Guide to Understanding 30 Parts of a Ship: Names, Functions & Diagram

Overview of Ship Anatomy

Nowadays, there are so many ways are there for transportation. Such as airlines, roads, and ships. But out of that, the cheapest and most convenient transportation service is by ship. A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world’s oceans and other sufficiently deep waterways, carrying cargo or passengers or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, research, and fishing. Most international transporters prefer to transport all their materials by ship. Cargo material, oil, foods, vegetables, and many more materials are transferred from one country to another. The various parts of a ship are manufactured individually and assembled through welds, bolts, and rivets on the dock to make a proper assembly. As it transports an immense amount of cargo and material from one country to another, it is necessary to manufacture each ship’s parts excessively precisely.

In this article, we will see ship anatomy and components explained with their locations and functions.

Ship Parts Diagram

Parts of a Ship, Names, Functions and Diagram

Name a Parts of a Ship

  • Monkey Island
  • Bridge
  • Funnel
  • Accommodation
  • Funnel Deck
  • Ship Deck
  • Mast
  • Flying Bridge
  • Stem
  • Forecastle
  • Foredeck
  • Bulbous Bow
  • Stern
  • Poop Deck
  • Rudder
  • Propeller
  • Emergency Generator Room
  • Ballast Tank
  • Bunker Tank
  • Keel
  • Ship Cargo Gear (Derrick/Cranes)
  • Hatch Cover
  • Freeboard
  • Hull
  • Anchor
  • Navigation Bridge
  • Deck Crane
  • Draught
  • Lifeboat

Parts of a Ship

Monkey Island

Monkey island is located at the top most accessible height of a ship. Technically, it is a deck located directly above the navigating bridge of the ship. It is also referred to as the flying bridge on top of a pilothouse or chart house and the ship’s upper bridge.

This monkey island uses in past years by sailors for solar and stellar observations.

Monkey Island is an integral part of a ship and hose. It includes a DR capsule, AIS Tx/Rx antennae, Radar scanner(s) attached to the radar mast, Sat C/F77 Tx/Rx antennae, & communication equipment gear.


The ship bridge is the preliminary part of a ship, which is called the commanding station of the ship. This bridge control commands the total movement of the ship through its navigational system.

Following are the function of the bridge.

  • Control the momentum & speed of the ship.
  • Monitoring weather and sea weather condition
  • Fixing the position of the ship
  • Carried out internal and external communication


A funnel is a chimney on the vessel used to flush out engine and boiler smoke in the atmosphere. This funnel is also called a stack.

The cross-section of the funnel mainly depends upon the amount of smoke the exhaust engine produces. In the early time, all smoke emissions are brought out through the funnel.

But nowadays there are some restrictions on the amount of smoke emitted due to control on air pollution.


Accommodation is a place on a ship where all crew members live. This place consists of offices, a salon, a gym, a recreation room, crew cabins, a hospital, a kitchen, shared spaces, laundry, a dining area, and a galley.

Apart from this amenity, a freshwater system, garbage disposal system, refrigeration system, sewage treatment plant, and air conditioning are the major performing systems that are part of the accommodation place.

Funnel Deck

As we know, a funnel neck is a chimney that flushes exhaust gases from the engine and boiler room to the atmosphere. Due to the increase in air pollution, certain limitations present to lessen air pollution.

The funnel deck is bent to a certain degree. So that exhaust gases cannot be a barrier to the deck and navigation system.

Ship Deck

It is a floor or covering of the ship hull structure. There can be multiple decks on the ship. The topmost deck is called the main deck or weather deck.

It also bears maximum exposure to the weather. There are 6 types of decks depending on the position. These are the main deck, poop deck, upper deck, lower deck, weather deck, and foredeck.

The primary function of the deck is to hold the hill structure and give a platform to stand and guard them against exterior or uncertain weather conditions.


The mast is a vertical ship structure mounted on top of the bridge and next to the bow.

The primary function of the mast is to give a support platform to the ship’s derrick, and the secondary role is to hold the necessary equipment such as radar, navigation system, and horns.

This mast is made of high-tensile steel, which gives rigid support to the ship. Sometimes, the mast is to hoist the ship’s flag.

Flying Bridge

The Flying bridge is the broad area on top of the weatherboard and open space of the superstructure, which gives a clear view of the front and side to the nautical officers.

The Flying bridge area is also used as an operating station for crew members.

It contains a duplicate set of controls, which is very important for pilot and ship officers for the berthing and unberthing of the vessel.


The frontmost part of the ship is called the stem. There are two types of stem, raked and plumb stem.

The raked stem incline at a certain angle to the water streamlines, whereas the plumb stem, is perpendicular to the water streamline.


A forecastle is the leading or frontend part of a ship. The forecast length should not be less than 7% of the total deck length.

The forecastle is smooth to identify due to the sudden rise in the foredeck near the bow. In the past year, forecastle was used by the military or solder to take the defensive position in military vessels.

Nowadays, the forecastle is to hold, anchor, and secure some principal parts of a ship.


The foredeck is the parts of a ship just forward to the weather deck. The foredeck is the distance between the foredeck and the forecastle.

Bulbous Bow

The bulbous bow is projecting bulk just near the hull below the waterline. This bulbous bow modifies & decreases the thrust of water. So, pump speed, range, and stability increase significantly.

The large ship has a bulbous bow with a fuel efficiency better than 10-12% than ships that don’t have the bulbous bow.


Stern is back parts of the ship. Technically that area is built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter rail to the taffrail.

As the stern of the ship classifies into 3 different categories.

  • Elliptical Stern
  • Cruiser stern
  • Transom Stern

Poop Deck

The poop deck is the deck that can form the roof of the cabin on the rear part of the superstructure.


