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Ship building guide with walk through

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Sillouete
Retired Moderator
Level 60 : High Grandmaster Sailor
Holpng




This guide is intended to show you guys my ways of building ships. It focuses more on sailing ships, but it can be applied to any type of ship, by using the general methodology of what I am trying to show here. I understand that there may be better ways to build ships out there, but I find this one the most suitable for me. This guide will be updated constantly.

This guide/tutorial will be divided into TWO parts: a guide, explaining the terms, and the most common mistakes I see in ships built in Minecraft, as well as tips on how to improve; and a walk through of a 5th Rate Frigate, where I will apply the tips given on the first part, and show you visually how I build a ship. It can be found here: Walthrough of a 5th Rate Frigate.

With no more to say, leto s get on with the guide!

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  • Hull - Body of the ship.
  • Keel - A central beam along which the hull of the ship is built. It also provides hydrodynamic stability.
  • Deck - floor of a ship.
  • Stern - Rear - most part of a ship.
  • Bow - Forward part of a ship.
  • Port - Left side of a ship.
  • Starboard - Right side of a ship.
  • Buoyancy - Tendency of a ship to float in water.
  • Mast - Tall vertical beam that supports the sails.
  • Spars - Horizontal beam from which the sails hang on.
  • Main mast- Tallest mast of a ship.
  • Fore mast - fore- most mast of a ship.
  • Mizzen mast - Third mast of a ship.
  • Rigging - System of ropes and chains used to control and support the masts.
  • Sail- Any type of surface intended to move the vessel.
  • Stay sails - triangular sail attached to several ends.
  • Jib - stay sail ahead of the fore mast.
  • Lateen sail - Triangular sail mounted at an angle on the mast.
  • Spanker sail - gaff-headed sail, set from the aftermost lowest mast of a sailing ship.


YmoCpng

Before building a ship, one should have a clear idea of what type of vessel ito s going to be built. Either a Galleon, Ship of the Line, Modern Cruise Liner or even a mere Jolly Boat, all has different characteristics, sizes and shapes that define what they are. Different types of ships have different hull shapes. Some of the most common ships built in Minecraft: a Galleon usually has high stern castles, but lower fore castles. A Ship of the Line has a less rounded hull compared to a Carrack or Galleon, and more of a flat top deck.



When choosing a particular type of ship to build, one should analyze how long and wide will the shape of the hull be. I try to build most of my ships to scale, so when I build in Minecraft, I take my Steve character, and use it as a reference to get the size right. I dono t have any particular way of doing this, but visually. Thought, it is possible to take a block as a meter square, and parting from that, build the ship according to their actual size in meters.



B
lueprints
and
pictures
are another great way to find out the size of a ship and also, what type of ship you want to build. By studying both, pictures of real ships and blueprints, you can see details, such as length and wideness of the ship, amount of decks, types of sails, and shapes and forms of the
hulls, in and out of the water.


Alright so now that you know which type of ship to build, youo ve done your research and know the dimensions, leto s get into the building details.


aJKxpng



The hull is the body of the ship. When building a ship, this is the best part to start with; hence ito s the base of it all. Now I am going to start by showing you some of the most commons mistakes that players do when building ships, and then Io ll show you which way I do it.


IVzyspng

  • Flat bottoms o If you want to build a good ship, dono t simply make it look good above the water. Make the whole thing as it adds realism and craftsmanship.
Flat Bottom
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  • Flat sides and sterns o A very common thing that I notice in most of the ships in Minecraft are flat sides and sterns. Although some modern ships, such as cruise liners and cargo vessels do have somewhat of flat sides, sailing ships usually feature a more rounded hull. This increases realism and adds depth to your build, making it stand out from other Minecraft ships.


Flat Sides and Stern
MyLfBpng

  • Diagonal Bow o Another common thing in many ships, a diagonal bow. The bow of a ship is one of the parts that gives the ship not only it looks, but also its attitude (metaphorically speaking). Now then if you have a bow that look bad, dono t expect the ship to look good.

Diagonal Bow
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  • Diagonal hulls o In some ships, I see some weird diagonal hulls. I understand that when this happens, ito s not the intention of the player to make it look like that; rather they are trying to get the rounded o Uo of the ship. Thato s when a good knowledge of curvatures comes handy.

