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1. Category

This category is to be used for all vessels primarily propelled by sails, with only the following exceptions

A. Several large sailing Cruise ships, which can be uploaded as Passenger Vessels in the appropriate sub category. Such ships must have a gross tonnage of greater than 1000. A reference source such as Equasis with that information shown must be included in the description.

B Military and Coast Guard vessels in service with those organisations at the time the photo was taken
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2. Sub

The main category will be kept empty, photographs should not be uploaded to this category, please use sub categories

Photos must be posted to one of the following subcategories (see guidance sources below)

If there is a gaff sail or a square sail, upload the photo to one of the Traditional Rig subcategories.
Any under the length requirement will not be accepted.

For this purpose from is defined as equal to or more than


Small single masted yachts used for recreational purposes will not be accepted.

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3. Required


The description field should include :-

1 If available, dimensions, construction material(s), nationality, history, ownership.
See Subcategories Guidance below for definition of LOA.

2 Rig. For example Topsail schooner, Brigantine, Barque, Square rig, Sloop, Lugger, Junk.
See Subcategories Guidance below.

3 Activity in which the vessel is engaged, such as Training ship, Museum Ship, Passenger cruising, Tour boat, Yacht.

4 If available, links to vessel or owner web sites.

During the uploading process

- Comply with the requirements of the Upload a new photo page

- The vessel name (only) must be placed in the title box. Do not include prefixes such as TS (for Training Ship) or SV (for Sailing Vessel) unless they are included with the name in the Research Source(s) used.

- Enter any IMO number in the IMO Number Box. Check for this before or during uploading.
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4. Guidance


MODERN RIGGED VESSELS: examples include.
Bermuda rig:
Ketch, Yawl:

TRADITIONAL RIGS: examples include
Square rig:
Gaff rig:
Lugger rig:
Spritsail rig:
Lateen rig:
Junk rig :

LENGTH OVERALL (LOA): The entire length of a vessel, measured from the foremost point of the bow to the aftermost point of the stern. It includes bowsprits and fixed stern davits.
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6. Site
standards for this category

See additional Standards below


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.


A. Remember that site standards require full ships only - sailing vessels require masts (complete). Don\'t crop off top of masts.

B. When using a photo manipulation program such as Picasa (see FAQ) to ensure the horizon and/or waterline is level, check any vertical items in the photo such as buildings or power poles.

C. A resolution (image size) of greater than the minimum 1024 x 768 is desirable.

D. Check to see if anyone else has posted a similar photograph of a vessel that you intend to upload. Is the other the same as yours? Think whether your photograph will bring anything to the site that isn\'t already there.

E. No more than 3 images of each vessel at one event, or on one occasion, will be accepted. This is an exception to 7) above.
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