Generally speaking, you do not use the word room. For
instance, you never refer to the space where you sleep as
the bedroom or where you eat as the dining room. These
spaces are called the berthing compartment or space
and the messdeck.
A steel deck is made of steel plating (strakes) running
fore and aft. The outboard strake in the deck plating is
composed of stringer plates that are welded or riveted to
the side plates of the ship adding additional strength to
the ships sides. Decks are supported by athwartships
deck beams and by fore-and-aft deck girders. Further
deck support is provided throughout the ship by vertical
steel pillars called stanchions. Stanchions are mounted
one above the other or one above a strength bulkhead.
(The short posts used as lifeline supports also are called
stanchions.) Look at figure 8-2. Decks are usually
slightly bowed from the gunwale to the centerline to
provide for water drainage and to strengthen the deck.
The arch so formed is called camber.
A deck or part of a deck exposed to the weather is
called a weather deck (fig. 8-3). Bulwarks are a sort of
solid fence along the gunwale of the main (weather)
deck. The bulwarks are fitted with freeing ports
(scuppers) to permit water to run off during heavy
A deck that extends from side to side and stem to
stern is a complete deck. On an aircraft carrier, the
uppermost complete deck is the flight deck from which
aircraft take off and land. In all ships but aircraft
carriers, the uppermost complete deck is the main deck.
On an aircraft carrier, the hangar deck is the main deck.
The hangar deck is the deck on which aircraft are stowed
and serviced when not on the flight deck.
The first complete deck below the main deck is the
second deck; the next, the third deck; the next, the fourth
deck; and so on. Half decks or tween decks take the
number of the deck above and have the fraction 1/2
added to them.
A strength deck is just what the name implies. It is a
complete deck (usually the main deck) designed to
carry not only deck loads on it but also to withstand the
hull stresses. A damage control deck (on most ships the
second or third deck) is the lowest deck having access
through the main transverse bulkheads, from forward to
aft. This deck usually contains damage control main
repair equipment in addition to the facilities for the
control of flooding, sprinkling, and pumping if the ship
The following are definitions that relate to decks in
modern ships (the location of each deck is also given):
Companionways (ladders). Companionways, or
ladders, lead from one deck level to another. They
may or may not be covered by hatches.
Flats. Flats are plating or gratings installed only to
provide working or walking surfaces above bilges.
Forecastle (pronounced folk sel) deck. The forecastle
deck is the deck above the main deck at the bow.
Ships that dont have raised forecastles are called
flush-deckers. In them, the part of the deck from the
stem to just abaft the anchor windlass is the
Gallery deck. The gallery deck is the first half deck or
partial deck below the flight deck.
Half deck. The half deck is any partial deck between
Levels. A level is a general term used to designate deck
heights above the main deck. The first level above
the main deck is the 01 (pronounced oh-one) level,
the second the 02 level, and so on. Different decks at
a particular level, however, carry different names.
For example, both a poop deck and a boat deck
(usually) are on the 01 level.
Platforms. Platforms are partial decks below the lowest
complete deck. They are usually broken to admit
machinery and are called platform decks or just
platforms. They are numbered downward, as first
platform, second platform, and so on.
Poop deck. The poop deck is a partial deck above the
main deck located all the way aft. A flush-decker
does not have a poop deck, so the stern area of the
main deck on a flush-decker is called the main deck
aft, or the fantail.
Quarterdeck. The quarterdeck is not an actual deck, but
an area designated by the CO for the conduct of
official functions. It is the station of the officer of
the deck in port, and its location depends on how the
ship is moored or which side of the ship is tied up to