Deck (ship)
Overview
 
A deck is a permanent covering over a compartment or a hull
Hull (watercraft)
A hull is the watertight body of a ship or boat. Above the hull is the superstructure and/or deckhouse, where present. The line where the hull meets the water surface is called the waterline.The structure of the hull varies depending on the vessel type...

 of a ship
Ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

. On a boat
Boat
A boat is a watercraft of any size designed to float or plane, to provide passage across water. Usually this water will be inland or in protected coastal areas. However, boats such as the whaleboat were designed to be operated from a ship in an offshore environment. In naval terms, a boat is a...

 or ship
Ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

, the primary deck is the horizontal structure which forms the 'roof' for the hull, which both strengthens the hull and serves as the primary working surface. Vessels often have more than one level both within the hull and in the superstructure above the primary deck which are similar to the floors of a multi-story building, and which are also referred to as decks, as are specific compartments and decks built over specific areas of the superstructure.
Encyclopedia
A deck is a permanent covering over a compartment or a hull
Hull (watercraft)
A hull is the watertight body of a ship or boat. Above the hull is the superstructure and/or deckhouse, where present. The line where the hull meets the water surface is called the waterline.The structure of the hull varies depending on the vessel type...

 of a ship
Ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

. On a boat
Boat
A boat is a watercraft of any size designed to float or plane, to provide passage across water. Usually this water will be inland or in protected coastal areas. However, boats such as the whaleboat were designed to be operated from a ship in an offshore environment. In naval terms, a boat is a...

 or ship
Ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

, the primary deck is the horizontal structure which forms the 'roof' for the hull, which both strengthens the hull and serves as the primary working surface. Vessels often have more than one level both within the hull and in the superstructure above the primary deck which are similar to the floors of a multi-story building, and which are also referred to as decks, as are specific compartments and decks built over specific areas of the superstructure. (Decks for some purposes have specific names; see below.)

Structure

The purpose of the primary deck is structural, and only secondarily to provide weather-tightness, and to support people and equipment. The deck serves as the lid to the complex box girder which is the hull. It resists tension, compression, and racking forces. The deck's scantling
Scantling
Scantling is a measurement of prescribed size, dimensions, or cross sectional areas. For comparison, see Form Factor: -Shipping:In shipbuilding, the scantling refers to the collective dimensions of the various parts, particularly the framing and structural supports. The word is most often used in...

 is usually the same as the topsides
Topsides
On an offshore oil platform, Topsides refers to the surface hardware installed. This includes the oil production plant, the accommodation block and the drilling rig...

, or might be heavier if the deck is expected to carry heavier loads (for example a container ship
Container ship
Container ships are cargo ships that carry all of their load in truck-size intermodal containers, in a technique called containerization. They form a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport.-History:...

). The deck will be reinforced around deck fittings such as the capstan
Capstan (nautical)
A capstan is a vertical-axled rotating machine developed for use on sailing ships to apply force to ropes, cables, and hawsers. The principle is similar to that of the windlass, which has a horizontal axle.- History :...

, cleat
Cleat (nautical)
In nautical contexts, a cleat is a device for securing a rope. The traditional design is attached to a flat surface or a spar and features two “horns” extending parallel to the deck or the axis of the spar, resembling an anvil....

s, or bollard
Bollard
A bollard is a short vertical post. Originally it meant a post used on a ship or a quay, principally for mooring. The word now also describes a variety of structures to control or direct road traffic, such as posts arranged in a line to obstruct the passage of motor vehicles...

s.

