AP Style Boats, Ships

A “boat” is a watercraft of any size but generally is used to indicate a small craft. A “ship” is a large, seagoing vessel.

The word “boat” is used, however, in some words that apply to large craft. For example,

  • Ferryboat
  • PT boat

Use “it,” not the pronoun “she,” in references to boats and ships.

Use Arabic or Roman numerals in the names of boats and ships. For example,

  • the Queen Elizabeth 2, or QE2
  • Titan I
  • Titan II

The reference for military ships is Jane’s Fighting Ships; for nonmilitary ships, IHS Fairplay Register of Ships.

See also AP Style Numbers.

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