Keel laying

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Keel laying of a Liberty ship
Keel laying of the research vessel Sonne on April 12, 2013 in the Meyer Werft , Papenburg

The keel laying marks the start of construction in shipbuilding.


In the keel was laid in the historic shipbuilding as well as in contemporary wooden boat building is Kiel designed. Depending on the size of the ship, the keel can consist of several parts. The ribs are then fixed to the keel , to which the outer skin is attached. Together with the decks and other reinforcements, the hull is created .

The term keel laying has been preserved in iron and steel shipbuilding and stands for the beginning of the assembly of the ship's hull. This point in time is important both for payment (due date of a partial sum) and for the validity of regulations. Whether new regulations (e.g. regarding anti-fouling paints ) are applied to a ship often depends on the date on which the keel was laid.

In industrial shipbuilding in sectional construction , keel laying means laying out the first section (hull section) at the construction site ( slipway or dock ) using a crane . The real work begins with the burning / cutting of the individual steel plates from which the ship sections are built.

To this day, one or more coins are placed on the pallet under the first section as a lucky charm . The symbolic laying on the keel has the same meaning in this context as the laying of the foundation stone when building a house. The keel-laying is usually celebrated in a similar solemn manner as part of a small ceremony with representatives of the shipyard and shipping company. In the form of a lucky coin in the mast track , the custom can be traced back to at least two to one hundred years before Christ through wreckage .

Web links

Commons : Keel laying  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Peter RV Marsden: The Luck Coins in Ships . In: The Mariner's Mirror . Vol. 51, No. 1 . Cambridge University Press, London, New York February 1965, pp. 33/34 .