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What is Maritime Engineering?

By Licia Morrow
Updated May 17, 2024
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Maritime engineering encompasses several job areas, including ship design and construction, and vessel repair and maintenance. Some maritime engineers focus on the shape and building of seagoing vessels, while others in this field may work as independent contractors or employees who are responsible for ship maintenance, repair, and enhancements. Those working in this field must have knowledge and expertise about a ship's physical components and the associated systems used to enable a ship to operate effectively at sea.

The design of ocean crafts is one main area of maritime engineering. Engineers in this industry work as architects to plan, create, and present documents detailing how a ship must be built. These engineers must account for strength of construction, water safety and associated concerns, and the power used to propel a ship through the water. Some engineers focus on specialties as well, such as on the mechanical systems on a ship.

The developed engineering plan is used by others in the maritime industry to construct the ship and ensure it becomes operational. This job usually is supervised by a maritime engineer or architect and entails work from many different sectors utilizing several types of workers, including welders and installers. Ships often are built this way for commercial shippers who wish to ship products from port to port, boat manufacturers, and also for governments maintaining military sea forces.

Another important part of maritime engineering is boat protection and repair. Ensuring that a boat is maintained with proper cleaning, upgrades, and fuel is vital to the success of a ship and its crew. Those in maritime engineering who focus on this maintenance routinely check the ship and initiate or perform any necessary actions. In addition, those in this field of maritime engineering keep a close watch on the various parts of a vessel that require regular repair or updating.

There are many types of organizations that provide additional services in maritime engineering as well. Some maritime engineering companies can provide services to apply protective surfaces for a ship's deck, parts for ship stabilization, and molding and tooling services for vessel parts. This is a crucial part of maritime engineering, as ships suffer much wear and tear and require continuous attention and protection. There are teams of surveyors and other support staff who help to determine if a ship is seaworthy as well. Additionally, there are various workers who operate and maintain cranes and hauling equipment to assist a maritime vessel during work done at sea.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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