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You do not call a cruise ship a cruise boat, right?!
I hate it when news reporters call liners, cruise ships, Tankers, car carriers, bulk carriers, and many other classes of ships - boats.
The same is true of words that imply size, words such a boat and ship.
The fact that perhaps not all boats are so small and not all ships so large that any ship could reasonably carry any boat is irrelevant.
One answer is that a ship can carry a boat, but a boat cannot carry a ship.
Another is that a ship's captain gets annoyed if you refer to his vessel as a boat, but a boat's captain does not get annoyed if you refer to his vessel as a ship.
It's been suggested that the difference between a boat and a ship is that a boat's captain would not be offended to hear the boat referred to as a ship, while a ship's captain would be offended to hear the ship referred to as a boat.
Categorically, boats are smaller than ships, in spite of the fact that the two categories overlap considerably.Simplistically, a ship can carry a boat, but a boat cannot carry a ship. The ship carrying a boat thing works a bit but not for a fishing boat, for example.A ship is generally an ocean going vessel but then that doesn't work for submarines which are always boats. A sailing ship is one that has 3 or more masts with yards crossing them - but i don't suppose that helps much!However, the former are also generally smaller than the latter.What it boils down to is the same issue one is confronted with when hearing of "jumbo shrimp" or "tiny whales".
I don't think whether one fits into another has anything to do with it" There is a more technical definition: "On a boat the centre of gravity is below the freeboard, on a ship it is above.