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  • At full sail! Museu Martim de Barcelona 1

    AT FULL SAIL! Educaci Primria rea dEducaci i Activitats

    MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION. WHATS A SHIP? Means of transportation are those which let us go from one point (A) to another (B). As long as going from one point to another was the only objective of human beings, means of transportation used to be quite simple: horses, canoes But as commercial relationships started to establish things changed: goods volumes were gradually higher and had to cover longer distances, keeping costs lower as possible at the same time. Those are the reasons why means of transportation needed to evolve. Ground transportation Ever since prehistory human kind has travelled round the world on foot and on foot has human kind carried his belongings. It is not easy neither to cover greater distances nor carrying heavy volumes this way, and thats the reason why next step in transport evolution involved pack animals. The kind of animals used for this purpose varied depending on the geographical location: donkeys, mules, hors-es, camels, elephants, llama

    The load was initially carried by the beast itself, but it soon came evident that pull-ing on the cargo had to be rather more effective. The first vehicles then ap-peared (carts, carriages, cars), which meant that loads could be bigger and heavier and distances to cover, longer and longer.

  • At full sail! Museu Martim de Barcelona 2

    Ground transportation worked this way for centuries. Steam engines made its ap-pearance in the 19th century, followed soon after by combustion engines. Carts and carriages were gradually substituted by cars, buses, lorries and specially by the rail-way system, the biggest novelty at that time. Nevertheless, the ship was still the means of transport par excellence in order to cover great distances until the 20th Century. Ground means of transport are in the need of an important infrastructure: roads, highways, tracks Air transport This means of transport is faster than any other, but its dedicated mainly for peoples travels. Some examples are airplanes, heli-copters, rockets These inventions are in no need of any kind of infrastructure on route, but they do need them on the ground: airports, hangars, control towers Water transport Transport over rivers and seas is as old as ground transportation. The first and main purpose of a boat was that of letting people cross water surfaces. But purposes were gradually getting more complex, and so the size and profile of boats. First boats were a mere surface made of tied tree trunks. But over time ships were slow-ly changing forms and propulsion systems in order to adapt to objectives, sizes, technical improvements Over the centuries, the Mediterranean Sea has been home to all kind of amazing ships, from traditional and fearsome war galleys to modern, enormous aircraft carriers.

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    BUT, WHAT IS A SHIP? A ship is a means of transport which travels over a water surface, this way trans-forming an obstacle (the sea), into a communication route. And why does it float? Theoretically, an object floats or sinks whether it is heavier or lighter than water. Tree leafs, a piece of cork, tree barks All these things float because theyre lighter than water. Meanwhile, an iron pipe, marbles or cobble-stones sink because theyre heavier than water. However, if we put a glass on the water surface it wont sink unless we start filling it up with things until its so heavy that it goes down to the bottom. There are two reasons that explain this behavior: firstly, its shape (similar to that of a ship) which makes that, when partially immersed in the water, the weight of fluid it displaces is smaller than the total weight of the glass. And secondly, on the inside of the glass theres only air, an element with a lesser density and weight than water. In fact, if we start filling up the glass with objects, were emptying the air out at the same time, increasing its weight until it finally sinks. The concept behind a ship is quite similar, and thats why ships can be built from heavy materials like iron or steal, provided that they have a suitable shape and we never exceed its load capacity.

  • At full sail! Museu Martim de Barcelona 4

    PARTS OF A SHIP Sailors use a special vocabulary when referring to its work; thats the reason why the names of the different parts of a ship are different to those used with other ve-hicles or means of transport. The front side of a ship is called bow. The back side of a ship is called stern. Starboard is the right side of a ship, when facing the bow. And the left side of a ship, when facing the bow, is called port. But there are many other parts in a boat, and each one has a specific name. Were not going to list them all, but we can learn the most important ones. For example, in a sailing ship, sails are tied to the masts, and each one of the masts has a different name: Mainmast: its a sailing ship principal mast. Foremast: Its the mast nearest the bow of a ship Mizenmast: Its the mast nearest the stern of a ship


    S T E R N


    Mizenmast Foremast


    Trapezoidal sail Jibs

  • At full sail! Museu Martim de Barcelona 5

    Sails come in a great variety of shapes and sizes, but they can be divided into these categories: Triangular sails (also known as lateen sails) Quadrangular sails (also known as square rig: when the wind blows, sails

    inflate and adopt a round shape, similar to that of a hot-air balloon). Trapezoidal sails (also known as jiggers), and topsails (triangular or trape-

    zoidal sails fitted over jiggers) Jibs (small triangular sails hoisted in front of the foremast).

    Quadrangular sail (square rig)

    Triangular sail (lateen sail)

  • At full sail! Museu Martim de Barcelona 6

    PROPULSION SYSTEMS Quite probably, the first thing human beings used to cross a water surface was a tree trunk; and its very likely that those first sailors took advantage of their hands to propel their boats. But the needed effort was exhausting, and they rapidly came up with new methods to drive their boats. The pole: When theres not much depth and the bank or the shore is near, a per-son standing on the boat can use a pole to sail. The sailor pushes the pole against the bottom with his/her hands so the boat can move forward.

    The oar: When there is a short distance to cov-er, the oar is an ideal propulsion system for a boat. With the oars, sailors push against the wa-ter, not the bottom of the sea/river.

    Sails: Sailing ships where the kings of the seas until the invention of the steam engine. In pushing against the sailcloth, the ship takes profit from the wind force and moves forward. There are basically two types of sails: triangu-lar sails, also known as lateen sails, typical of the Mediterranean fishing boats; and quadran-gular sails, those typical of great sailboats.

    Engines: During the 19th Century sails were gradually substituted by paddlewheels, in the first instance, and by screws soon after, both of them propelled by steam engines, turbines, nu-clear propulsion

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    The development of ships as the main worldwide means of transport has run paral-lel to the development of ports. But, what is a port? A port is a place where ships may take refuge from storms, and/or a place where ships load or unload their cargo. There are natural ports or harbours, taking profit of the coastline profile, and artifi-cial ports. A natural port is a place on the coastline with a strategic situation and a set of features (protection against wind force, easy access to land) which make the ideal place of it for ships to reach land and to load and download their cargo without any further intervention over its physical profile. That is, people who make use of these ports dont have the need to build any port structures in order to undertake any kind of maritime commerce operation. When natural shape of the coastline makes it difficult to carry out commercial activi-ties but the need of a port in that place is imperative, specific structures like docks need to be built. These kinds of ports built by people are called artificial ports.

  • At full sail! Museu Martim de Barcelona 8

    Port types There are several types of ports. Here we are some examples: Fishing port. It displays the infrastructures and buildings needed for fishing practice: fish market, docks, garages Naval bases. A naval base is a port where warships may take refuge and, moreo-ver, it displays everything needed for maintenance purposes: ammunition dump, warehouses, barracks

    Commercial ports. Theyre the biggest and most relevant ports nowadays, and offer plenty of space to store ships cargo: con-tainer port, cars port, grain ports

    Yachting harbours. There are lots of yachting harbours in the Catalan coastline, because many seaside villages have built these kinds of ports in order to attract people who like to spend their lei-sure time on board of a leisure boat. These ports are smaller and they usually incorporate fun zones, berths Some ports are so big that they are divided into different areas, each one dedicated to one of these purposes. This is the case of the port of Barcelona.

    Fishing port

    Containers unload inside a com-mercial port

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    THE SPECIALIZATION OF SHIPS Basic function of a boat has always and everywhere been letting people cross water surfaces. But objectives rapidly started to be more complicated, and so were ships shapes and sizes. The features of a ship are de-termined by its function.