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Ships & Boats

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172282.  Sat May 05, 2007 5:22 pm Reply with quote

What's the difference betweeen a ship and a boat?

F: Size

A: The British navy refers to all surface craft as 'ships', no matter how small they are. Subs, on the other hand, are 'boats' however large they are - and the largest of them are the size of three frigates put together.

Admirals traditionally write in green ink, a practice said to have been started by Adm Jackie Fisher in order to distinguih his comments from those of Churchill, who used red ink.

172466.  Mon May 07, 2007 4:43 am Reply with quote

Is that why loons proverbially write to newspapers in green ink - because they are all “Admiral (Retd), Crowborough, Sussex”?

172476.  Mon May 07, 2007 6:02 am Reply with quote

The suggestion's bound to arise, I would think.

Frederick The Monk
172478.  Mon May 07, 2007 6:20 am Reply with quote

The really frightening ones write in purple ink.

172631.  Tue May 08, 2007 4:31 am Reply with quote

But where do you buy your purple ink from, Fred?

721050.  Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:44 am Reply with quote

Purple Ink (Generally called Magenta) is used to update navigational charts so is always found on ships.

Incidentally the more generally agreed difference between ship and boat (outside the Navy) is that a Ship can carry boats (or other Ships) whereas a boat does not carry other boats.

721054.  Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:53 am Reply with quote

MatC wrote:
Is that why loons proverbially write to newspapers in green ink - because they are all “Admiral (Retd), Crowborough, Sussex”?

Auditors (at least in the old days, 20-odd years ago) used green ink. Which would fit with the proverbial loon writing to newspapers.

721326.  Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:28 am Reply with quote

Is not the stereotypical loon writer to newspapers "Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells"?

Mind you, Tunbridge Wells and Crowborough are but seven miles apart ...

780848.  Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:55 am Reply with quote

as a rule of thumb and as a general rule, a boat can fit onto a ship, but a ship cannot fit onto a boat!

I believe: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Katy Jhonson

827619.  Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:01 pm Reply with quote

Ah, would that be a green thumb that boat size is a rule of? Hence it would be written in purple ink because Jackie wanted it to be read.

827649.  Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:10 am Reply with quote

With regard to the difference between a ship and a boat, I tried to trace the source of the often quoted definition of "a ship can carry a boat but a boat cannot carry a ship". At present I have tracked down an answer written on September 30th 1988 by Mr Cecil Adams, styled the World's Smartest Man. The letter which I include as a link also gives a more technical answer.

He also explains what the difference is between a mountain and a hill for good measure.

865754.  Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:51 am Reply with quote

well said zebra which make sense for me ! No i understood ! thanks for pretty decent example !

Posted By Brian Colton
light relief | muscle warfare

Last edited by briancolton1 on Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:28 am; edited 2 times in total

865758.  Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:22 am Reply with quote

Why, to digress from the colour prejudice that seems to have generated from those not interested in ships and boats, do amphibious aircraft get the name "Flying Boat"?

There is no way the intention of said transport is to investigate the nethers of the sea's surface.


865776.  Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:57 am Reply with quote

I'd always assumed that it was simply because that type of airplane can float on water, which makes it a bit like a boat. But if there's a better answer, I'm sure someone will provide it.

Now, another question. Are "flying boat" and "seaplane" two names for the same thing, or is there a subtle difference? I've traveled in what I understood to be a seaplane a couple of times - in some parts of the Canadian wilderness, there are no roads and no proper airstrips, so landing on a lake is the way to go. Can't say I was a huge fan of the experience - once one has gotten used to landing on a hard surface, landing on water feels a bit odd.

865838.  Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:19 pm Reply with quote

Sorry Suze, Mea culpa. I didn't stress that I was querying the response that decided 'ships went on the water' where, in naval tradition, 'boats went under the water'.

You have also brought in another anomoly. If the aircraft is used in the middle of a large land mass and lands on lakes; 'Sea' plane is a misnomer.

Pedantically yours



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