Diagonal Hull
arzdZpng



  • Buoyancy o What is this buoyancy? Buoyancy is the tendency of objects to float in a liquid. In this case, water. Why am I telling you all this? Simply because when building a ship in Minecraft, I think ito s important to have this buoyant force in mind. That way, youo ll be able to make a good and realistic looking ship, that looks practical, and also stands out from the rest. After all, you dono t want a ship that sticks out of the water like this. That looks bad and cheap.


DDxEApng

  • Hull Layout and Frame - The first thing I do when building a ship, is to make a 2 dimensional outline of the basic shape of the hull. That way I can tell how big ito s going to be, and what I need to change or modify from my initial design. Once thato s done, I proceed to make the 3 dimensional outline/frame, where I make the basic o bowlo shape of the hull by connecting them with frames. Framing is a good method of making a hull because it gives you a good perspective of what you are designing from the beginning, to the end. It also helps you shape the body in whichever way you want, making it easier later on, to fill in and add the details.


  • Smooth out straight and inorganic lines o When making the hull, try to eliminate any straight line or sharp corner that looks o bado . To smooth out the hull and make it look more natural, follow the contour of the hull and make circular layers to give the rounded perception.


  • Buoyancy - Testing for buoyancy is very important at this point. You can use any editing program such as World Edit or McEdit and place water around the ship, to a certain height, to determine if looks good or bad , or if needed to lower or raise.


  • Details o Adding details to your creations will give it depth, a fine finish, and will make it stand out from other builds. Different types of woods and planks, wool colors, and even the use of fences and torches can make a big difference, and can increase the visual appeal of the ship. Experiment with colors and contrasts.


hznldpng



IVzyspng

  • Masts length - The most common problems I see with masts are the sizes and proportions of their length. Do not make masts too low in proportion to the hull size. It wouldno t be able to hold enough sails to move the ship.

Also, do not make the fore or mizzen mast taller than the main mast. The fore and mizzen mast usually have smaller sails and o turningo sails (spanker, mizzen, jib). So it wouldno t help making it larger than the main mast, which features bigger sails.



Mast disproportion
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  • Number of masts o When making a big and long ship, do not put 1 or 2 masts on it. It will look disproportionate and youo d be lucky if you can get enough sails to make it move. Longer ships requires more masts.


DDxEApng


  • Masts height o When I make regular sailing ships, I usually start by making the main mast about the same length as the hull itself. Although this is not exactly true for all ships, in common ships such as Galleons, Ships of the Line, Frigates, etc, this observation can be used to make a proportionate looking mast. The rest of the masts will go lower than the main mast, with the Mizzen mast being the lowest.


  • Spars o Make sure you space out your spars in a proportionate way. Their space and size reduces as they get taller and taller on the mast.


  • Bowsprit o Usually sailing ships include a bowsprit to rig the fore staysails and jibs, so it is a good idea to make a ship with a bowsprit.


  • Crowo s Nest o adding a crowo s nest or two on the masts can make it look a lot better and realistic. You can add one on each mast. More realistic ships tend to have one above every spar. Io d recommend that if the ship is too small, dono t and a crowo s nest. The reason is that since you are dealing with Minecraft blocks, the sizes of these can be too big in comparison to the size of the ship.


  • Rigging o Rigging is the whole mess of cables and chords you see on a ship. They are used to hold the masts and sails in place. You can make these with any type of block that you want. I use fences, glass, and sometimes iron fences to simulate rigging. Again, this increases realism.





xUrpng

IVzyspng





  • Flat sails o Flat sails on a ship makes it look dull. Sails are usually full of wind, and very rarely the case, no wind would be blowing at all. So why make flat looking sails? After all they look boring and pretty bad.


  • Pointy sails o Sometimes when people try to o curveo the sails, they end up doing a triangular shape, instead of a curve. Just like it happens with the o Diagonal hullso , this may not be intentional. But again, this doesno t look natural, nor does it resemble the movement of such sails. This can be modified by having a basic understanding of curves in Minecraft.


