Motor ship

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The supply ship MV American Tern during cargo operations at McMurdo Station in Antarctica in 2007

A motor ship or motor vessel is a ship propelled by an internal combustion engine, usually a diesel engine. The names of motor ships are often prefixed with MS, M/S, MV[1] or M/V.[2]

Engines for motorships were developed during the 1890s, and by the early 20th century, motorships began to cross the waters.[3][4]


The first diesel-powered motorships were launched in 1903: Russian Vandal (the first equipped with fully functional diesel-electric transmission) and French Petite-Pierre. There is disagreement over which of the two was the first.

See also[edit]

Cruise ships on the Volga River, Russia.
  • Gas turbine ship (GTS) – prefix for a jet-engine/turbine-propelled ship
  • Steamship (SS) – a steamship is a ship propelled by a steam engine or steam turbine. The name of steam ships are often prefixed with SS or S/S
  • Royal Mail Ship (RMS) – Royal Mail steamer, or ship
  • Ship prefix


  1. ^ "Mississippi River Commission" (PDF). Corps Facts. United States Army Corps of Engineers. 2008-01-11. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
  2. ^ "Open house of largest working towboat on the Mississippi rescheduled to Saturday, Aug. 9". United States Army Corps of Engineers. 2008-09-07. Archived from the original on 2009-01-09. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
  3. ^ "Trials and tribulations of the marine diesel -A look back at the history of diesel ships". Motorship. 1 November 2003. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  4. ^ "100 years of motor ships". 1 February 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2017.

External links[edit]