• A A

Home > People > Travel > Ship and Boat Compared

Difference Between Ship and Boat

Ship vs Boat

Ship and Boat are both sea-going crafts and almost every one of us have surely confused a boat from a ship and vice versa. There are many kinds of watercrafts such as kayaks, canoes, catamarans, tugs, ferries, motor boats, submarines, yachts, cruise and so on. We usually differentiate them based on their sizes and categorize some as ships and others as boats. We believe that the smaller one will always be the boat and the bigger one is the ship. This would partly help us determine which is which but there are greater differences between ship and boat.

Primarily, histories and inventions of these sea-going crafts are the main reasons for these confusions but these aspects, as well, will give us the explanation as to how these two differ from each other. For instance, many of us call submarines as ships. Why? Because, there are submarines in the sizes of ships. However, the reason for this belief is the first version of the modern submarines; early day submarines were attached with bigger ships in order for them to travel under water. So, people have been used to call submarines as ships since then. Still, one must know that submarines are boats and not ships. Let’s take the definitions of these two terms below.


Ship is a vessel that travels from lakes to rivers and to oceans and is weighing at least 500 tons. Ships are capable and are made explicitly robust to travel across deep seas and are operated by well-trained sailors such as marine and naval engineers. Its uses are for the transportation of goods and passengers, entertainment (specifically with cruise ships), public safety and for warfare, too.


Boat is a vessel of a discreet size capable to pass across waters for usual chores. Types are noted as human-powered vessels such as kayaks, canoes, punt and gondolas, sailing boats and motor boats like submarines and yachts. Every sea-going crafts that are below 500 tons of weight are categorized as boats. Some other examples are catamarans, tugs and ferries.

Even though definitions are well-explained, the thin line that separates a boat and ship are usually overlooked, that makes the topic a lot more complicated. People will easily term small water crafts like kayaks and canoes as boats but, whenever they see large fishing vessels, which, obviously, are ships, they are calling them as boats, as well. Why? Simply, because we are basing their differences upon their sizes, which is an insufficient basis. We tend to think ships are, solely, those large water crafts which has containers and tankers for cruising and are built for cargo carrying. We must know that ships are categorized as such because of the technology they acquire to be able to run the vessel together with their licensed sailors on board. With all these information, one must remember that terms of any particular vessel still depends on which region it was used. However, of all countries, boats and ships should be termed as they are commonly.

In brief:

1. Boats and ships are watercrafts.

2. Boats are generally smaller compared to ships.

3. A ship weighs at least 500 tons, boat are below 500 tons.

4. Ships are normally for deep water navigation, boats can travel in shallow waters as well.

5. Ships can carry passengers and cargo, so as boats but of a very limited capacity.

6. Ships must be operated with an approved license from authority; some boats do, too, but not all like those regular small fishing boats.

7. Some boats are human-powered but there is no such thing as a human-powered ship nowadays.

8. Ships are designed to carry boats for safeness preparation.


Related posts:

  1. Difference Between Kayak and Canoe

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Musgaan

    plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz jobbbbbbbbbbbb sir [musgaan@yahoo.com] plzzzzzzzz

Copyright © 2010-2012 Difference Between. All rights reserved.Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Detection
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy : Legal.
hit counters
eXTReMe Tracker
hit counters