Ship 1. bow, 9. foredeck
Ship diagram 1. bow, 3. anchor, 4. hold compartments, 5. propeller, 6. stern, 7. exhaust funnel, 8. bridge, 9. foredeck

The sailboat, probably originated in the fourth millennium b.c., transformed travel, warfare, and our view of the world.

Marine describes things relating to the ocean or saltwater.

  • marine biology, marine ecology, marine geology
  • scientific contexts – almost always refers exclusively to saltwater environments
  • engineering – refers to any (usually navigable) body of water
  • a term for a navy.

Merchant marine, or merchant navy – the fleet of merchant vessels registered in a country

Marine Engineers and Naval Architects – design, build, and maintain ships from aircraft carriers to submarines, from sailboats to tankers.

  • marine engineers work on the mechanical systems, such as propulsion and steering, marine systems engineering, marine engineering technology
  • naval architects work on the basic design, including the form and stability of hulls




Commercial – transportation, fishing


Recreational – sailing, personal water craft, competition – Volvo Ocean, America’s Cup

Exploration – oceanography, marine biology, meteorology

Life Boat Society

What’s the problem?
Hovercraft have been around since the 1960’s and while they still seem somewhat futuristic they’ve never really caught on in a big way.

  • Ask – Traditional boat hulls must deflect a lot of water as they are propelled through the water. This limits their speed. How can the speed be increased? How can people and goods be transported where water is relatively shallow? How can the cargo be delivered directly onto a beach?
  • Imagine – How can the contact between the hull and the water be reduced? What other technologies are available that can be combined with a boat hull to reduce drag and increase speed over water? Hovercraft usually ride along on a cushion of air between the bottom of the boat and the surface of the water. Large fans to
  • Design, Build – How do hovercraft designs differ from conventional water transportation?
  • Improve – Unfortunately for Hovercraft, the massive fuel cost associated with driving their engines sunk their possibility for widespread use.

That’s engineering

  • surface tension – an important factor in boat and water craft design

Do it
Here are some challenges for you to work on…

  • Engineer a Boat that can zip through the ocean. Naval architect / marine engineer Carolyn Judge explains the challenge. Build a fast, stable boat that can move through the water for long distances on a zip – activity (video 0:51), explanation.

Learn more…