As we know, steering is to steer the vehicle & the same happens in the ship. But instead of steering, it uses a rudder to steer the ship.

The rudder consisted of a rudder trunk, moveable flap, main rudder blade, hinge system, links, and rudder carrier bearing.

There are the following types of rudders.

  • Spade or Balanced Rudder
  • Unbalanced Rudder
  • Semi-balanced rudder


A propeller is a mechanical device with blades fitted to the central shaft. When the shaft rotates, the rotational motion of the propeller starts forcing seawater. So, its pushes seawater backward, and the ship moves forward.

The propulsion unit consists of a propeller, shaft, and engine. The propeller is made up of non-corrosive metals such as aluminum, bronze, and manganese. There can be multiple propellors on the ship.

Newton’s third law of motion and Bernoulli’s principle are behind the vessel/ship movement.

Emergency Generator Room

In some dangerous conditions, if the main electricity supply gets shut down, an emergency generator supplies the electricity.

It is present in the emergency generator room, which is above the topmost position of the deck. This generator is easy to use and operates at degrees Celsius also.

Ballast Tanks

Ballast tanks are to store and carry the water. This water in the ballast tank is called ballast water. The function of ballast water is to provide stability to the ship when it is empty.

As seawater is very corrosive, to avoid corrosion of the ballast tank, anode rods using to prevent the erosion of the ballast tank.

A ballast tank is a revolution for the marine industry. Because in the past, solid ballast is very difficult to drain out.

Bunker tanks

Bunker tanks are to store lube oil and fuels. These lube oils are used for lubrication merely for the safer operation of all machinery, while fuel is there for emergency operations.

As these are flammable, they are stored in ignition-prone places.


A keel is one of the main parts of a ship, which is responsible for proving the strength and stability of the boat.

Flat, duct and bar keels are the three types of keels. A flat keel using in all major ships in function, bar keels using when the ship works in shallow water, and duct keels using for offshore vessels and double-hull tankers.

Ship Cargo gear (Derrick/Cranes)

It consists of derricks and cranes to lift and carry goods on the ship. These cargo gear are electrically or hydraulically operated, and cargo gear handles 15 tons to 4000 tons per hour.

Hatch Cover

It covers all types of cargo storage from spoilage, especially in the rainy season. The design of the hatch cover depends on the type of cargo vessel. But the main requirement is it should be easy to use.

Following are some hatch covers that use in all types of ships.

  • Lifting type
  • Rolling type
  • Folding type
  • Sliding-type
  • Roll stowing type

Earlier, these catch covers were crane or winch operated, but nowadays, these hatch covers are hydraulically operated.


Freeboard is part of the ship located just above the waterline and measured at the measurement between an upper deck of the ship and the waterline.

The function of the freeboard is to maintain the symmetry of the ship and dodge it from sinking. It is required to maintain minimum freeboard on the ship to avoid sinking.

According to the international conventional load line, the following is some load line marked on the ship’s hull.

Tropical Freshwater, Freshwater, Tropical, Summer, Winter, and Winter North Atlantic.
This load line ensures the minimum requirement of freeboard on the ship.


The hull is the watertight enclosure of the ship, which may be open, fully or partially covered with deck. The function of the hull is to protect all goods, machinery, and cargo from the weather and flooding.


An anchor is a metallic arrangement to secure a vessel bed of a body from the water and prevent the craft from drifting due to wind. The anchor of the ship may be temporary or permanent.

Following are some types of anchors generally found in ships.

  • Fluked anchors
  • Admiralty anchor
  • Stockless anchor
  • Grapnel anchor
  • Herreshoff anchor
  • Northill anchor

Navigation Bridge

The navigation bridge is the broad platform slightly above the accommodation to monitor and control the ship. It gives a better and clear outside view to the captain.

The Piot house is the primary part of the navigation room from where the ship can steer and control.

As per maritime rules, it is compulsory to construct in such a way that it should be given a clear and better view from 1200 port to 1200 starboard from the conning position.

This position from where the duty officer command, monitors, and maneuver the ship.

Deck Crane

Deck cranes help the cargo function to move cargo vessels from one side to another. In some ships, deck cranes shift and move the goods such as hoses, tools, and machinery.

Deck cranes are generally electrically or hydraulically operated and have a maximum capacity of 50 Tons.


The draught is the part of a ship that is below the water. Draught is generally measured in meters. If the draught is 9 meters, it means the draught is 9 meters below the water.

If the cargo in the ship is more, then the draught will be more & if the cargo in a ship is less, then the draught will be below.


A lifeboat is small and rigid, used to vacate passengers in emergency or dangerous conditions. This lifeboat is a life-saving part of the ship because it saves the passenger’s life.

These lifeboats are easy to launch over the side of a ship with minimum effort.

Below are 3 types of lifeboats uses on ships.

  • Open lifeboat
  • Closed lifeboat
  • Free-fall lifeboat.


As we all know, the use of ships is typical for transporting goods from one country to the other countries. So the manufacturing of parts of a ship plays a prime role in making it robust. Making these parts strong is a difficult job as there are chances of corrosion due to seawater. So the selection of materials for each part is very much important.

Read More-

What is a Ship?

ship is a large watercraft that travels the world’s oceans and other sufficiently deep waterways, carrying cargo or passengers or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, research, and fishing.

What are the parts of a ship?

Monkey Island
Funnel Deck
Flying Bridge
Bulbous Bow
Poop Deck
Emergency Generator Room
Ballast Tank
Bunker Tank
Cargo Gear (Derrick/Cranes)
Hatch Cover
Navigation Bridge
Deck Crane

Leave a Reply