The Topic:
Ships and Boats

Make sure that you visit the companion webpage to this Ships and Boats 42eXplore project from eduScapes; it is titled Famous Ships. There you will find links for over 150 sites containing information and pictures or photographs of well-known vessels. Don't miss it!
Easier - A boat is a small vehicle for traveling on water. A boat can have oars, paddles, sails, or a motor to make it move. A ship is a large boat that can travel across deep water, such as a sea or ocean. A ship is built to carry people or goods for a long distance.
Harder - The difference between a ship and a boat is size. Large oceangoing vessels are called ships; while all other craft are called boats. Various types of boats include canoes, rowboats, sailboats, and motorboats.
Ships are one of the oldest and most important means of transportation. For hundreds of years, people have sailed the seas to explore, to settle, to trade, and sometimes to conquer. Today, trade among countries still depends heavily on ships. Ships sail along seacoasts, cross the oceans, and travel on inland waterways. Many different types of ships are used including giant tankers that haul petroleum and other liquids; refrigerated ships carrying fresh fruits, meats, and vegetables; dry bulk carriers hauling grain, ore, and sand; cargo ships transporting manufactured goods; and passenger liners carrying travelers.
BoatSafe Kids
This site has great boating and water safety information by and for kids.
Related Websites:
2) Boating Safety News
3) Boating Safety Tips from US Coast Guard
4) Boat Safe from Nautical Know How
5) Kids in Boats from Australia New Zealand Safe Boating Education Group (ANZSBEG)
Inventing Water Transportation from The Engines of Our Ingenuity
You can listen to the text in Real Audio. This companion site to the radio program provides tons of information about different types of boats and the history of water travel.
Related Websites:
2) History of Shipbuilding by J. Celic & E. Hafner
3) Replicas & Shipbuilding from Nordic Underwater Archaeology
Mariners' Museum
Here you can discover galleries filled with an international collection of intricately carved figureheads, detailed ship models, paintings, decorative arts, and other maritime artifacts.
Related Websites:
2) Australian National Maritime Museum
3) Especially for Kids and Teens from Department of Transportation, Maritime
4) Virtual Maritime Museum from Maritime Museum of British Columbia
Paddling: Canoeing, Kayaking and Rafting from GORP
This comprehensive site connects you to information, resources, and instructions for paddling.
Related Websites:
2) Buying a Canoe from Conservation Commission of Missouri
3) Canoe: Portraits of Great Fur Trade Canoes from Canadian Museum of Civilization
4) Canoeing and Kayaking Guidelines from, Inc.
5) History of the Canoe
6) International River Grading System
7) Wave Eaters: Native Watercraft in Canada from Canadian Museum of Civilization
Visit several of the websites, then select and complete one or more of these projects:
Make And Sail A Paper Boat. Start by visiting (1) Maverick 's Paper Boats (Age 3 and above). Follow the instructions found there to make a paper boat. Other ship and boat building projects can be found at (2) Odawa Canoe from Public Museum of Grand Rapids and (3) Map and Ships from Enchanted Learning. Finally, you can create your own boat or ship models. Experiment with different designs and find ones that work best. Use any type material that you like: balsa wood, paper mache, clay, or a combination.
Complete A Ship Or Boat WebQuest. Adapt or follow the procedures found at the following webQuest sites:
1) Perfect Storm
2) Will the REAL Charlotte Doyle Please Stand Up? (Grade 6) by N. Weber
Conduct A Mock Titanic Trial. You will find a thorough explanation of the process for a mock trial based on actual events from the disaster at Titanic.
Compare And Contrast Two Ships. Pick two specific ships from the companion site, Famous Ships. Identify how they are alike and different. Consider all aspects of their history: where and how they were built, design, utility, length of service, voyages, etc. Show your findings in a Venn diagram.
Create A Water Transportation Timeline. Consider the development of water transportation craft throughout history and show the major developments on a timeline. You may have to estimate the dates for some of the more ancient or early types. An alternative project is to illustrate the historical development of water transportation vehicles in a mural art display. Use a large sheet of art paper for this. Share your completed projects.
Plan a Boat Or Canoe Trip. Pick a location and route, this could be on a lake, stream, or river in a nearby region or neighboring state. Plan a journey that would involve at least two or three days. Identify all the needed gear, some of which might be rented. Complete a schedule for your trip, list of supplies and equipment, and estimate the costs. You may find some useful ideas at (1) Canoe Camper, (2) Canoe Camping - USA, (3) Technique Section from Canadian Canoe Routes, and (4) Paddling 101 from American Canoe Association.
Publish A Boating Safety Booklet. First explore the websites to gather information on recommended safety practices. Next create a booklet that informs people about safe boating practices. Illustrate your book. Distribute your finished publication.