  • Equality o By this I mean same size sails. Do not make the same sized and shaped sails all over the mast. Usually sails decrease in size as they are placed higher in the masts.


DDxEApng
  • Full of wind o Most of the time you will want your ship to look as if it was actually sailing, therefore the sails have to look like they are being used. In other words, you want your sails to look like they are full of wind. Make them puff out as if the wind was hitting them. Since the sail is a flat surface, when the wind hits them, a bulge will be formed, depending on the wind direction.

Sails full of wind
tNnGPjpg


  • Angled sails o It is a rare thing to see the wind blowing directly from behind the ship. Most of the time, a ship has its sails angled. Even when the wind is blowing directly from behind, it is preferred to turn a few degrees catch the wind at an angle. Why this? If you have the wind coming directly from you, only one set of sails is doing the work, and ito s a lot slower than having the whole sail set catching the wind. So basically it is better and more realistic to have angled sails than straight ones

  • Stay sails o Stay sails in a ship helps for stability and also to turn the ship. These are pieces of clothing attached by one or two ends. They are often triangular, and found at the bow and between square sails. Adding this to a ship can increase the visual appealing and realism.

  • Driver sail o Some sailing ships with several masts include a driver sail. This could be a Mizzensail, Spinnaker sail, Lateen sail, or the most common, a Spanker sail. These types of sails are usually located on the Mizzen mast. These are also used for stability and turning the ship. Bigger ships are also known to carry more than one of these driver sails. When making a big ship, one of these can be included.


That pretty much covers it up for the guide itself. Again these are some of the most common mistakes that in my opinion, if changed, could make a ship look better. Now on to a more visual walk through where I will be showing every step I take into making a ship.

I'll be posting the walk through soon!

----Please leave feedback and suggestions. Anything that I can change to make it better, I will!---
Tags:Minecraft, Ship, Tutorial, Boat, Sillouete, Pirates, Caribbean, Ocean, Sailing

More Blogs by SilloueteView All

Posted 2012-08-02 19:25:12
by Sillouete
Posted 2012-11-02 23:33:39
by Sillouete

Comments :

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1 - 50 of 88

TheOfficialNano
Level 56
Grandmaster Wolf
January 23, 2014, 8:05 am

As for me looking back on this amazing tutorial
My god its still the best one ever made!

High_volts
Level 3
Apprentice Architect
December 28, 2013, 5:04 pm

could you provide pictures for all of the parts

nogard
Level 30
Artisan Dragon
October 1, 2013, 10:16 am

http://www.planetminecraft.com/project/galleon-project/
posted 2011, made it solely by looking at pictures i could find on google.and here's update after i gave it a little bit more effort.
http://www.planetminecraft.com/project/galleon-bleak-raven/
not going to finish it anytime soon. don't feel like it.
but yeah, guide is not bad.

mosconauta
Level 1
New Crafter
August 19, 2013, 11:45 am

very cool and helpfull :D

Nunuxx
Level 23
Expert Pirate
April 22, 2013, 9:07 pm

What Texturepack did you use for the top front picture, Sillouete ??

SamoaSpider
Level 34
Artisan Spider Rider
March 7, 2013, 11:55 pm

you spelled "Don't" wrong man.

Fus_Ro_Duhhm
Level 22
Expert Dragonborn
December 11, 2012, 2:09 pm

Helpful, but could you maybe try and make a Youtube tutorial? that would be much helpful :D

TheChizzaberry81
Level 28
Expert Mountaineer
November 26, 2012, 10:56 pm

Very helpful indeed. I have just started making Colonial Frigates and Vessels etc. because I got some inspiration from Assassin's Creed 3. I have a bit of trouble with sails and hulls, but this blog has certainly helped a lot. Check my ships out if you have time :)

xXSoProXx
Level 4
Apprentice Miner
October 20, 2012, 7:50 pm

Oh never mind. Haha

xXSoProXx
Level 4
Apprentice Miner
October 20, 2012, 7:49 pm

I think you should make a video showing how to build a good ship, that would be awesome. Thanks for everything, you were a great help!!! :)

Pillar_of_Autumn
Level 10
Journeyman Architect
September 20, 2012, 5:06 pm

HOLY PINEAPPLES AND ORANGE JUICE thank you so much for putting this up. If I could give you more than one diamond, I would be giving so many that PMC would crash and have to update their counting system. My ships look like dog crap that have been baking on asphalt for 20 years compared to what I now see can be done. THANK YOU!!!

