general cargo freighter Maritime Topics on Stamps

Type of ships summary!


There were and still are more than 1000 different types of ships and boats. Due to adjustments, new requirements and advancements in shipbuilding new types will be developed again and again. So, an overview can never be complete.
This page is limited to approximately 400 of the most well-known types without going into detail worldwide.

According to size
Boats dugout, pirogue, praw, rowing boat, dinghy, gig, skiff, ship's boat, paddle boat, canoe, kayak, folding boat, outrigger canoe, catamaran, trimaran, barge, small barque, launch, pinnace, skiff, dragon boat, Cheops boat, gondola, lifeboat , centre boarder.
Ships Panmax, Suezmax, Capesize, Handysize, Handymax, Aframax
Jumbo ships, VLCC, ULCC
very / ultra large crude carrier
Japan tanker
Jumbo ship "Nissei Maru", built 1976, 484,442 tdw,
238,517 GT, 1,245 x 203 x 92 ft, gas turbine 14.5 knots.


Attempting to arrange the types into groups, a ship may be assigned to many diverse categories. E.g., a 400,000 tdw tanker may be classified as a ULCC due to its size, as a turbine ship according to its propulsion, as a cargo ship due to its purpose and as a double hulled vessel due to its design.

According to trading patterns:
Coaster "Merak-N", 214 x 37 x 12 ft,
817 tdw, year of construction 1949
Deep sea vessels, ocean steamer, liner, tramp steamer.
coaster, feeder ship, Great Lakes ship.
inland waterways craft, river steamer, chain steamer, boats, local crafts.


Depending upon stages in development, types are often grouped in individual classes or generations. Classes are marked with either names or letters, most commonly used by navies and also in merchant shipping. Examples are the submarine classes 212A (Germany), Los Angeles type (USA) or Typhoon (Russia). In merchant shipping one finds terms such as ‘3rd generation container ship’.

Organized by propulsion systems
Oar, rudder, paddle, bars dugout, pirogue, praw, rowing boat, dinghy, gig, skiff, ship's boat, paddle boat, canoe, kayak, folding boat, outrigger canoe, gondela-boat, poker skiff.
Inuit kayak
Inuit kayak, length 16 to 20 ft, beam 2 ft.
Towing towing by humans or animals, chain drive, the chain steamer pulls itself on a chain river upward
towing ship
Sails old sailing ships Viking ship, Norman boat, dhow, junk, cog, hulk, nef, galleon, nao, round ship, caravel, carack, pinnace, jebecque, frigate, corvette
Sail and rudderdromon, meditterranean galley, bireme, trireme, and so on. Viking longboat, felucca, umiak.
Sail in 19th and 20th century

fullrigger Fullrigger ' Crusader ',
built 1865, 1058 GT,
212 x 37 x 21 ft

fullrigger, barque, barkentine, brig, brigantine, schooner, gaff -, yard -, topsail- schooner,
clipper, Baltimore schooner / clipper
dhow, Egypt markab, Egypt merchant vessel, Roman trading vessel,
junks with over 100 single types, Chinese sampan,
north european schnau, galiot, galeotta, flute, cutter, tjalk, shallop, wherry boat, boyer, bilander, yacht, Dutch kuff, sloop, lugger, ketch,
lakatoi, arawak, tomoko, takia, nanomea, praw and other various South Sea sailing boat types
Leisure sailing boats - yachts laser, pirate, 470er, 49er, 505er, star, dragon, snipe, soling, dyas, Flying Dutchman (FD), scharpie, Olympic dinghy, Ok dinghy, tempest, shark, tornado, J-Class, R-Class, whale, yngling etc..
Engine driven screw -, propeller ship, steamer, paddle wheeler, stern wheeler, side-wheel steamers, rotor ship, express steamer, turbine ship, motor ship, Diesel-electric ship, air cushion vehicle (Hoovercraft), Nuclear powered ship, elektric powered ship (Azipod), waterjet ship and various combined drives (CODAG = combined Diesel and gas), CODMAE, CODED....), Twin -, double -, three -, four propeller ship, VOITH-Schneider propulsion, HSC (high speed craft/carrier), AIP ship (air independent propulsion)
Japan, Mutsu
Nuclear ship ' Mutsu ', launched 1969,
427 x 62 x23 ft, 8,242 GT, speed 16.5 knots


Sailing ship types are often defined by their rigging. Thus a four-mast full-rigged ship and a four-mast bark differ only in the rigging of the fourth mast: square yards with the ship, fore-and-aft sails with the bark.

According to construction modes and materials
Hydrofoil boat
construction modeFull scantling vessel; open and closed shelter decker; tower decker; casemate warship;
cofferdeck ship, clinker-built, carvel-built, cog, caravel, carrack’ flatbottom ship, round ship,
Single-, twin-hull ship; monohull boat; catamaran, trimaran; SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull)),
hydrofoil ship, folding boat, long keel boat, keel-sword boat, tuck boat, transom boat, three-island steamer,
Three-mast, four-mast, five-mast fullrigger; three-mast, four-mast, five-mast bark;
RO/RO ship (roll on, roll off), LO/LO (lift on, lift off), BACAT (Barge Catamaran), LASH (Lighter aboard ship), FLI/FLO (flow in, flow out), dockship (float on/float off), Skid on/Skid off ship (pushed) etc..
TSL (Techno super liner (Japan)), SDZ/FDZ (ship/frigate of the future), MPC (multi-purpose combination during shipbuilding), 'sister ship'.
Materials wooden ship, iron ship, steel ship; polyester -, plastic boat, aluminum ship,
cement ship; reed -, grass-, skin-boat; rubber -, rubber-dinghy; nonmagnetic ship


Over the centuries some individual terms were assigned several times, e.g. liners. End-19th and early-20th century, strongly armored battle ships were called liners. In the 17th and 18th century, great warships, which steered one behind the other in a line into battle, were called liners (ships-of-the-line). Freight or passenger liners today sail on fixed routes following exact schedules.

