List of historical ship types.

List of historical ship types.

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This is a list of historical ship types, which includes any classification of ship that has ever been used, excluding smaller vessels considered to be boats. The classifications are not all mutually exclusive; a vessel may be both a full-rigged ship by description, and a collier or frigate by function.

A two-masted schooner
Aircraft Carrier
Naval vessel able to launch and retrieve airplanes
Amphibious warfare ship
vessels of various sizes for landing personnel and vehicles
(Spanish or French) Originally a dispatch boat, later applied to ships equivalent to the Royal Navy sloop
A sailing vessel with three or more masts, fore-and-aft rigged on only the aftermost
A sailing vessel with three or more masts, square-rigged only on the foremast
A heavily-armed cruiser similar to a battleship but possessing less armour
A large, heavily armoured and heavily gunned powered warship
A ship or brig with a lug-rigged mizzen sail
An ancient vessel, propelled by two banks of oars
(Scots) Clinker-built vessel, single-masted with a square sail also capable of being rowed
Blockade runner
A ship whose current business is to slip past a blockade
A cargo vessel used for trade between Eastern India and Indochina
A two-masted, square-rigged vessel
A two-masted vessel, square-rigged on the foremast and fore-and-aft rigged on the main
(Portuguese) A much smaller, two, sometimes three-masted ship
Three or four masted ship, square-rigged forward, lateen-rigged aft; 14th to 16th century successor to the cog
A small boat used to negotiate between enemies
A sailing vessel characterized by a single mast carried well forward (i.e., near the bow of the boat)
A fast multiple-masted sailing ship, generally used by merchants because of their speed capabilities
Coastal defense ship
A vessel built for coastal defense
Plank built, one mast, square rigged, 12th to 14th century, superseded the longship
A vessel designed for the coal trade
A small, maneuverable, lightly armed warship, generally smaller than a frigate
Cruise ship
A ship used for carrying passengers on pleasure cruises
A warship that is generally larger than a destroyer, but smaller than a battleship
A warship mainly used for anti-submarine warfare
Destroyer escort
A lighter destroyer intended primarily for escort duties
traditional sailing vessels with one or more masts with settee or sometimes lateen sails, used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean region
An early twentieth century type of battleship characterized by an "all big gun" armament
Battleships predating the dreadnought, characterized by having an offensive battery of mixed calibers
A Viking longship with sails and oars
Ancient precursors to galleys
East Indiaman
An armed merchantman belonging to one of the East India companies
A traditional Arab type of sailing vessel
Fire ship
A vessel of any sort, set on fire and sent forth to cause consternation and destruction, rendering an enemy vulnerable
A Dutch-made vessel from the Golden Age of Sail, with multiple decks and usually three square-rigged masts, usually used for merchant purposes
Flüte (French
en flûte, "as a fluyt"): A sailing warship used as a transport, with a reduced armament
A term used for warships of many sizes and roles over the past few centuries
A sailing and rowing warship, equally well suited to sailing and rowing
A sixteenth century sailing warship
A warship propelled by oars with a sail for use in a favourable wind
Name refers to several types of sailing vessel, usually two-masted
Various small armed vessels, originally sail and later powered
A wooden warship with external iron plating
A Chinese sailing ship that widely used in ancient far east and South China sea which includes many variants such as Fu Ship, Kwong Ship.
A small type of Viking longship
A large type of Viking cargo ship, fit for Atlantic crossings
A sailing ship with mixed Chinese (rig) and western design (hull) that used since 16th century in far east.
Landing Ship, Tank
Military ship for landing troops and vehicles
Liberty ship
A type of welded American merchant ship of the late Second World War period, designed for rapid construction in large quantity
Liner or ocean liner
A large passenger ship, usually running on a regular schedule. The same vessel may be used as a cruise ship
Littoral combat ship (LCS)
US warship intermediate in size between a corvette and a frigate, similar to a sloop
A Viking raiding ship
A heavily-armed sailing warship
A trading vessel
Armed merchantman
A trading vessel possessing weapons for self-defense
Merchant aircraft carrier
A merchant vessel capable of launching aircraft
Merchant raider
An armed vessel used for raiding disguised as a merchant vessel
Small, fast two or three-masted Mediterranean sailing vessel
A small, very heavily gunned warship with shallow draft, designed for coastal operations
Motor ship or motor vessel
A vessel powered by a non-steam engine, typically diesel. Ship prefix MS or MV
A large medieval sailing ship
A sailing ship that carried mail, passengers and freight
Paddle steamer
A steam-propelled, paddle-driven vessel
Panterschepen (Dutch) or Pansarskepp (Swedish)
Types of ironclad, heavy gunboats designed for coastal or colonial service
An ancient warship propelled by 50 oars, 25 on each side
Pinisi (or Phinisi)
A fast, two-masted ship traditionally used by the Bugis of Eastern Indonesia
A generic modern term for ancient warships propelled by two or three banks of oarsmen, with three or more files of men per side, sometimes with more than one man per oar, and named after the number of files. Polyremes comprise the trireme (3 files), quadrireme, quinquereme, hexareme or sexireme (probably a trireme with two rowers per oar), septireme, octeres, enneres, deceres, and larger polyremes up to a "forty", with 40 files of oarsmen, 130m long, carrying 7,250 rowers, other crew, and marines
Pram (ship)
A pram or pramm is a type of shallow-draught flat-bottomed ship. There is also a type of boat called Pram
A heavily-armed vessel disguised as a merchantman to lure submarines into attacking
An ancient warship propelled by three banks of oars; respectively the top, middle, and lower banks had two, two, and one (i.e., 5 total) men per oar
Royal Mail Ship
Any ship carrying mail for the British Royal Mail, allocated ship prefix RMS while doing so. Typically a fast liner carrying passengers.
A fore and aft-rigged vessel with two or more masts of which the foremast is shorter than the main
Single-decked, single or double-masted Mediterranean cargo vessel carrying a settee sail
A large, heavily built, sixteenth-century boat which is fore-and-aft rigged; more recently a poetically frail open boat
Ship or full-rigged ship
Historically a sailing vessel with three or more full-rigged masts. "Ship" is now used for any large watercraft
Ship of the line [of battle]
A sailing warship generally of first, second or third rate, i.e., with 64 or more guns; until the mid eighteenth century fourth rates (50-60 guns) also served in the line of battle. Succeeded by the powered battleship
Slave ship
A cargo vessel specially converted to transport slaves
A fore-and-aft rigged sailing vessel with a single mast; later a powered warship intermediate in size between a corvette and a frigate
Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH)
A modern design built for stability in rough seas; predominantly used for research vessels
A small sailing ship, with a foremast, a mainmast and a trysail mast behind the main; sometimes armed as a warship with two to ten guns[1]
A ship propelled by a steam engine; includes steam frigates. Ship prefix SS for merchant vessels
Tartane or tartan
A single-masted ship used for fishing and coastal trading in the Mediterranean from the 17th to the late 19th century, usually rigged with a large lateen sail, and a fore-sail to the bowsprit.
A type of Mediterranean coastal sailing vessel
Tramp steamer
A steamer which takes on cargo when and where it can find it
An ancient warship propelled by three banks of oars per side
A ship used for transporting troops. Large ocean liners, fast enough to outrun warships, were often used for this purpose during wartime
Victory ship
Mass-produced cargo ship of the Second World War as a successor to the Liberty ship
Mediterranean sailing ship, typically three-masted, lateen-rigged and powered also by oars, with a characteristic overhanging bow and stern
A recreational boat or ship, sail or powered


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