LivingEntity
Level 20
Expert Architect
September 17, 2012, 9:06 pm

Sillouete, I love you.

Fox454x
Level 49
Master Pegasus
September 11, 2012, 1:41 pm

Can you make a modern ship building tutorial built out stone?

mike_slain3
Level 3
Apprentice Crafter
September 2, 2012, 3:55 am

ive been making airships for the last couple of months and developed systems for making things easier. now i see your tutorials it seems im not the only one using "frames" for the hulls. im beginning work on sailing ships and your guide to masts and sails is invaluable. thank you.

Apimil
Level 50
Grandmaster Demolitionist
August 22, 2012, 11:33 am

just realised you make ships exactly the same way I make airships. I wanted to make this kind of tuto but I'm still not good enough in english for that kind of blog
diamond for you also :)

shaffirXD
Level 12
Journeyman Dragon
August 20, 2012, 9:51 am

Thaaaaaaaaaank you Silloueteeeeeeeee :3
xD herp derp

barry_winchester
Level 2
Apprentice Miner
August 17, 2012, 5:07 pm

more pictures in the "do's" sections would be nice, other than that a great guide, easy to use and very informative :D

Ohmy_Gezuz
Level 21
Expert Archer
August 10, 2012, 7:04 pm

i love this tutorial :) but if its not too much to ask could you maybe include a picture of what a non diagonal hull would look like?

Djxgame
Level 13
Journeyman Princess
August 7, 2012, 6:22 am

Hi, Sillouete. The Tuto is really coooooool! I'm Djx and I'm from China~~~Could I translate this tuto into Chinese and introduce it to the Chinese MC fans?

Sillouete
Retired Moderator
Level 60
High Grandmaster Sailor
August 7, 2012, 7:35 am

Sure, that'd be nice, but I'll be constantly updating it!

Djxgame
Level 13
Journeyman Princess
August 7, 2012, 7:44 am

And I'll be constantly updating TOO~~~~

SamoaSpider
Level 34
Artisan Spider Rider
August 5, 2012, 10:35 pm

yes... Yes - YES!

Daneitoa
Level 23
Expert Architect
August 5, 2012, 1:06 pm

You've made a tutorial on how to make a wooden half torpedo with sails and a rudder, not a ship.

Daneitoa
Level 23
Expert Architect
August 5, 2012, 1:13 pm

Excuse me, you have made a tutorial on how to make a frigate.

carguy123
Level 37
Artisan Sailor
November 5, 2012, 11:51 am

Why are you so rude? This is an amazing ship, and I doubt that you could do better

Daneitoa
Level 23
Expert Architect
November 20, 2012, 4:04 pm

Bitch pu-lease.

Easily top this with what I'm building now. I've even put much mroe time into the fricken entrance, jsut because of it's massiveness, and I sitll have time to fit in the creation of a hedge maze and steampunk ship.

carguy123
Level 37
Artisan Sailor
November 21, 2012, 8:01 am

That still does not make your rudeness and disrespect any more justified. At least try to be respectful, and if you can't come up with anything nice to say, I suggest that you say nothing, or at least criticize in a constructive, respectful way.

Daneitoa
Level 23
Expert Architect
November 23, 2012, 10:04 am

Allow me to explain something. He's making a ship, yes, it looks like he's building a half torpedo, and a very bad looking ship.

I never said that what I say justifies squat. If I want to say something doesn't look good at all, I'm sure as hell doing a lot better than you are, for saying: Good job! you did great!

Doing that says one thing: I'm not goign to tell you what's wrong with it!

With a fricken smile. Negative feedback, and fialure are the two major things we humans learn from more than when we do something successfully.

carguy123
Level 37
Artisan Sailor
November 26, 2012, 2:40 am

You are entitled to your opinion, but a few things need to be clarified. First of all, people only learn from criticism when it is constructive, and yours is not. Second of all, people learn best from criticism when it offers solutions to the problem, and yours does not; you have neither told him what you believe is wrong, nor how you believe it could be fixed. And third of all, the fact that I am saying that he did a great job is not saying that "I'm not going (I believe that is what you meant by "goign") to tell you what's wrong with it". It is saying "I believe that there is nothing wrong with it."

