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Unit 12

Ship Construction
4.1. Building ships
A modern shipyard is designed for building ships as cheaply and quickly as possible. Ships can be
built in about sixteen months and costs can be kept to a minimum. They are designed by naval
architects. The largest shipping companies have their own naval architects. In Europe and Japan,
shipyards employ naval architects to design a ship for a customer, or offer basic designs, which can be
varied to suit the customers needs. Ship owners may also go to independent firms of shipping
consultants and ask their naval architects to design a ship for them.
When ship owners decide to order a new ship, they tell the naval architect:
the type of cargo they want to carry
the routes the ship will ply
the desired speed
the ships dimensions
the price they are ready to pay
The ship must also comply with the rules of the classification society and international regulations.
The building of a ship follows a well-ordered sequence of events. After the vessel has been ordered,
the plans are completed in the drawing-office. Next, the final plans must be approved by a classification
society such as Lloyds Register of Shipping. This is necessary if the owner wants his ship to be classed.
While the ship is being built, constant checks are made to make sure she is being built to the standards of
the society. Classification will show that the ship is seaworthy and able to carry cargo she has been
designed to carry.
Nowadays a shipyard is organized so that each stage in the building of a ship is done in a continuous
chain of shops. Conveyor rollers and moving cranes on rails link each shop. First of all, steel plates and
bars are taken from the stockyard to the preparation shop. Here they are cleaned by shot blasting.
Then, they are coated with a primer paint to prevent corrosion. Later, they are cut and shaped
automatically by machines. Cutting is done by gas torches and shaping by giant presses. After that, the
pieces are welded together in prefabrication sheds to form sections. Welding is now used instead of
riveting for joining pieces of metal together. The prefabricated sections are then transferred to the
building berth. Eventually, they are lifted into position by giant cranes.
When a ship is ready she is launched. Some ships are built on a slipway and slide into the water.
Others are built in a dry dock. The dock is then flooded with water and the ship is floated out. After
launching, the ship is berthed in a fitting-out basin for completion. The main machinery, together with
auxiliaries, piping systems, deck gear, lifeboats, accommodation equipment, plumbing systems, and
rigging are installed on board, along with whatever insulation and deck coverings are necessary. Fitting
out may be a relatively minor undertaking, as with a tanker or a bulk carrier, but in the case of a
passenger vessel, the work will be extensive. Although fitting-out operations are diverse and complex, as
with hull construction there are four main divisions:
(1) collection and grouping of the specified components,
(2) installation of components according to schedule,
(3) connection of components to appropriate piping and/or wiring systems, and

(4) testing of completed systems.

The tendency in planning has been to divide the ship into sections, listing the quantities of components
required and times of delivery. Drawings necessary for each section are prepared and these specify the
quantities of components required. A master schedule is compiled, specifying the sequences and target
dates for completion and testing of each component system. This schedule is used to marshal and
synchronize fitting work in the different sections and compartments.
A completed ship goes for sea trials before she is handed over to her new owners. During these the
ship and her equipment are throughly tested.
TASK 1 Study the sentences below which show the sequence of events in the building of ships. Write
them out in a paragraph using the above sequence words to introduce each stage in a sentence.
1st plans are completed by naval architects
2nd plans are approved by the classificaton society
3rd parts of the ship are prepared
4th parts of the ship are put together
5th ship is launched
6th ship is fitted out and completed
7th ship goes for sea trials
8th ship is handed over to her new owners.

Exercise 1. Find words in the map that fit these definitions.

1.The past participle of the verb keep .
2. A person who searches the ship and the crew for smuggling goods .
3. To make the ship stay still in a place at sea .
4. The past tense of the verb get .
5. A boat used by the pilot to come aboard .
6. The place where the cargo is unloaded and reloaded to another ship .
7. To deepen the harbor aquarium .
8. A synonim for harbor.
9. The action that a tug makes .
10.The person making the medical inspection aboard ships .


