The tonnage of a ship has nothing to do with weight - it was the number of tuns(barrels) a ship could nominally carry. What weight could a 10,000 ton ship typically carry?
#121729. Asked by tnrees. (Jun 04 11 8:23 AM)
Tonnage is a measure of the size or cargo carrying capacity of a ship. The term derives from the taxation paid on tuns or casks of wine, and was later used in reference to the weight of a ship's cargo; however, in modern maritime usage, "tonnage" specifically refers to a calculation of the volume or cargo volume of a ship.|
Historically, tonnage was the tax on tuns (casks) of wine that held approximately 252 gallons of wine and weighed approximately 2,240 pounds. This suggests that the unit of weight measurement, long tons (also 2,240 lb) and tonnage both share the same etymology.
You appear to have answered your own question. If the tonnage of a ship is, as you say, the number of tuns it could carry then obviously a 10,000 ton ship could carry 10,000 tuns! In terms of weight, here's the calculation:|
According to this page
a tun is 954.7 litres of wine. With a typical density of 0.985 kg/l
this is 940kg. 10,000 tuns would then be 9,400,000kg, 9,400 tonnes or 9,200 tons.
There are a couple more measurements related to ships in addition to those given above, both expressed in tons.
"Deadweight tonnage" is the weight a ship can safely carry, including cargo, crew, supplies, fuel, water etc.
The actual mass of a ship is called its "displacement", i.e. how much water has to be moved out of the way to accommodate the ship. For example, fill a bath to the overflow, put your model ship in the water and collect the displaced water that comes down the overflow pipe. Weigh that water and you have the weight of the model. Now scale this up to the real thing. This is, of course, Archimedes' Principle writ large.
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