On ships with more than one level, deck refers to the level itself. The actual floor surface is called the sole, the term deck refers to a structural member tying the ships frames or ribs together over the keel. In modern ships, the interior decks are usually numbered from the primary deck, which is #1, downward and upward. So the first deck below the primary deck will be #2, and the first above the primary deck will be #A2 or #S2 (for "Above" or "Superstructure"). However, ships may also call decks by common names, or (especially on cruise ship
Cruise ship
A cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, where the voyage itself and the ship's amenities are part of the experience, as well as the different destinations along the way...

s) may invent fanciful and romantic names for a specific deck or area of that specific ship, such as the Lido deck of the Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises is a British-American owned cruise line, based in Santa Clarita, California in the United States. Previously a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises PLC, the company is now one of ten cruise ship brands operated by Carnival Corporation & PLC and accounts for approximately 19% share...

' Love Boat.

Equipment mounted on deck, such as the ship's wheel, binnacle
Binnacle
A binnacle is a waist-high case or stand on the deck of a ship, generally mounted in front of the helmsman, in which navigational instruments are placed for easy and quick reference as well as to protect the delicate instruments. Its traditional purpose was to hold the ship's magnetic compass,...

, fife rail
Fife rail
A fife rail is a design element of the bulwarks of a European-style sailing ship used to belay the ship's halyards at the base of a mast. When surrounding a mast, a fife rail is sometimes referred to specifically by the name of the mast with which it is associated: the main fife rail surrounds the...

s, and so forth, may be collectively referred to as deck furniture. Weather decks in western designs evolved from having structures fore and aft (forward or front and aft
Aft
Aft, in naval terminology, is an adjective or adverb meaning, towards the stern of the ship, when the frame of reference is within the ship. Example: "Able Seaman Smith; lay aft!". Or; "What's happening aft?"...

 or The Rear of the ship mostly clear, then in the 19th century pilothouses/wheelhouses and deckhouses began to appear, eventually developing into the superstructure of modern ships. Eastern designs developed earlier, with efficient middle decks and minimalist fore and aft cabin structures across a range of designs.

Common names for decks

In vessels having more than one deck there are various naming conventions, numerically, alphabetically, etc. However, there are also a variety of common historical names and types of decks:
  • 01 level is the term used in naval services to refer to the deck above the main deck. The next higher decks are referred to in increasing the number to the 02 level, the 03 level, and so on. Although these are formally called decks, they are usually referred to as levels, because they are usually incomplete decks that span from stem
    Stem (ship)
    The stem is the very most forward part of a boat or ship's bow and is an extension of the keel itself and curves up to the wale of the boat. The stem is more often found on wooden boats or ships, but not exclusively...

     to stern
    Stern
    The stern is the rear or aft-most part of a ship or boat, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter rail to the taffrail. The stern lies opposite of the bow, the foremost part of a ship. Originally, the term only referred to the aft port section...

     and to athwartships.
  • Berth deck: (Naval) A deck next below the gun deck, where the hammocks of the crew
    Crew
    A crew is a body or a class of people who work at a common activity, generally in a structured or hierarchical organization. A location in which a crew works is called a crewyard or a workyard...

     are slung.
  • Boat deck: Especially on ships with sponson
    Sponson
    Sponsons are projections from the sides of a watercraft, for protection, stability, or the mounting of equipment such as armaments or lifeboats, etc...

    s, the deck area where lifeboats or the ship's gig
    Captain's Gig
    The captain's gig is a boat used on naval ships as the captain's private taxi. It is a catchall phrase for this type of craft and over the years it has gradually increased in size, changed with the advent of new technologies for locomotion, and been crafted from increasingly more durable...

     are stored.
  • Boiler deck: (River Steamers) The deck on which the boiler
    Boiler
    A boiler is a closed vessel in which water or other fluid is heated. The heated or vaporized fluid exits the boiler for use in various processes or heating applications.-Materials:...

    s are placed.
  • Bridge deck: (a) The deck area including the helm
    Ship's wheel
    A ship's wheel is the modern method of adjusting the angle of a boat or ship's rudder in order to cause the vessel to change its course. Together with the rest of the steering mechanism it forms part of the helm. It is typically connected to a mechanical, electric servo, or hydraulic system...