Daneitoa
Level 23
Expert Architect
December 2, 2012, 11:50 am

then you obviously have no knowledge of the many philosophies that define TRIAL AND ERROR.

End of discusswion. This is getting on my nerves.

Sillouete
Retired Moderator
Level 60
High Grandmaster Sailor
August 7, 2012, 7:36 am

How this is a torpedo? And no, I didn't made a tutorial on how to make a frigate, I made a walk trough on how make a frigate using the tips given in the tutorial, to show how I apply them in my builds.

Daneitoa
Level 23
Expert Architect
August 7, 2012, 7:40 am

Your ship builds, sir, are too small. by minecraft metric dimensions applied in real life, you are making your ship too small.

Sillouete
Retired Moderator
Level 60
High Grandmaster Sailor
August 7, 2012, 7:48 am

Well considering the fact that I am working with humongous blocks, I don't see a better way to make them to exactly to scale, while keeping it realistic.

Daneitoa
Level 23
Expert Architect
August 7, 2012, 8:03 am

Each Minecraft block is a 1x1x1 meter cube.

Sillouete
Retired Moderator
Level 60
High Grandmaster Sailor
August 7, 2012, 8:08 am

Yeah I know, but when dealing with rounded and curved objects, blocks have to be treated differently to actually make it look good and not square. Either way these ships are pretty accurate. Try walking inside of them, you'll see that they weren't very big.

Daneitoa
Level 23
Expert Architect
August 7, 2012, 9:46 am

whatever, most people don't get the physics of minecraft to reality.

Sillouete
Retired Moderator
Level 60
High Grandmaster Sailor
August 7, 2012, 10:01 am

physics? That's not physics. Nothing is moving lol. Anyway Frigates weren't too big. Ships don't really have a huge space where you can run and dance around. Just because a block is one meter square, doesn't mean you have to use that as a metric system.

Daneitoa
Level 23
Expert Architect
August 7, 2012, 10:14 am

See, that's where people go wrong.

Dimensional physics, not movement and force physics.

It's one meter CUBED, not Squared. If it were squared, it'd be a single flat plane, and not even a world.

The metirc system helps with the fact that it gives a sense of distance and volume.

Not happy about the fact that you don't understand, deal with it.

Sillouete
Retired Moderator
Level 60
High Grandmaster Sailor
August 7, 2012, 10:54 am

Oops, I meant to say one meter cubed.
Alright look, you say my ships are too small right? Go here [size=10pt]http://www.planetminecraft.com/blog/walk-through-of-a-5th-rate-frigate/[/size] , now see the blueprints I used. 46 meter long and 12 meter wide. That's a real life size of that Frigate. The one I build is longer and wider. So what happens if I transport the Minecraft metric system to the real life metric system? It would actually be smaller, blocky, and you would barely have space to move around. Hence why I don't measure using the 1 meter cubed system.

Daneitoa
Level 23
Expert Architect
August 7, 2012, 11:43 am

You're still missing a key part of this. I never said they had to be exact size, and accounting for the fact that steve is 2 meters tall, he is the main view of the entire thing, therefore, you would still have to build a bigger ship to make it stand out as perfect sized, and making it viewable againsta landscape, that also takes a big part of it.

But again, all I have really said is that your ships are too small.

Sillouete
Retired Moderator
Level 60
High Grandmaster Sailor
August 7, 2012, 11:50 am

[size=12px][color=rgb(37,37,37)]"Your ship builds, sir, are too small. by minecraft metric dimensions applied in real life, you are making your ship too small."[/color][/size]

[size=12px][color=rgb(37,37,37)]What is the key part? You said it yourself. I was just proving that point. [/color][/size]

Daneitoa
Level 23
Expert Architect
August 7, 2012, 12:25 pm

The "key part" is a more realistic thought of size and naturalization. If it looks too small, to you, then it is too small, even if it is by reality-minecraft dimensions. Don't be afraid to make it a bit bigger.

carguy123
Level 37
Artisan Sailor
November 5, 2012, 11:49 am

Excuse me, sir, but your accusations of this ship's size are dead wrong. This ship is 250 feet long, and a typical frigate was 150 feet long. The USS Constitution was considered large and she was 50 feet shorter than this.

