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Why Ships Float
In Real Life


The Beginning
Boat Basics
In Real Life


Ships over history have been constructed by variety of materials, all of different durability, malleability and densities. The models and types have changed according to what is being transported and what is available at the time.

Below is the history of Canoes, Iron, and Concrete Ships. These are just a few of the materials used to make ships. Each have varying densities, and hence the construction had to be altered for each type so that these ships would float.
*to view densities, go to DENSITY page


History of Canoes: Canoes, which were developed by Native Americans, have a history that spans thousands of years. Birchwood Canoes are the most famous  and most typically depicted versions of canoes. Canoes were good for carrying large loads of goods across very shallow water.

For more on the history of canoes:

Iron ships were also a popular material for ships. The density of IRON is 7.8 gram/cubic centimeter.

For more on Iron ship history:

History of Concrete Ships: During WWI, there was a shortage of steel, which was the preferred material for boat-building, and thus, ship-builders used concrete instead of steel to build the hull. Though this seems completely illogical, perhaps FLOATED! The reason goes back to Archimede's Principle as well as density: a ship will float as long as the weight of the water it displaces is more than its own weight. While a solid block of concrete would sink, these ships contained much empty air, so that the total volume of the ship would be less than the water around it. Regardless these concrete ships were nicknamed "Floating Tombstones."

For more history of concrete ships:

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