# why does a ship float on water

Achu,
There are a few things that determine whether or not a boat will float, such as its shape, its load, and where the boat is sailing. First, let's talk about density. Density is a measure of how much mass of something is packed into a certain volume. For example, iron is denser than wood because a volume of iron (say a cube one centimeter on each side) weighs more than the same cube if it were made of wood; there's more "stuff" inside the cube of iron than in the cube of wood because its atoms are mostly heavier but take up about the same amount of space. If something is denser than water, in general, it will sink. If it is less dense than water, it will float. Cooking oils are less dense than water, which is why they sit on the top of pots of water.

Ships are often made of wood, some kinds of which are less dense than water, and some of which are more dense. Ships can also be made of metals like steel (denser than water) or tough plastics (usually denser than water). You would imagine that a boat made of dense stuff would sink, but the boat floats primarily because of its shape. Boats stay afloat with heavy loads because they're hollow; they aren't solid hunks of wood or metal. This means that the boat experiences a really strong "buoyant force," upward, against the pull of gravity which is downward. You can see this for yourself if you put a plastic bowl upright in a pot of water or a bathtub. If you set the bowl in the water, it will float, but if you fill the bowl with water, it may sink to the bottom (depending on if the plastic is denser than the water or not).

The other factor that determines the buoyancy of a boat is the salinity (the salt content) of the water. Saltier water is denser than fresher water, so denser things can float in saltier water. I hope that answers your question! (published on 03/05/2011) Why do ships float? Why do ships float? If you dropped a small stone into the water, it would sink immediately. But if a block of steel weighing thousands of tonnes were made into a, it would float. Any object placed in water experiences two :, which pulls it down because of its weight, and the buoyancy force, or upthrust, which pushes it up.

When these forces are balanced, the object floats. The buoyancy force of a stone is much smaller than its gravity force, which is why the stone sinks (although the buoyancy force makes the stone sink slower than it would do through the air). A ship also experiences these two forces. But because of its body design, which contains a lot of air, it displaces (pushes aside) enough water so that the buoyancy force is equal to its gravity force. That is why a ship floats. Markings, known as load lines, on a shipвs hull indicating displacement (the weight of water it pushes aside, and therefore the. Markings, known as load lines, on a shipвs hull indicating displacement (the weight of water it pushes aside, and therefore the total weight of the ship together with its load).

The more heavily loaded a ship is, the lower in the water it sits. In fact, a ship does not float on the surface of the water; it sits in the water with part of its hull below the surface. The heavier the load, the deeper it sits. Because the pressure of water increases with depth, the deeper into the water the ship sits (without actually submerging completely), the more buoyancy force is created. So if a ship weighs 1000 tonnes, it will sink into the water until it has displaced 1000 tonnes of water. Provided it displaces 1000 tonnes before it is completely submerged, it still floats. But if the ship weighs more than the total volume of water it displaces, it will sink.

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