She’s Set­ting Sail

Evergreen - - News -

Ella Bate­man, who lives at Tet­ten­hall, Stafford­shire, wrote to us com­ment­ing on the fact that the es­teemed mar­itime pub­li­ca­tion Lloyd’s List, is no longer go­ing to re­fer to ships in the tra­di­tional way as “she”, but “it”. How­ever, the Royal Navy has said that it will con­tinue the time- hon­oured tra­di­tion.

Ella tells us that this prac­tice re­minded her of the fol­low­ing cheeky verse:

Why is a ship called she?

A ship is called “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 good­look­ing; 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; with­out a man at the helm, she is ab­so­lutely un­con­trol­lable. She shows her top sides, hides her bot­tom and, when com­ing into port, al­ways heads for the buoys.


A replica of James Cook’s ship En­deav­our off the coast of Whitby, York­shire. But why are ships re­ferred to as “she”? See be­low.

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