The Seas and Oceans of Minecraft are vast and hold many secrets just waiting to be found. There’s nothing like hopping into your Minecraft Boat and venturing off into the waters in search of Wrecks and finding buried Treasures.

In many of the Ocean Biomes you have certainly come across some of the many Shipwrecks that can be found along Beaches or the bottom of the Ocean.

Anytime I find one I am inspired by the design and wonder how I could make a ship of my very own for a port back at my base or village.

So, let’s go over some ways to build a ship in Minecraft.

Building a Small River Ship

Of course a ship doesn’t need to be an enormous vessel meant to travel through the seven seas. If you have a port more inland you can also build a small River ship as well!

You will first need to find a wider River to fit your ship in or simply terraform a little bit.

To start off we will be choosing our materials. I personally chose to use the kind of Wood I saw near the River before building.

I firstly place down Slabs at the depth of how deep I want my ship’s hull to be, or how deep I can. If your River is more shallow it’ll be good to use Slabs half a block above the bottom so that way the ship still seems to float.

With the Slabs I make a line as long as I want my ship to be and I’ll be using this as the center of the ship. The key and challenge will be keeping both sides symmetrical.

I alternate between normal Wood Plank blocks and Stairs and Slabs to make the shape of the ship. A thing that may help is making a basic outline to see how the whole thing will curve and look.


You want it to be a smooth curve and not something rough, kind of like you would when building a barn or stable roof.

With the small hull done I use Slabs to build the deck. Using Fences of a different type of wood I circle around the deck so it’s not so easy to fall off and make a small sail in the center of the deck with White Banners for the cloth.

Boat 2

The rest is all a matter of your personal style and decoration.

Boat 3

Using a Boat to Build a Small Ship

If building a ship like that from scratch is too much work and too big for you there is a fun alternative you can do that utilizes the original Boat you can craft in the game.

These ships can also be considered larger boats and mostly utilize blocks like Slabs, Trap Doors, and of course, the Boat to build them.

You start off similarly as you do with a larger ship. You will want to make it at least 4 blocks long along with Stairs on the ends just to give the ship a general shape.

Tiny boat

A Boat takes up two total blocks and we will be using it here so that when the build is finished the paddles on the Boat seem to be coming out of the side of our ship. The two (or more) additional blocks we have left we can use to place down a Barrel, Chest, or Crafting Table for us to use.

The sides you can line either with Signs of your chosen wood material or Trap Doors. I chose the Trap Doors, because I prefer the way they look.

Finally, we will once again use Fences and Banners to make our sail. Holding the CTRL button when placing the Fence on the Crafting Table or Barrel will stop you from accessing it as you place it down.

Tiny Boat finish

I make the sail just 3 blocks tall and add an extra Fence to the side, before hanging the 3 Banners along the length of it for the sail.

Building a Large Ship

To build a large vessel fit for the seas we’re going to need a lot of space, compared to our previous designs.

For this I suggest finding a spot farther away from land, preferably in the Ocean, Deep Ocean or just an overall deep Sea biome. We don’t want the bottom of our ship to reach the bottom of the Water or the shore.

Like with our river ship I will start this one off by making the center and spine. I am using regular Wood Plank blocks, making the center 3 blocks thick in total.

When I have my length I proceed to make the skeleton on either side, similarly as I did before. This way I can figure out the shape and size I want for the ship.

Big Boat

Once I have that much done I follow the same steps of filling in the outline and top deck and removing the Water with Sponges that may be remaining inside the lower deck.

Now, since this ship is bigger it means we can fit a lot more, both inside and on top of it. The inside I reserve for my make-belief crew. I use a Ladder on a wooden beam to descend down into the lower deck and one side I use to build the sleeping quarters.

The opposite side will be a small kitchen along with some general storage for the items I have on the ship.

Boat inside

In some cases it is a tight squeeze for building, but it makes it feel cozy.

On the top deck I put down some Barrels and Fences, along with a pair of makeshift canons made with polished blackstone walls. I think wlackstone looks good for these builds.

On the back of the ship I build a small platform where the ship’s steering wheel would be. If you have a bigger ship you can even build a captain’s room here.

In the center of the upper deck I use Spruce Logs to build up the large sail of our ship. Using Stairs at the very top I build a crows nest.

Since Banners would be too small for this sail, I use White Wool blocks at the very top to make it seem like a closed sail. If you want an open sail you can do so using the same blocks.

Boat finish

Finally all that would be left are the details on the inside and outside.

For ships like these getting lighting down is important, so using Torches or Lanterns is crucial. If a Mob such as a Creeper spawns somewhere on the ship a single explosion could ruin all of your work and leave you stranded at Sea.

To combat this you can turn off Mob griefing or light up every part of your ship that you can.