Parts of a Ship, Names, Functions and 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 most suitable transportation service is by ship. 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. These ship parts are explained in the article 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
  • Bulbonus 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

Read More- 30 Basic Parts of a Boat, their Names, Functions & Diagram

Parts of a Ship

Monkey Island

Monkey island locates at the topmost position of the ship, and it is just above the bridge. This monkey island is nothing but a deck or place & is also called a flying 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 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 primary part of the ship, which is also 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 years, all smoke emissions are carried 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, gym, recreation room, crew cabins, hospital, kitchen, common rooms, laundry, dining area, and galley.

Apart from this amenity, freshwater system, garbage disposal system, refrigeration system, sewage treatment plant and air conditioning are the major performing system placed in the accommodation place.

Funnel Deck

As we know, a funnel neck is a chimney that is to flush out exhaust gases from the engine and boiler room to the atmosphere. Due to the increase in air pollution, certain limitations are there to decrease air pollution.

As funnel deck is inclined to a certain degree, and never be straight. So that exhaust gases cannot be a barrier to the deck and navigation system.

Ship Deck

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

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

The main function of the deck is to hold the hill structure and give a platform to stand and guard them against outside 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 function 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 wide area on top of the weatherboard and open area of the superstructure, which gives a clear view of the front and side to the navigational 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 foremost or frontend part of the ship. The forecast length should not be less than 7% of the total deck length.

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

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


The foredeck is the parts of the ship just forward to the weather deck. The foredeck is the distance between the foredeck and 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 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 has 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 can be 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 movement of the ship.

Emergency Generator Room

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

This emergency generator is present in the emergency generator room, and it 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 corrosion of the ballast tank.

A ballast tank is a revolution for the marine industry. Because in 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 just 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 ship.

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

Ship Cargo gear (Derrick/Cranes)

It consists of derrick 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

Hatch cover is to cover 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 it is measured at the distance between an upper deck of the ship and the waterline.

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

As per 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 wide platform just above the accommodation to monitor and control the ship. It gives a better and clear outside view to the captain.

Piot house is the main 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 are to help the cargo operation to move cargo vessels from one side to another. In some ships, deck cranes are to 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 Ton.


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

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


A lifeboat is a small and rigid ship used to evacuate passengers in emergency or disaster 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 strong and robust. Making these parts strong is a challenging job as there are chances of corrosion due to seawater. So the selection of materials for each part is very much important.

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