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How are ships powered?

Ships and boats in a portShips are large vessels that travel across seas and oceans. Boats are smaller craft. Centuries ago, all ships were powered either by the wind or by oars. Most ships today are powered by engines that turn a propeller. Ships are used for carrying passengers or cargo, for fishing, harbour work, scientific research or for military purposes.



The Knock Nevis oil tanker, compared in size with a cruise liner, the large sailing ship France II, the largest type of submarine...Read More >>The Knock Nevis oil tanker, compared in size with a cruise liner, the large sailing ship France II, the largest type of submarine (Typhoon class), a Nimitz class aircraft carrier, the Santa Maria (Columbus's ship), a racing yacht and a blue whale—all illustrated to scale.


Any object placed in water is subject to two forces: gravity, which pulls it down because of its weight, and the buoyancy force,...Read More >>Any object placed in water is subject to two forces: gravity, which pulls it down because of its weight, and the buoyancy force, or upthrust, which pushes it up. When these forces are balanced, the object floats. Because it contains a lot of air, a ship displaces (pushes aside) enough water so that its buoyancy force is equal to its gravity force. That is why it floats.

Why a ship floats

Large container ships can carry up to 15,000 container boxes at once.

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