HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

1 December 2016

Why is a ship a “she”

Have you ever wondered why a ship is most often referred to as a “She’'
The web is full of different theories but the following one sums up the general sentiment.

“In truth, the real reason behind various vehicles being referred to as female may never be fully understood. It could simply be a way that predominantly male seafarers came to express their affection for the object that sustained them while in dangerous situations and helped to provide food for their families when coastal fishing became a major part of their lives. Regardless of the origin, the tradition is engraved in human culture all around the world and isn't likely to fade in the near future.”

Another older exlanation, used by most navies around the world.

“A ship is called a she because there is always a great deal of bustle around her; there is usually a gang of men about; she has a waist and stays; it takes a lot of paint to keep her good-looking; it is not the initial expense that breaks you, it is the upkeep; she can be all decked out; it takes an experienced man to handle her correctly; and without a man at the helm, she is absolutely uncontrollable. She shows her topsides, hides her bottom,  and when coming into port, always heads for the buoys.”


This beautiful piece of maritime art is from the bow of the Coonatto which was wrecked on Beachy Head in the English Channel on 21 Feb. 1876.  It forms part of the Halloran Collection on display at the museum – Continue Reading



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