You never go downstairs in a ship; you always go
below. To go up is to go topside. However, if you climb
the mast, stacks, rigging, or any other area above the
highest solid structure, you go aloft. The bridge is
topside and usually forward. It contains control and
visual communication stations. Human beings live in a
ship or on board a ship. Inanimate objects, stores, and
equipment are aboard a ship. Similarly, you board a
ship or go on board. Stores, ammunition, and so on are
taken aboard and struck below.
An object hanging against the side, bow, or stern is
over the side, bow, or stern. An object in the water but
not touching the ship is outboard of or off the ship (off
the starboard side, off the port bow, and so on). An
object in front of a ship is ahead of it. An object to the
rear is astern, never in back. Cooking is done in the
galley, not in the kitchen.
The fore-and-aft inclination of a ship is the ships
trimdown by the head or down by the stern. To trim a
submarine is to adjust water in the variable ballast
tanks, or trim tanks. A ship is said to list if it has a
permanent or semipermanent inclination to one side or
the other. This is a less than optimum condition.
In this section, you will learn some of the terms
related to ship construction. These terms wont tell you
how to build a ship; however, by learning the terms,
you will understand the major structural characteristics
of the hull, decks, and superstructure of a ship.
Figure 8-1 shows the hull structure of a cruiser. You
should refer to this figure as you read this section. The
hull is the supporting body of a ship. Think of the hull as
an envelope. Inside the hull are strengthening members
that prevent the envelope from collapsing. The hull also
contains partitions that form machinery, berthing,
messing, and other spaces.
The keel is the backbone of the ship. The keel of most
steel ships does not extend below the ships bottom;
hence, it is known as a flat keel. Its usual shape is that of
an I-beam. All other parts used in constructing the hull
are attached, either directly or indirectly, to the keel.
Figure 8-1.Hull structure of a cruiser.