     and navigation station, and where the Officer of the Deck/Watch
    Watchstanding
    Watchstanding, or watchkeeping, in nautical terms concerns the division of qualified personnel to operate a ship continuously around the clock. On a typical sea going vessel, be it naval or merchant, personnel keep watch on the bridge and over the running machinery...

     will be found, also known as the conn (b) An athwartships structure at the forward end of the cockpit
    Cockpit (sailing)
    In the Royal Navy, the term cockpit originally referred to the area where the coxswain was stationed. This led to the word being used to refer to the area towards the stern of a small decked vessel that houses the rudder controls...

     with a deck, often somewhat lower than the primary deck, to prevent a pooping wave from entering through the companionway
    Companionway
    In the architecture of a ship, a companion or companionway is a raised and windowed hatchway in the ship's deck, with a ladder leading below and the hooded entrance-hatch to the main cabins. This meaning of "companion" is derived from French and Italian terms meaning "the chamber of the company,"...

    . May also refer to the deck
    Deck (bridge)
    A bridge deck or road bed is the roadway, or the pedestrian walkway, surface of a bridge. It is not to be confused with any deck of a ship.The deck may be of concrete,wood which in turn may be covered with asphalt concrete or other pavement...

     of a bridge.
  • Flight deck
    Flight deck
    The flight deck of an aircraft carrier is the surface from which its aircraft take off and land, essentially a miniature airfield at sea. On smaller naval ships which do not have aviation as a primary mission, the landing area for helicopters and other VTOL aircraft is also referred to as the...

    : (Naval) A deck from which aircraft take off or land.
  • Flush deck
    Flush deck
    In naval architecture, a flush deck refers to when the upper deck of a vessel extends unbroken from stem to stern. There is no raised forecastle or lowered quarterdeck. Ships of this type may be referred to as "flush deckers", although this is often taken as referring to a series of United States...

    : Any continuous, unbroken deck from stem to stern.
  • Gun deck
    Gun deck
    The term gun deck originally referred to a deck aboard a ship that was primarily used for the mounting of cannon to be fired in broadsides. However, on many smaller vessels such as frigates and unrated vessels the upper deck, forecastle and quarterdeck bore all of the cannons but were not referred...

    : (Naval) a deck below the spar
    Spar
    In sailing, a spar is a pole of wood, metal or lightweight materials such as carbon fiber used on a sailing vessel. Spars of all types In sailing, a spar is a pole of wood, metal or lightweight materials such as carbon fiber used on a sailing vessel. Spars of all types In sailing, a spar is a...

     deck where the ships' cannon were carried. The term originally referred to a deck aboard a ship that was primarily used for the mounting of cannon to be fired in broadsides. However, on many smaller vessels such as frigates and unrated vessels the upper deck, forecastle and quarterdeck bore all of the cannons but were not referred to as the gun deck. The completely covered level under the upper deck was, however, still called the gun deck although it had no guns at all.

  • Half-deck: That portion of the deck next below the spar deck which is between the mainmast and the cabin
    Cabin (ship)
    A cabin or berthing is an enclosed space generally on a ship or an aircraft. A cabin which protrudes above the level of a ship's deck may be referred to as a "deckhouse."-Sailing ships:...

    .
  • Helo deck: Usually located near the stern and always kept clear of obstacles hazardous to a helicopter
    Helicopter
    A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

     landing.
  • Hurricane deck: (River Steamers, etc.), the upper deck, usually a light deck, erected above the frame of the hull (deriving its name from the wind that always seemed to blow on the deck).
  • Lido deck: Open area, typically at or near the stern of a passenger ship, housing the main outdoor swimming pool and sunbathing area.
  • Lower deck: (a) the deck immediately over the hold, orig. only of a ship with two decks. (b) synonym for berth deck.
  • Main deck: The principal deck of a vessel; in some ships the highest deck of the hull, usually but not always the weather deck; in sailing warships often a deck under the upper deck.
  • Middle or Waist deck The upper deck amidships, the working area of the deck.
  • Orlop deck
    Orlop deck
    The orlop is the lowest deck in a ship . It is the deck or part of a deck where the cables are stowed, usually below the water line...

