History of Maritime
Boats and Watercraft
Definitions
The Difference Between

What is difference between ships and boats?

Answer

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08/10/2012

A boat has only one deck or "level". A yacht has 2 decks and a ship has 4 or more.

Answer

There is no difference between a ship and a boat, except for semantics. That is, what we call a ship and what we call a boat are completely culturally-based, and have no real objective criteria. In general, boats are smaller than ships, but, even there, there are exceptions (e.g. 10,000 ton submarines are referred to as "boats" in most English-speaking navies). Ships almost always have a minimum of one enclosed desk, but there are many boats which have one or more enclosed desks, too. It's a matter of tradition as to what watercraft is labeled which, and it makes no sense to try to figure it out.