Difference between a ship and a boat
Is it a ship or a boat? / Stock photo

Difference between a ship and a boat

A boat is a human construct that can float and traverse on water.

A boat serves a need for sea, or inland waterway transport and supports various activities such as the transport of persons / goods; war at sea; fishing; boating and other services such as the safety of other boats.

A ship is a strong boat designed for navigation at sea and carrying tonnage, that is to say, when it is scheduled to navigate beyond the limit at which technical safety regulations for inland navigation cease to apply.

There are several types of ships including cargo ships such as oil ships and military ships (e.g. aircraft carriers).

We can say that these two words are very often misused. From a general point of view, the word boat is colloquial and the word ship is more formal. But we often speak of the same thing and intermix the use of both words.

A clear difference between the two is that a ship can carry a boat, but a boat cannot carry a ship.

An exception to this rule of thumb is that ferries are not regarded as ships but as boats; however, cruise ships that look and probably have the same weight are ships.

What do you think, is the photo above a ship or a boat?