    : The deck or part of a deck where the cable
    Cable
    A cable is two or more wires running side by side and bonded, twisted or braided together to form a single assembly. In mechanics cables, otherwise known as wire ropes, are used for lifting, hauling and towing or conveying force through tension. In electrical engineering cables are used to carry...

    s are stowed, usually below the waterline
    Waterline
    The term "waterline" generally refers to the line where the hull of a ship meets the water surface. It is also the name of a special marking, also known as the national Load Line or Plimsoll Line, to be positioned amidships, that indicates the draft of the ship and the legal limit to which a ship...

    . It is the lowest deck in a ship.
  • Poop deck
    Poop deck
    In naval architecture, a poop deck is a deck that forms the roof of a cabin built in the rear, or "aft", part of the superstructure of a ship.The name originates from the French word for stern, la poupe, from Latin puppis...

    : The deck forming the roof of a poop or poop cabin, built on the upper deck and extending from the mizzenmast aft.
  • Promenade deck
    Promenade deck
    The promenade deck is a deck found on several types of passenger ships and riverboats. It usually extends from bow to stern, on both ddd,çsides, and includes areas open to the outside, resulting in a continuous outside walkway suitable for promenading, thus the name.On older passenger ships, the...

    : A "wrap-around porch" found on passenger ships and riverboat
    Riverboat
    A riverboat is a ship built boat designed for inland navigation on lakes, rivers, and artificial waterways. They are generally equipped and outfitted as work boats in one of the carrying trades, for freight or people transport, including luxury units constructed for entertainment enterprises, such...

    s encircling the superstructure. This can have open railings or be enclosed in glass, or a combination. Often the entire level where this is located is referred to as the Promenade Deck.
  • Quarterdeck
    Quarterdeck
    The quarterdeck is that part of a warship designated by the commanding officer for official and ceremonial functions. In port, the quarterdeck is the most important place on the ship, and is the central control point for all its major activities. Underway, its importance diminishes as control of...

    : (a) The part of the upper deck abaft the mainmast, including the poop deck when there is one. Usually reserved for ship's officers, guests, and passengers. (b) (Naval) The area to which a gangway for officers and diplomatic guests to board the vessel leads. Also any entry point for personnel.
  • Side-deck: The upper deck outboard of any structures such as a coachroof or doghouse, also called a breezeway
    Breezeway
    A breezeway is an architectural feature similar to a hallway that allows the passage of a breeze between structures to accommodate high winds, allow aeration, or provide aesthetic design variation. Often a breezeway is a simple roof connecting two structures ; sometimes it can be much more like a...

  • Spar deck: (a) Same as the upper deck. (b) Sometimes a light deck fitted over the upper deck.
  • Sweep deck: (Naval) The aftmost deck on a minesweeper
    Minesweeper (ship)
    A minesweeper is a small naval warship designed to counter the threat posed by naval mines. Minesweepers generally detect then neutralize mines in advance of other naval operations.-History:...

    , set close to the waterline for ease in launch and recovery of equipment.
  • Tween deck
    Tweendecker
    Tweendeckers are general cargo ships with two or sometimes three decks. The upper deck is called the main deck or weather deck, and the lower deck is the tweendeck. Cargo such as bales, bags, or drums can stacked in the tweendeck space, atop the tweendeck...

    : the storage space between the hold and the main deck, often retractable.
  • Upper deck: The highest deck of the hull, extending from stem
    Stem (ship)
    The stem is the very most forward part of a boat or ship's bow and is an extension of the keel itself and curves up to the wale of the boat. The stem is more often found on wooden boats or ships, but not exclusively...

     to stern
    Stern
    The stern is the rear or aft-most part of a ship or boat, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter rail to the taffrail. The stern lies opposite of the bow, the foremost part of a ship. Originally, the term only referred to the aft port section...

