Boat vs ship. What measurement are we using?

Where on the tape measure is the 'magic number" that says 'no longer a boat?'

6 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    As far as I’m concerned, ships are ships, and boats are boats, and never the twain shall meet. Just don’t ask me to define the exact demarcation point…

    There is no precise distinction between a ship and a boat. It’s more a matter of custom and usage…or plain common sense. After all, like a lot of things in life, size matters, but in the case of ships vs. boats, size alone can be confusing.

    Consider submarines: traditionally referred to as ‘boats’ (never mind the fact that their official names always includes the prefix ‘USS’ - denoting United States Ship.

    Here’s another weird rule of thumb: ships have to be big enough to carry boats, and boats have to be small enough to be carried by ships. But there are many exceptions. All of the following could just as easily be called ships. PT Boats, Ferry Boats, Ocean-going Tugboats, Tow Boats, River Boats, Fire Boats, and Commercial Fishing Boats…

    As for the measuring tape method - I prefer the USCG internal designation for ships. In the USCG everything 65 feet and over gets the designation of a ship anything less is a boat. A USCG Cutter 65 feet or greater in length, with living accommodations for the crew, carries the ship prefix USCGC. Anything less, is a boat.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    A question that will long be debated by mariners for a long long time. There is no magic number, previous answers have quoted 100 foot and 65 foot.

    When I first went to sea it was that a ship will carry a boat but a boat can not carry a ship and this I later considered left a lot of questions open.

    The only true designations that I know are for a submarine which is always a boat and never a ship.

    Others are tugs ferrys etc as designated in Capt. Johns answer.

    Historically a ship was a three masted vessel which carried the following sails; course, main, gallant, top gallant and Royals.

    So keep debating.

  • 4 years ago

    Tamsie, you have gotten sufficient recommendations to the question posed already. you need to chop back the probabilities of being boarded however by utilising each and every spring having the USCG Auxiliary carry out a secure practices verify on your boat. the pick flow over the engine, risk-free practices kit, place of artwork artwork, etc. there is not any value to you and that's a good thank you to have somebody who knows of boating inform you which you boat is seaworthy on the commencing up up of each and every and each season. After the inspection and their little chit chat (takes approximately 20-0.5-hour) they provide you a decal to placed on the port window of your boat affirming you have been inspected that 3 hundred and sixty 5 days. this might shop you from being boarded besides the undeniable fact that it somewhat is no longer a assure that any regulation enforcement patrol won't habit a secure practices verify. by no skill ***** approximately those persons doing their jobs. it would choose to on the time appear as if an inconvenience yet collectively because it retains boaters on your section hazard-unfastened then it somewhat is a activity that each and every person human beings ought to welcome...distinctive than people who get caught for being drunk or no longer in compliance.

  • Dave
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    a boat is a vessel small enough to be carried aboard another vessel (a ship). Another less restrictive definition is a vessel that can be lifted out of the water.

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  • 8 years ago

    There all Ships, Technically a "Boat" is a submarie.

  • 8 years ago

    The US Navy has several criterion. But on a tape measure it is 100 feet.

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