Learn How to Paddle and Handle a Canoe. First explore available resources in your library and online to learn the techniques of paddling a canoe. You may find the following websites helpful.
1) Beginning Canoe Strokes from Conservation Commission of Missouri
2) Getting Started from Australian Canoeing
3) Paddling Instructions from Buffalo River Canoe Trip
4) Unswamping a Canoe from Conservation Commission of Missouri
5) Whitewater Paddling FAQ
Websites By Kids For Kids
Adventures at Sea (1999 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
Do you think you're ready for an adventure at sea? Go to "Sailor School", design a clipper ship, and take the sailing challenge.
Lost Liners: Earth's Once Great Ships (1998 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
The wrecks of the Titanic, the Normandie, the Lusitania, the Andrea Doria, and the Empress of Ireland are explored at this web page.
Ron and Bob's Journey on the Wavebuster 1998-1999 from Pinewood Elementary School
This site followed a sailing journey down the west coast from Napa, California to Ixtapa / Zihuatanejo, Mexico.
Rowing from an Oarsman's Perspective (1996 ThinkQuest Project)
Did you know a sculler has to have both his oars in the water? And just what the heck is a coxswain? Rowing as a competitive sport has been around for centuries. Join the crew to discover the history behind those guys out rowing their boats. Learn the terminology, training techniques and how to take a stroke.
R.M.S. Titanic by Brett
This tribute to the Titanic includes information on the ship's maiden voyage, specifications, sinking, rescue, and much more.
Some Work About Boats
Here are a few student webprojects on boats and boating.
Viking Ships from Janet's Viking Web Site
Brief site has a few facts about Viking vessels.
Voyagers Now & Then (1998 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
Compare life on board the Star of India, a ship that sailed in the 1840's and the Challenger Space Shuttle.
More Water Transportation Websites
Battleships of the United States
On 16 December 1907, the United States Battle Fleet began a journey that would conclude by circumnavigating the globe. Learn about the ships and their voyage at this site.
This site has information about care, maintenance, and operation of a boat.
Boating Basics Glossary of Terms
Look up boating terminology at this A to Z site.
Boating Information Center
This is a comprehensive site for information about boating, sailing, and yachting.
Boat Plans for Power and Sail from Boat Design
This is a comprehensive site for information, resources, and links to design plans for a wide variety of boats.
Boats on the River from Harvesting the River
This site covers the history of river transportation and the types of boats used on the Illinois River.
Brief History of the Passenger Ship Industry from Digital Scriptorium, Duke University
This brief site tells the history of passenger ships and includes some advertising posters from the past.
Related Websites:
2) Lost Liners from PBS Online
3) Lost Liners - Honoring the Golden Age of Ocean Travel
4) Maritime Matters
English Ships from Jamestown Settlement
Learn about life on the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery.
Finland's Icebreakers by J Brady from Virtual Finland
Check out these special ships of the Baltic sea and watch them in action on a RealAudio video.
First Fleet 1787 - 1788
Eleven ships left Portsmouth, England early on Sunday 13 May 1787 bound for a virtually unknown shore eight long months and half a world away. Aboard were 750 convicts from Britain's overcrowded prison system bound for Botany Bay to establish the first European settlement on Australian soil.
Related Website:
2) Our First Fleet
Greatest American Fourth of July from PBS
This is a companion site to the PBS broadcast of The International Naval Review and the OpSail 2000 on July 4th. Check out cool features that let you name ships, learn about the science of sailing, and take a virtual tour inside the Amistad and USS Philadelphia.
Halifax Explosion
Find out about the collision of two warships during WWI that resulted in the deaths of thousands of people.
International Marine Signal Flags
Learn the meanings of various flags used by ships at sea.
Related Website:
2) Flag Etiquette from US Power Squadrons
John Ericsson from National Inventors Hall of Fame at Invent Now
John Ericsson invented the ship propeller and incorporated the landmark device into his design for the Civil War ironclad the Monitor.
John's Nautical & Boatbuilding Page
This is a huge links-site for information on ships, boats, boat building, and more.
Maritime Engineering Historical Research by D. Griffiths
The aim of this website is to further the study of marine engineering history and encourage the dissemination of research material. Here you can find information about several maritime engines, the Titanic, and more.
Maritime History of the Thunder Bay Region
Site provides maritime history and the different water crafts used in the Michigan Great Lakes area.
Related Website:
2) Minnesota's Historic Shipwrecks from Minnesota Historical Society
The purpose of this online course is to provide the small boat professional the opportunity to learn the basics of navigation.
Other Websites on Navigation:
2) Columbus Navigation Homepage by K.A. Pickering
3) Early Navigation Methods from The Mariners' Museum
4) Latitude: The Art and Science of Fifteenth-Century Navigation
5) Navigation from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Education Center
Portsmouth Navy Yard: 200 Years of History
Considered by many to be the nation's very first federal shipyard, PNS has weathered a turbulent transition from sail, to steam, to atomic fuel. Now dedicated to the overhaul and repair of modern submarines, at its bicentennial birthday, "The Yard" has plenty of tales to tell.
