Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant watercraft. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing, entertainment, public safety, and warfare. Historically, a "ship" was a vessel with sails rigged in a specific manner.

Ships and boats have developed alongside mankind. In armed conflict and in daily life they have become an integral part of modern commercial and military systems. Fishing boats are used by millions of fishermen throughout the world. Military forces operate vessels for combat and to transport and support forces ashore. Commercial vessels, nearly 35,000 in number, carried 7.4 billion tons of cargo in 2007.

Ships were key in history's great explorations and scientific and technological development. Navigators such as Zheng He spread such inventions as the compass and gunpowder. Ships have been used for such purposes as colonization and the slave trade, and have served scientific, cultural, and humanitarian needs. After the 16th century, new crops that had come from and to the Americas via the European seafarers significantly contributed to the world's population growth. Maritime transport has shaped the world's economy into today's energy-intensive pattern.

Read more about Ship:  Nomenclature, Types of Ships, Architecture, Lifecycle, Measuring Ships, Ship Pollution, Buoyancy

Other articles related to "ships, ship":

USS Tarawa
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USS Lexington (CV-16)
... She was renamed while under construction to commemorate the earlier ship ... This ship was the fifth US Navy ship to bear the name in honor of the Revolutionary War Battle of Lexington ...
Queen Elizabeth 2 - History - Service History - Early Career
... first "civilian" passenger to board the ship, on her voyage from the shipyard in Clydebank to drydock in Greenock ... In 1971, she participated in the rescue of some 500 passengers from the burning French Line ship Antilles ... parachuted into the sea to conduct a search of the ship ...
USNS Watertown (T-AGM-6)
... USNS Watertown (T-AGM-6) was a Watertown-class missile range instrumentation ship acquired by the U.S ... Navy in 1960 and converted from her Victory ship cargo configuration to a missile tracking ship, a role she retained for eleven years before being placed out of service in ...

Famous quotes containing the word ship:

    I would rather not see such winds subside, which carry your slow ship away, although they leave me, cast down, on an empty shore, often, with clenched hand, calling you cruel.
    Propertius Sextus (c. 50–16 B.C.)

    What do we plant when we plant the tree?
    We plant the ship that will cross the sea,
    We plant the mast to carry the sails,
    We plant the planks to withstand the gales—
    The keel, the keelson, and beam and knee—
    We plant the ship when we plant the tree.
    Henry Abbey (1842–1911)

    ... what a family is without a steward, a ship without a pilot, a flock without a shepherd, a body without a head, the same, I think, is a kingdom without the health and safety of a good monarch.
    Elizabeth I (1533–1603)