    .
  • Weather deck: (a) Any deck exposed to the outside. (b) The windward side decks.
  • Well deck
    Well deck
    A well deck or well dock is a hangar-like deck located at the waterline in the stern of some amphibious warfare ships. By taking on water the ship can lower its stern, flooding the well deck and allowing boats and amphibious landing craft to dock within the ship. This facilitates moving cargo...

    : (Naval) A hangar like deck located at the water line in the stern of some amphibious assault ships. By taking on water the ship can lower the stern flooding the well deck and allowing boats and amphibious landing craft to dock within the ship.

Methods in wood

A traditional wood
Wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

 deck would consist of planks laid fore and aft over beams and along carlins, the seams of which are caulked and paid with tar. A yacht or other fancy boat might then have the deck canvased, with the fabric
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

 laid down in a thick layer of paint
Paint
Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film. One may also consider the digital mimicry thereof...

 or sealant, and additional coats painted over. The wash or apron boards form the joint between the deck planking and that of the topsides, and are caulked similarly.

Modern "constructed decks" are used primarily on fiberglass
Fiberglass
Glass fiber is a material consisting of numerous extremely fine fibers of glass.Glassmakers throughout history have experimented with glass fibers, but mass manufacture of glass fiber was only made possible with the invention of finer machine tooling...

, composite, and cold-molded hulls. The under structure of beams and carlins is the same as above. The decking itself is usually multiple layers of marine-grade plywood
Plywood
Plywood is a type of manufactured timber made from thin sheets of wood veneer. It is one of the most widely used wood products. It is flexible, inexpensive, workable, re-usable, and can usually be locally manufactured...

, covered over with layers of fibreglass in a plastic resin such as epoxy
Epoxy
Epoxy, also known as polyepoxide, is a thermosetting polymer formed from reaction of an epoxide "resin" with polyamine "hardener". Epoxy has a wide range of applications, including fiber-reinforced plastic materials and general purpose adhesives....

 or polyester
Polyester
Polyester is a category of polymers which contain the ester functional group in their main chain. Although there are many polyesters, the term "polyester" as a specific material most commonly refers to polyethylene terephthalate...

 overlapped onto the topsides of the hull.

Methods in metal

Generally speaking, the method outlined for "constructed decks" is most similar to metal
Metal
A metal , is an element, compound, or alloy that is a good conductor of both electricity and heat. Metals are usually malleable and shiny, that is they reflect most of incident light...

 decks. The deck plating is laid over metal beams
Beam (structure)
A beam is a horizontal structural element that is capable of withstanding load primarily by resisting bending. The bending force induced into the material of the beam as a result of the external loads, own weight, span and external reactions to these loads is called a bending moment.- Overview...

 and carlins and tacked temporarily in place. The difficulty in metal construction is avoiding distortion of the plate while welding
Welding
Welding is a fabrication or sculptural process that joins materials, usually metals or thermoplastics, by causing coalescence. This is often done by melting the workpieces and adding a filler material to form a pool of molten material that cools to become a strong joint, with pressure sometimes...

 due to the high heat
Heat
In physics and thermodynamics, heat is energy transferred from one body, region, or thermodynamic system to another due to thermal contact or thermal radiation when the systems are at different temperatures. It is often described as one of the fundamental processes of energy transfer between...

 involved in the process. Welds are usually double pass, meaning each seam is welded twice, a time consuming process which may take longer than building the wood deck. But welds result in a waterproof deck which is strong and easily repairable. The deck structure is welded to the hull, making it structurally a single unit.

Because a metal deck, painted to reduce corrosion
Corrosion
Corrosion is the disintegration of an engineered material into its constituent atoms due to chemical reactions with its surroundings. In the most common use of the word, this means electrochemical oxidation of metals in reaction with an oxidant such as oxygen...