A mind map is a way of organising vocabulary to show the connections between words. this
mind map is based on the word 'harbor.


to pilot






to tow
to manage/organize

to dredge

to get ill



to search


to rummage
to unload

to let go/anchor

to keep

to moor



4.2. Vocabulary
building berth ~ dan de construcie

customs officer

chain of shops ~ lan de ateliere

classification society ~ registru naval
coat ~ a vopsi
constant check ~ verificri constante
conveyor roller ~ band rulant
dry dock ~ doc uscat
fitting-out basin ~ bazin de armare
gas torch ~ aparat de sudur
launch ~ a lansa
moving crane ~ macara mobil
naval architect ~ inginer proiectant
prefabrication shed ~ atelier de asamblare
preparation shop ~ atelier de pregtire
press ~ pres
primer paint ~ grund
rivet ~ a nitui
sea trial ~ prob de mare
shipowner ~ armator, proprietar
shipyard ~ antier naval
shot blasting ~ curaare cu alice
slipway ~ cal de lansare
stockyard ~ magazie
weld ~ a suda

Panel production line

1. plate


delivery station
tack welding station
butt welding station, panel turnover station, panel rotating station
gas-cutting and making station
stiffener feeding and tack welding station
fillet welding station
lift-off station for stiffened sections

Production site

a. Production
1. management
offices;design and data
processing departments, engine
and boiler workshops
3. joinery workshops
4. stores
5. pipeshop
6. apprentices school
7. outfitting

8. maintenance
9. plate stockyard,
shotblasting and
10. machining shop
11. prefabrication
12. slipway 1
13. slipway 2
14. plate and profile

15. machining and

prefabrication shops
16. building dock
17. outfitting quays
18. storage area
19. 660-ton gantry crane
20. 500-ton gantry crane
21. 250-ton crane

4.3. Terms related to ship construction

Shipyard trades
carpenters, ceilers
platers, plate erectors


pipe fitters

wood joiners

brass finishers
wood shipwrights

4.4.Terms relating to the hull

The hull is divided into a number of watertight compartments by decks and bulkheads. Bulkheads are
vertical steel walls going across the ship and along. Deck divide the hull horizontally. Those dividing up
cargo spaces are known as tween decks. The hull contains the engine room, cargo space and a number
of tanks. In dry cargo ships the cargo space is divided into holds, in liquid cargo ships it is divided into
tanks. At the fore end of the hull are the fore peak tanks and at the after end are the after peak tanks.

They are used for fresh water and water ballast. The space between the holds and the bottom of the hull
contains double bottom tanks. These are used for ballast water and fuel.

deck ~ punte
bulkhead ~ perete despritor
tween decks ~ intrepuni, puni intermediare
engine room ~ sal maini
hold ~ magazie
tank ~ tanc
fore peak tanks ~ compartiment de coliziune prova
after peak tanks ~ compartiment etan pupa
double bottom tanks ~ tancuri de dublufund

4.5. Compound nouns

A compound noun is formed from two nouns, or an adjective and a noun. It is a fixed expression that
functions as a noun. They can be found in every day conversation or different texts, so many of them are
well known. Anyway, the spelling should be checked because they can be written in one word, two words
or with a hyphen: earring, parking meter, T-shirt. Compound nouns can be countable, uncountable or
used either in the singular or in the plural. If both words are understood, the meaning will usually be clear.
Some common countable nouns are: heart attack, assembly line, windscreen wiper, handcuffs, etc.
Uncountable nouns cannot be used with a/an article, and some examples are: air-traffic control,
data-processing, income tax, junk food, blood pressure, food poisoning, mail order, hay fever, etc.
Some compound nouns can be used only in the singular: generation gap, mother tongue, greenhouse
effect, brain drain, death penalty, labour force, sound barrier, etc.
Other compound nouns are used only in the plural, and some of the most common are: luxury goods,
road works, human rights, traffic lights, etc.

