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Ships and boats

Modern ships

Two cruise liners dockedTwo cruise liners docked In the middle of the twentieth century, steam power began to give way to diesel power. Diesel engines are smaller, cleaner, far more efficient, and need fewer crew to operate them. Steam had almost completely disappeared by the 1980s. As air travel became convenient and cheap in the 1960s, passengers stopped travelling by sea and the age of the liner came to an end. But as cruise holidays became popular in the 1980s, construction of new, giant cruise liners began.

Parts of a ship

The main part of a ship is its hull, the part that sits in the water. It keeps the ship watertight and forms a strong structure that supports the other parts of the ship and its cargo. Inside the hull are horizontal decks and vertical walls called bulkheads. The parts of a ship above the main deck are called its superstructure. A tug, with part of its hull cut awayA tug, with part of its hull cut away


Tugs, for example, are ships specially designed to tow heavy ships, such as oil tankers. They have strong steel hulls and rubber fenders used for pushing ships. Tugs have an extremely powerful engine, which drives a large propeller. On some tugs, the propeller can be steered, changing the direction in which the tug is moving.

A ship's propeller and rudderA ship's propeller and rudder


Large container ships can carry up to 15,000 container boxes at once.

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