, can be quite slippery, pick up heat from the sun
Sun
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields...

, and be quite loud to work on, a layer of wood decking or thick non-skid paint is often applied to its surface.

Methods in fiberglass

The process for building a deck in fiberglass is the same as for building a hull: a female mould is built, a layer of gel coat is sprayed in, then layers of fiberglass in resin are built up to the required deck thickness (if the deck has a core, the outer skin layers of fiberglass and resin are laid, then the core material, and finally the inner skin layers.) The deck is removed from the mould and usually mechanically fastened to the hull.

Fiberglass decks are quite slick with their mirror-smooth surfaces, so a non-skid texture is often moulded into their surface, or non-skid pads glued down in working areas.

Rules of thumb to determine the deck scantlings

The thickness of the decking affects how strong the hull is, and is directly related to how thick the skin of the hull itself is, which is of course related to how large the vessel is, the kind of work it is expected to do, and the kind of weather it may reasonably be expected to endure. While a Naval Engineer or Architect may have precise methods of determining what the scantlings should be, traditional builders used previous experiences and simpler rules-of-thumb to determine how thick the deck should be built.

The numbers derived by these formulae gives a rough number for determining the average thickness of materials based on some crude hull measurements. Below the waterline the thickness should be approximately 115% of the result, while upper topsides and decks might be reduced to 85% of the result.
  • In wood – For plank thickness in inches, LOA (Length OverAll) and Beam are measured in feet. For plank thickness in mm, LOA and Beam are measured in meters.
    • Plank thickness in inches =
    • Plank thickness in mm =
  • In fiberglass – For skin thickness in inches, LWL (Length WaterLine) is in feet. For skin thickness in mm, LWL is in meters.
    • Skin thickness (inches) =
    • Skin thickness (mm) =
  • In fiberglass sandwich – First determine the skin thickness as single skin, then multiply by modifiers for inner skin, outer skin, and core thicknesses. Cored decks might be modified even thicker, 2.6–2.7, to increase stiffness.
    • Inner skin modifier = 0.3
    • Outer skin modifier = 0.4
    • Core modifier = 2.2


Glossary

A brief glossary
  • athwartships – perpendicular to fore and aft.
  • beam – a timber similar in use to a floor joist, which runs from one side of the hull to the other athwartships.
  • carlin – similar to a beam, except running in a fore and aft direction.
  • caulk – to make water-tight by driving caulking (usually loose cotton fibers) into a seam, followed by a coarser fiber material such as oakum.
  • core – in fibreglass construction, a layer between fiberglass skins, made of foam, end grain balsa, or other strengthening material to increase the stiffness of the deck.
  • fore and aft – parallel to a line from the stem to the stern.
  • gel coat – a heavily pigmented layer of plastic resin.
  • oakum
    Oakum
    Oakum is a preparation of tarred fiber used in shipbuilding, for caulking or packing the joints of timbers in wooden vessels and the deck planking of iron and steel ships, as well as cast iron plumbing applications...

     – loosely twisted hemp or jute
    Jute
    Jute is a long, soft, shiny vegetable fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. It is produced from plants in the genus Corchorus, which has been classified in the family Tiliaceae, or more recently in Malvaceae....

    or other crude fibre, sometimes treated with creosote or tar before use.
  • pay – to pour into or fill up a seam so it is level with the top of the plank.
  • plating – sheets of metal, generally simple flat pieces but may be formed into complex curvatures.
  • pooping wave – A wave which comes over the stern and onto the deck.
  • scantling – the critical dimensions of any element of the ship; so for the skin and deck of the hull it would be the thickness (of the planks, fibreglass layup, hull plating, etc.)
  • seam – the space between two planks.
  • stem – The timber at the front of the hull.
  • stern – back end of the hull.
  • topsides – the upper surfaces of the hull from the waterline to the deck.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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