A Brief History of Ship-Building

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Recovered in a morgue in Egypt, one of the oldest ships dates back to around 3000BC and is believed to have been constructed 5, 000 years before when it was owned by a Pharaoh. Unlike the modern and sophisticated vessels you see now, the ships built during this era were very basic as they were simply made using planks of wood bound together by woven straps.

Early Ships

The ships built around 2500 BC measured approximately 25m, and were typically propelled by an oar. It is at around this time that ocean navigators from Minoa and Mycenae took advantage of the vessels and began to explore the Mediterranean Sea. The Greeks then followed suit in the ship-building where they constructed triremes and biremes which were huge ships designed for war. Among the earliest sailing ships in history was the Syrakosis of Alexandria which had a length of about 70m and could hold a weight of up to 1000 tons.

Evolving Structure of the Ships

In constructing the very first ships, Egyptians would use grass and reeds to seal the spaces that would be left in between the flat pieces of timber. They later switched to pitch, a plant derivative that proved to have better sealing and waterproofing properties. In paddling, people would initially do so with their hands before they started using poles. Later, they improved the same poles by making one of the ends flatter and wider. Sails also came into place thereafter and these went a long way into limiting the amount of physical energy that was required to propel the ship. Besides, as time went by, the vessels were made with sturdier material to make them more stable and safer for the users. The architecture applied would also work to make the ships faster and it is at this point that the oars on the vessels were exchanged for the more powerful and efficient propellers.

Ships As They Are Known Today

The biggest ships available today are superstructures that can ferry tonnes of cargo and carry thousands of passengers. Other than that, options such as cruise ships encompass all manner of entertainment features including pools, cinemas, lounges, clubs and basketball courts. Not to mention, they have epic designs that would have never been imagined before.

Overall, it’s clear that ships have come a long way from the mere planks of wood that they were in the past. They have made a leap from simply ferrying people from point A to B, to providing just about anything one could need to keep comfortable during travel.

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