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Why Ships Float
Boating Basics

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A ship in the ocean is analogous to a cup in water
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An anchor in ocean is analogous to a metal ball in water

  • When does a ship float?A ship floats if it weighs less than the water it displaces (pushes away from it).

 

  • Why can ships be built of heavy metals and still float? Ships can use materials in their hulls that are heavier than water (which has a density of 1 gm per cubic centimeter), but there must be air within the ship. Since the air doesn't weigh as much as the water, this lowers the weight of the ship compared to the same volume of water.

What happens when the weight within the boat...
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is less than the weight of the displaced water.