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1. Essential

Since the classification of RO/RO ships,especially ships that carry a mixture of freight, cars and containers, can be a problem, this FAQ has been established.These general differences have been established merely for use on this website and to make it easier for members to put their pictures in the correct category.Should you have any problems with these criteria, please feel free to contact the admin team via personal message or email.

General Remark: if you have any doubt about the category in which to upload your picture, please look for previous pictures of the ship on the website.As admins we often do the same.

1.1 Difference between RO/RO ship and Ferries

The main difference between a RO/RO ship and a ferry is the number of passengers carried.If a ship carries more than 12 passengers, please submit the image to the Ferries category.Please see "3 .Research Sources" below for more information about looking up ships details.

1.2 Difference between RO/RO ships and Vehicle Carriers

The main difference between a RO/RO ship and a Vehicle Carrier is that a Vehicle Carrier is designed to carry cars,vans and lorries etc. RO/RO ships are designed to carry a mixture of both cars and freight.

Some vehicle Carriers like Grimaldi Lines vessel also carry containers. These ships are classified as Vehicle Carriers by most other sources and are therefore put in the Vehicle Carrier category.

1.3 Difference between RO/RO ships and General Cargo Ships

Some ships carry general cargo but also have a small car deck to carry cars or trucks. These ships generally have smaller vehicle capacity in relation to their cargo capacity and are therefor to be uploaded to the General Cargo Ship category.

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2. Classification

Enter the vessel name in sites shown in the Research Sources links below. Note the description given.

Use the following criteria to determine the correct Shipspotting category to be used during uploading.

- If the description is RO/RO ships carrying up to 12 passengers (or if there is no mention of the ship’s passenger capacity) - upload to the RO/RO category.

- If the description is only RO/RO Cargo Ship this means the ship has only RO/RO facilities and the passenger capacity is max 12 – upload to the RO/RO category

- If the description indicates a freight carrying ship with only RO/RO facilities - upload to the RO/RO category.

- If the description is Passenger/RO/RO Cargo Ship, the ship is a passenger ferry or a Ro-Pax ship which has space for cargo (lanemetres) and also a larger capacity for passengers. Some ships with this description may have ramps. Upload to the Ferry subcategory in the Passenger Vessels category.

- If the description is RO/Pax, or other information that describes a vessel with both RO/RO and passenger facilities for more than 12 passengers - upload to the Ferries subcategory in the Passenger Vessels category.

- If the description is Ferry - upload to the Ferries subcategory in the Passenger Vessels category.

- If the description is Vehicle or Car Carrier - upload to the Vehicle Carriers category.

- If the description is Landing Craft - upload to the RO/RO category
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3. Research

1. Google search by vessel name, particularly useful if owner/manager has web site.

2. Equasis

3. Miramar (older vessels)

4. DNV (Det Norske Veritas)

5. Clarksons (cars carrying capacity can be found without joining)

6. World Shipping Register

7. Swedish language site

8. Digital Seas

9. Shipping Database

10. Vesseltracker

11. Marine Traffic
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4. Information
Required when uploading

In the Description field

- Show the date the photo was taken, and the location.

- Include as much data as possible about vessel nationality, history, etc.

- Also add other information of general interest from your own sources and knowledge.

- If available, include links to owner/vessel web sites.

During the uploading process

- Enter the name of the vessel (only) in the Title Box

- Enter any IMO number in the IMO Number Box. Check for this before or during uploading. If the IMO number is also placed in the Description field (say after posting Equasis data) it will assist later searches

- Upload to the category or sub category determined by the Classification Criteria above.
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5. Site
Standards for this Category


We have site standards to ensure that the Shipspotting site maintains its focus on good images of ships themselves. In addition to these general standards, some categories have specific variations. Please use the Forum to raise any queries, or contact us at [email protected]

1. Size of image: The resolution must be between 768 x 1024 (or 1024x768) pixels and 10000 x 10000 pixels, files have to be jpeg format. Please make sure that the size you select to post will show a photo that is sharp at the maximum size it will visible on the site. Members should be constantly aware of the limitations of their cameras. Preferably the aspect ratio (width x height) should not be below 3 to 1, to give a view that corresponds to the dimensions of normal screens (viewfinder or computer).

2. Sharpness: Images must be sharp. In a sharp image, names, windows, cranes and other ship details will be clear. Moderate digital enhancement for sharpness is acceptable, but the image must remain sharp in at least one of medium/full screen/original sizes on a screen of at least 280mm. It is accepted that older images, processed from prints, negatives or transparencies may not be as sharp as modern digital photographs, although also in may cases digital photographs will benefit from sharpening

3. Exposure: All images should be appropriately exposed to show the ship clearly, and without large white or black areas. Silhouettes are not accepted.

4. Level: The horizon must be level and verticals should appear so. The image should be straightened where necessary. Some inclination for verticals at the edges of a photo can be allowed.

5. Distortion and enhancement: Photos taken with fish eye or other lenses that produce distorted images are not allowed. Black-and-white images are accepted only if that was the original medium; similarly for colour images. All manipulation of digital images should maintain a “natural” contrast and colour. For further guidance on digital enhancement see

6. Full ships only: For all views except those specifically for part-ship categories, bows, sterns and masts should not be cropped. Bow and stern shots are acceptable if they show the vessel from the waterline to the top of the superstructure.

7. Obstructions: Foreground obstructions should not restrict the view of the ship. Equipment and other vessels that are associated with the normal working of the ship (such as container cranes, tugs or bunkering barges) are acceptable provided they do not dominate the image. For ships alongside quays, the whole length of the ship should be in sight.

8. Main subject: The ship must be the main subject. Distant views where the ship is a small part of the image are not accepted.

9. People: The incidental presence of crew, passengers or shore workers in normal activity (ie not posed) is acceptable. Photographs showing people in the foreground, or others that may invade personal privacy, are not permitted.

10. Borders and watermarks: New digital images should not have added borders. Scanned historic images may retain a border provided it is unobtrusive and not decorative. Watermarks are acceptable provided they are discreet and do not impinge on the ship image. QR electronic codes are not permitted.

11. Small boats: Unless in use by the shipping or fishing industries or public authorities, small boats of less than 20 metres/65 feet in length are not accepted.

12. Multiple photos: When posting multiple photos of the same vessel taken on the same Date, the submission must be restricted to a maximum of 4 photographs with a significant change of Aspect/Angle between the photographs.

13. Date and location of photo: These must be included in the Description, if not added from the Location and Date of photo menus on the Upload page.

14 Old photos or negative scans from members archives must comply with Site Standards. Scratches or other blemishes should be removed, which may require the use of more advanced software.

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