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This information has been put together by William Kane and is meant to be an introduction to the subject. The hope is to illustrate each section. 



The Birth of a Ship



A prospective owner would send an enquiry to shipbuilders capable of supplying a vessel to their requirements. The enquiry would have a description of the ship and its proposed purpose, the classification society rules it is to be constructed to and any other specification details required by this owner.

The Contract would require:-

A Shipyard

Engine builder


The Shipbuilder would receive a Provisional Specification or Design Study, out of which each department would scrutinise the parts applicable to them and form a Contract Specification agreed with the client, to which the ship would be built, for an agreed price and delivery date. Contract conditions e.g. percentages to be paid at various stages of completion. Any penalties insisted on if targets were not met would also be agreed at this stage.

The Shipbuilder

The Shipbuilder

Typically comprising of:-

Commercial Department

Technical Department

Procurement Department

Logistics Department

Production Departments

Ancillary Departments

The Engine Works

Commercial Department

Engineering Design Office

Engineering Drawing Office

Estimating Department

Planning Department

Production Control Department

Stores Department

Photo Room



Light Machine Shop

Heavy Machine Shop

Test Bed

Brass Finishing Shop

Light Boiler Shop

Heavy Boiler Shop

Copper Shop

Sheet Iron Shop


Pattern Shop

Paint Shop



The Engine Supplier may be a “Department” or an integral part of the Shipyard, otherwise it would be a completely separate Company, often specified by the customer.

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