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

Anatomy of Ship Overview

Nowadays, there are so many ways to travel, such as airlines, roads, and ships. However, 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 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.

This article will help you to know ship anatomy and its components, providing a comprehensive explanation of their locations and functions.

Parts of a Ship Diagram

Parts of a Ship, Names, Functions and Diagram

Ship Parts Names

  • 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 most accessible height of a ship. Technically, it is a deck located directly above the navigating bridge of the ship. It is also called the flying bridge on top of a pilothouse or chart house and the ship’s upper bridge.

Sailors used this monkey island in past years 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 functions 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, also known as a stack, is a chimney on the vessel that exhausts engine and boiler smoke into the atmosphere.

The funnel’s cross-section mainly depends upon how much smoke the exhaust engine produces. All smoke emissions are brought out through the funnel early.

Authorities have restricted the amount of smoke emitted to control 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 in 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 six 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 provide a platform to stand and guard against exterior or uncertain weather conditions.


The mast is a vertical ship structure mounted on the bridge and beside 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 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 front part of a ship is called the stem. There are two types of stem: raked and upright stem.

The raked stem inclines at a certain angle to the water streamlines. In contrast, the upright stem is perpendicular to the water streamline.


A forecastle is the leading or frontend part of a ship. The forecast length should not exceed 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, forecastles were used by the military or soldiers to take defensive positions in military vessels.

The forecastle is to hold, anchor, and secure some principal ship parts.


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 over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter rail to the taffrail.

The stern of the ship classifies three into three 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, it pushes seawater backward, and the ship moves forward.

The propulsion unit consists of a propeller, shaft, and engine. The propeller comprises 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

An emergency generator supplies electricity in dangerous conditions when the main electricity supply is shut down.

It is 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.

Ballast Tanks

Ballast tanks are used to store and carry 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 are used 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 used to store lube oil and fuels. These lube oils are used for lubrication to safely operate 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, and it 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 is used in all major ships in function, bar keels are used when the ship works in shallow water, and duct keels are used 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 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. However, the main requirement is that it be easy to use.

The following are some hatch covers that are used on 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 keep it from sinking. A minimum of freeboard on the ship is required to avoid falling.

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 for freeboarding 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 clearer outside view to the captain.

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

According to maritime rules, one must construct a vessel in a manner that provides a clear and improved view from the conning position, spanning 1200 port to 1200 starboard.

This position is where the duty officer commands, monitors, and maneuvers 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 below the water, it is 9 meters below.

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.

Belothree are three types of lifeboats used on ships.

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


As we all know, using ships is typical for transporting goods from one country to another. 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 is a chance of corrosion due to seawater. So, the selection of materials for each part is very important.

Related Posts to Transportation-

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

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