Ships and boats are the oldest types of transport. The first ships were built many thousands of years ago. Ships and boats are used for travel, by the armed forces for our defence, for fishing, for transporting cargo between countries, and for leisure, sport and relaxation.
Three quarters of all goods carried from country to country must cross oceans and seas in ships and boats.
- Thousands of years ago several logs were tied together with creepers allowing a person to stand and steer.
- Later, people made the first real boats by hollowing out logs.
- 4000 BC: Boat builders in ancient Egypt used reeds to build what were probably the first sailing boats.
- 2500 BC the Egyptians were building wooden boats that could sail across oceans.
- 1000AD Viking longboats had sails as well as up to 60 oarsmen who rowed the ship. long and narrow so were able to travel on the open sea, as well as along rivers.
- 1100 AD Chinese junks were sailing boats with a rudder for steering the boat. They were fighting and transport ships.
- 1450 onwards: Three and four masted sailing ships were in service for several centuries.
- 1819 The first steamships to cross the Atlantic combined steam and wind power.
- 1910 Coal burning sailing ships were converted to diesel power, using oil instead of steam.
- 1990s Cruise liners are ships that carry hundreds of people on floating holidays. Passengers live on the ship, which has restaurants, shops, cinemas and other recreation venues.
- Modern nuclear powered aircraft carriers, battle cruisers, destroyers, used to keep a country safe and to protect its territory.