Mynameisbob
Level 12
Journeyman Dragon
August 5, 2012, 8:07 am

This is amazing, you sir have earned not only a diamond, but a sub too.

minthus
Level 17
Journeyman Modder
August 4, 2012, 9:32 pm

cool

conflicttFTW
Level 31
Artisan Engineer
August 4, 2012, 10:40 am

*reads artical* *goes outside to see dad building a shity shitlord ship* Dad, i just read how to build ships and...well, youv ballsed it up someweer! XD

Sillouete
Retired Moderator
Level 60
High Grandmaster Sailor
August 7, 2012, 7:37 am

haha, wait your dad makes model ships?

ilikecutepeople
Level 59
Grandmaster Architect
August 3, 2012, 10:59 pm

Thanks, really need someone to teach ship building xD

Mellsy
Level 2
Apprentice Farmer
August 3, 2012, 1:22 pm

awesome! this is great :D thank you!!

A12c
Level 9
Apprentice Architect
August 3, 2012, 1:18 pm

I had been waiting mournfully for The Guide to Ship Building on the Voxel Wiki, and this post has just made me as happy as I can ever be. Honestly one of the greatest guides I've laid my eyes upon; fantastic work, good sir!

Sillouete
Retired Moderator
Level 60
High Grandmaster Sailor
August 7, 2012, 7:37 am

Thanks but this guy needs a lot of improvement!

cschnipke279
Level 1
New Miner
August 3, 2012, 11:31 am

you are one awesome bastard

TheOfficialNano
Level 56
Grandmaster Wolf
August 3, 2012, 11:22 am

Your incredible.

LordofNight2
Level 44
Master Vampire
August 3, 2012, 8:27 am

I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE YOU SIL {cough} I know your realname {cough} Not a stalker or anything but someone on AoMaG told me :3

Sillouete
Retired Moderator
Level 60
High Grandmaster Sailor
August 7, 2012, 7:37 am

O.O

Sunrisx
Level 2
Apprentice Explorer
August 3, 2012, 5:53 am

thx 4 the tips.. Diamond

Cobra16
Level 41
Master Sailor
August 3, 2012, 4:10 am

Hum, it seems that we don't have the same way to build Ship.
But it stays a nice Tuto.

+1

Blockorz
Level 20
Expert Blockhead
August 3, 2012, 4:06 am

Oooh. Great stuff,I've been getting into ships & airships lately,so this helped me out quite a lot C:

TheTwykz
Level 12
Journeyman Caveman
August 3, 2012, 4:05 am

can u make a video?

Sillouete
Retired Moderator
Level 60
High Grandmaster Sailor
August 7, 2012, 7:37 am

Unfortunately not now, I'm sorry :(

iWilliBlecha
Level 45
Master Architect
August 3, 2012, 1:12 am

Awesome! Thx man!

Luckyleprechaun1
Level 36
Artisan Creeper Hugger
August 2, 2012, 11:29 pm

Nice! Now I will build a ship in a bottle

kingck
Level 45
Master Sailor
August 2, 2012, 7:44 pm

this is pretty awesome i was going to do a guide like this for modern ships i just never got around to it

Sillouete
Retired Moderator
Level 60
High Grandmaster Sailor
August 7, 2012, 7:38 am

Same thing happened to me. The Minetorial contest was the only thing that motivated me to actually do it.

xZ17x
Level 4
Apprentice Mage
August 2, 2012, 3:47 pm

Diamonds for you, This guide is extremely helpful and thorough. I didn't feel like attempting ships before, but after reading this I was inspired to try! This is so good, after I read it I had no questions whatsoever about shipbuilding.

zeus127
Level 56
Grandmaster Architect
August 2, 2012, 3:36 pm

Very nice :) You should possibly check out my medieval building guide :D

1 - 50 of 88