Boat Building Methods - Cruise Ships

Boat Building Methods - Cruise Ships
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Cruise Ship Construction Methods

Cruise ships are also known as passenger ships. There are certain similarities between cargo and cruise boat building methods with differences in construction happening at a later stage. The basic design and construction of the hull of the ships remain the same with difference in construction during the finishing of the vessel. As cargo vessels are fitted with container clamping and loading equipment, oil tankers are subdivided, sealed, and fitted with inert gas systems, and cruise ships are fitted with luxurious items to provide comfort to the travelers that shall be sailing on the vessel. Today cruise ship sailing is done for tourism purposes; this means that people are paying a lot of money to sail on these ships, so they require all modern facilities that are found in hotels.

Hull and Deck Construction

Unlike in the past when vessels were constructed as one piece, today ship builders have changed their approach and ship building has changed. The hull and deck of the vessel are constructed in pieces that are prefabricated at different locations. When ready, they are lifted in to place and welded. This form of construction is called block construction; pipes and electrical cables are preinstalled in the block to minimize time used on installation.

Interior construction

After completion of the hull and deck, cruise ships can be furnished using two different methods.

  1. Manual construction of accommodation and service spaces
  2. Prefabricated accommodation and service units

Any of the two methods can be used during construction of the interior of the ship.

  1. Manual construction – this is when all the partitioning, construction, and installations are done by skilled workers on board the vessel. This form of construction is usually permanent and changes cannot be done at a later stage since everything has been fixed permanently using welding.
  2. Prefabricated – this form of construction means designing, renovating, and constructing of the ships interior using prefabricated units that are ready made. They are usually ready for use and can be replaced quickly if required. They are semi-permanent and are usually bolted to the ship to secure them.

Interior design of Cruise ships is perhaps the most different from conventional cargo ship since luxury services like dance halls, swimming pools, casinos and bars, among other facilities, are required to be installed. This calls for specialized personnel to construct them to suit the taste of the clients. Interior decorators are commissioned for the job of making the ship a floating hotel.

Decoration of the dance hall, bar and casino is done using materials like plaster of parish and wood finishing to give it a glassy look, these materials are also light thus do not add any unnecessary weight to the vessel. Carpets are also placed to give the vessel a better look.

Swimming pool and sanitary piping is another big difference in cruise ships. With existing piping used for different reasons like water supply, fuel, etc., cruise ships have added piping to maintain sanitation aboard the vessel. Due to the large number of crew and passengers on board, the vessel must be installed with a sewerage tank for storage of liquid and solid waste while on voyages, and vessels with swimming pools require an added swimming pool purification plant installed within the vessel. These pools are generally not big, but nevertheless they require purification plants to keep the pools clean and safe for clients to enjoy.

Navigation, propulsion, communication, and safety requirements are constructed and fitted the same as cargo carriers. The only difference with the cruise ships construction occurs with the internal amenities on board these magnificent ships. They are also somewhat smaller in size compared to cargo carriers, with the biggest cruise liner measuring 360mtrs long and 65mtrs wide while the smallest cruise ship measures only 65metres.


Eyres, D. (2006) Ship Construction. Butterworth-Heinemann Publishers

Derrett, D.R. & Barrass, C.B. (1999) Ship Stability for Masters and Mates. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann Publishers.