According to intended purpose
Merchant ships, cargo ships break-bulk freighter, RO/RO ship (roll on, roll off), LO/LO (lift on, lift off),
container ship, tanker, VLCC, ULCC (very/ultra large crude carrier),
gas tanker, LNG (Liquefied Natural gas) tanker, tank-barge tug, LPG (Liquefied Petrol gas) tanker,
MPC (multi-purpose carrier), Bulkcarrier, OBO (oil-bulk-ore), OBC (ore-bulk-container), heavy lift carrier, BACAT (Barge Catamaran), LASH (Lighter aboard ship),
FLI/FLO (flow in, flow out), reefer, banana steamer, car carrier, PCC (pure car carrier), mail steamer, cattle carrier, supply vessel, feeder ship, freight ferry, car ferry,
Liberty ship, Victory ship, T2-Tanker, lighter, barge, scow, merchant submarine
Heavy lift carrier 'Sturmfels ', year of construction 1972, 502 x 75 x 33 ft, 12,814 tdw, 20kn Heavy lift gear for 150 tons
car carrier
Car carrier 'Hyundai No.1', Year of construction 1980, 538 x 81 x 26 ft, 10,803 tdw, 17.5 kn capacity 2,229 cars
Passenger liners, ferries cruise ship, yacht, ferry, train ferry, car ferry, harbour ferry, vacation ship,
German KDF ship (strength-through-joy), combination ship (passengers/cargo vessel).
Bremen 4
Passenger liner / high-speed steamer 'Bremen', built 1928/29, 938 x 102 x 32 ft, 51,656 GT, 29 kn, passengers 2,217
Special ships Icebreaker, pilot boat, dockship (float on/float off), research ship, survey ship, weather ship, tug, push tug, buoy tender, cable ship,
light ship, dredge, suction dredge, hopper dredge, pit dredge, multi-bucket dredge, shelter ship, oil catching ship, fire-extinguishing ship, salvage vessel,
submersibles, robot submersibles, AUV (autonomous more underwater vehicle), ROV (remotely operated vehicle), research submarine,
medical hospital -, military hospital ship, mercy ship, rescue ship,
police boat, coast guard cutter, pipe putting ship, water boat, oil skimmer boat, customs cutter

Fireboat in action
Elbe 1
Light vessel "Bürgermeister O'Swald" on station "Elbe 1"
Fishery and whaling vessels trawler, stern trawler, side-gear trawler, factory trawler,
whale factory ship, whale catcher, fishing boat, fish cutter, ewer, drifter, kojer, fishery protection boat
Stern ramp trawler
Further intended-purpose terms Accomodaton ship, houseboat, emigrant ship, prize steamer,
school ship, charter ship, flagship, dead ship, museum ship.
living boat
up to the 19th century
dromon, galley, galleon, galeasse, bireme,
Roman double row galley, Roman triple row galley, Greek double row galley, Greek triple row galley, Roman galley with five men at each oar,
war junk, Chinese treasure ship, turtle boat, dragon boat (drakar), long ship (skuder),
liners (ships of the line), broadside ship, two-, three -, four-decker,
rank 1 to rank 6 ships (Royal Navy), carrack, corvette, caravel, sail frigate,
privateer- pirate ship, peace ship (Hanseatic League), brander, bomb ship.
Santissima Trinidad
Fourdecker "Santissima Trindad"', 1769 built, 171 x 53 x 23 ft, 130 cannons
19th and 20th century
Monitor, aircraft carrier, helicopter carrier, tank landing ship, battleship,
Dreadnought, 'vest pocket battle ship',
light cruiser, heavy cruiser, helicopter cruiser, guided weapons cruisers,
destroyer, helicopter destroyer, guided weapons destroyer, fleet destroyer, frigate, ecort frigate, guided weapons frigate, corvette, gunboat,
aviso, monitor, Speedboat, missile speedboat, torpedo boat, blockade runner, river combat ship,
mine layer, mine hunter, mine sweeper, mine drone guidance boat,
submarine, guided weapons submarine, ballistic submarine, mini submarine, submarine hunter, nuclear-powered submarine, hunt guidance ship,
landing ship, landing boat, dockship, amphibious troop vehicle,
maintenance ship, supply ship, trial ship, torpedo catch boat,
reconnaissance ship, target ship, auxiliary cruiser, merchant cruiser.
Battleship "Bismarck"' 824 x 118 x 33 ft, 50.900 tdw in operation, 30 kn

Nuclear-powered submarine, Los Angeles class

From time to time, Maritime Topics on Stamps will publish Internet pages of the individual catefories in no particular order.
Mississippi side-wheel steamer

© 1998 - 2005 Bjoern Moritz, all rights reserved.

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