A large number of compound nouns are based on phrasal verbs, so they are more difficult to be
understood, although they are used more often:
walk-out ~ strike,
break-out ~ escape,
shake-up ~ change,
break-up ~ collapse,
takeover ~ purchase by another company,

cutbacks ~ reductions,
input ~ information that is put in,
output ~ production
turnover ~ change
breakthrough ~ important discovery
Compound nouns are very frequent in technical texts and sometimes the meaning of the technical
compounds is different from the general one:

building berth
classification society

naval architect
prefabrication shed
preparation shop
primer paint

conveyor roller
dry dock
engine room
fitting-out basin
fore peak tank
gas torch
moving crane

sea trial
shot blasting
tween decks

TASK 2 Exercises with compounds.

Exercise 1. Try to translate the compound terms from the table above.
Exercise 2. Complete these definitions with the correct compound noun.
1. Your first language is also called your mother
2. Stories about the future are called science ..
3. The place where you buy tickets for the theatre or cinema is the box.
4. Someone who looks after children when the parents are out is a baby-..
5. A long line of cars moving slowly is a traffic .
6. The room where you eat meals is the . room.
7. Tax you pay on your salary is called
8. Your sisters husband or your husbands brother is your .-in-.
Exercise 3 Add two more words in each group to form a compound noun.
1. traffic lights
2. box office

. office
3. bedroom
4. brother-in-law
Exercise 4. Match a word from the left with a word from the right to form six compound nouns.
1. first

a. meter


2. cheque

b. machine

3. film

c. book


4. washing

d. paper

5. parking

e. aid

6. writing

f. star

Exercise 5 Complete the compound adjectives in these dialogues

1. A: Look at him. Hes famous, isnt he?
B: Yes, hes very well-_________.
2. A: What a handsome man!
B: Yes, he is good-________, isnt he?
3. A: Do nurses earn a good salary?
B: No, they are badly -________.
4. A: Julies so relaxed, isnt she?
B: Yes, I find her very easy-_________ too.
5. A: Theyve got plenty of money.
B: Yes, theyre not badly-________.

6. A: So you work all day?

B: Yes. Its a full-_________ job.
7. A: That lady always looks so smart.
B: Yes, shes very well-_________.
8. A: Those children are always so good.
B: Yes, theyre very well-_________.
Exercise 6 Re-order these words from sentences. Add a hyphen (-) where necessary.
1. bill / I / yesterday / the / dollar / found / a / fifty / street / in
2. ten / to / it / a / drive / is / minute / only / office / my
3. delay / had / airport / hour / three / the / unfortunately / we / a / at
4. hotels / in / stay / star / movie / often / five / stars
5. a / child / cant / year / understand / you / old /expect / three / to
Exercise 7 Complete the letter below with suitable compound adjectives from the box.










Dear Martha,
Well, Ive arrived in London and Ive been incredibly lucky I found a job the day after I arrived here!
I m staying with an English family and Im looking after the children. Its only a (1) __________ job,
so Ill be free in the morning and evenings. The family are really nice very relaxed and (2)
__________ and the house is big and beautiful, so they are obviously quite (3) __________. Whats
more, theyve got a (4) __________ car which Im allowed to drive when Im collecting the children
from school. Theres a (5) __________ baby and (6) __________ twins who are very (7) ___________
children, which makes life easy for me! The house is in (8) ___________ London, which is a very
pleasant area and its near Wimbledon only a (9) ___________ walk from the famous tennis club! The
only problem is that looking after children is a (10) __________ job, but I have got free
accommodation. Why dont you come and see me?
Love, Erica
Exercise 8 Fill the gaps with a suitable word.
1. I bought a second-_________ coat but unfortunately its very _________-made.

2. The film was well-________ (Tom Cruise was brilliant), but very _________-directed.
3. _________-handed people find it more difficult to use normal scissors.
4. he went out in the cold wearing only a short-_________ shirt.
5. He managed to find a seat in the first-_________ section of the plane.