Sailing Ships of the Late 1400s by S. Dunford
Learn about navigational terms, early sailing vessel types, the history of the rig, and more.
Savage Seas
Explore disasters at sea and sunken ships like the Britannic. Investigate the U.S. Coast Guard, the Bermuda Triangle myth, and video clips - - all from a TV program aired on PBS.
Ships from the World of Vikings
Learn about the historical Viking ships.
Related Sites:
2) Evolution of Viking Ships from the Mariners Museum
3) Viking Ships from the Mariners Museum
4) Viking Voyage 1000
Viracocha Expedition
Join a ten-year expedition that will circle the globe in five separate reed ship voyages This expedition explores the possibility of ancient migration and trade routes thought to be impossible by conventional wisdom.
What's A Pirogue? What's a Keelboat? from Discovery Expedition of St. Charles
This site contains comparative descriptions, photographs, and data related to these two boat designs that were employed in the Expedition.
Related Websites:
2) River Craft from Kansas City Museum
3) Way West, Part 1 (Dug-out and Tub Boat) from Missouri River Heritage Corridor
4) Way West, Part 2 (Mackinaw and Bull Boats) from Missouri River Heritage Corridor
5) Way West, Part 3 (Keelboat) from Missouri River Heritage Corridor
International Sailing Federation
This is the website of the the governing body for the sport of sailing.
Related Organization:
2) United States Sailing Association
Out of Bounds: Sailing Around the World
This is the story of the sailboat and her crew during a 936 day journey around the world that was completed on May 26, 1999.
Sailing Magazine
This is the online version of the magazine. It has a few of the articles in each issue online and archives previous online editions.
Sailing Page by M. Rosenstein
This links-site connects to lots of resources on ships and sailing.
Volvo Ocean Race from National Geographic
Formerly known as the Whitbread Round the World Race, the Volvo Ocean Race sends superfast sloops circling the globe—the hard way.
Paddleboat Steamboats
Brief History of Steamboating on the Missouri River . . . by R.L. Dyer
This article first published in a regional history journal provides a brief history of steamboating on the Missouri.
Another Missouri River Steamboat Site:
2) Steamboat Arabia Museum of Kansas City, Missouri
Invention of the Steamboat from PBS's Learning Adventures in Citizenship
Learn about Robert Fulton and the first steamboat.
Related Website:
2) Robert Fulton
John Fitch Was Granted a U.S Patent for the Steamboat from America's Story, Library of Congress
Learn about John Fitch and the first steamboat patent in the U.S.
Legend of Steamboatin' the Rivers
Listen to the whistle and the calliope. Here you can learn about steamboats, view photos and diagrams, and take a virtual tour of a steamboat.
Related Websites:
2) Genosky Collection (Photographs)
3) Steamboats
4) Steamboats!
5) Steamboats - Steamboat Life
Steamboats on the Bay from Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
This brief site provides information about steamboating and their use in the Chesapeake Bay area.
Other Regional Steamboat Sites:
2) Early Steamboats from Winona County Historical Society (Minnesota)
3) Steamboating on the Mississippi by S. Williams
Websites for Teachers
Boxy Boats from Crayola Creativity Central
This plan instructions for creating a boat model. Choose a boat to make, or use your imagination and design one of your own.
Buoyant Boats from Science NetLinks
In this lesson, students will design and construct a boat out of aluminum foil and a few other simple materials. The boats will then be tested by floating them in a pool or sink of water, and then adding mass until they sink.
Related Lessons from Science NetLinks:
2) Give Me a Tall Ship
3) Grand Designs and Great Failures
4) Sink It
5) What Floats Your Boat?
Floating & Sinking Module (Grade 5) by I. Rebman and P. O'Shields from Hands-on Activities Science Program (Hasp)
In this unit, students investigate the phenomenon of buoyancy. They begin by making a spring scale with which they weigh various objects. Students make clay boats, test the boats' buoyancy, and discover that altering the shape of the boats affects buoyancy. Students are then challenged to design a boat that has a certain loading capacity.
Fort Leavenworth and Steamboats (Grades 5-12)
This lesson leads students to understand of the impact of the steamboat on western development.
Solve a Problem; Build a Boat (Grades 6-8) from Education World
Students build a boat that will float and hold as many pennies as possible, then discuss the process of building the boat and relate the experience to experiences they encounter in life.
Steamboat Days on America's Rivers (Grades 4-12) from Greater Cincinnati Tall Stacks Commission
This educators guide provides lesson plan ideas and activities.
Mississippi River
Soo Locks
Panama Canal
historical map
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 11/02.