a little more than just that for the sake of Google) I can be quiet again now. Until next time…………..