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The Hull is the main body of a ship, boat, or other vessel type. [1]

  • It contains the superstructure, frame, skeleton, and internal structure among other terms.
  • It is often called a fuselage or chassis on smallcraft or vehicles.
  • Hulls have two primary characteristics (specifications) of hull shape and streamling as well as several other minor ones.
  • It is a kind of Ship Equipment.

Please see the following AAB Library Data articles for more information:
Ship Design:

Description (Specifications)

Hulls or fuselages are the skeletons, internal structures, and other core structural features of a craft capable of atmospheric flight, spaceflight, or starflight. [2]

Hulls are identified by their mass displacement, expressed in tons of displaced liquid hydrogen. When hulls are constructed, they are divided into an engineering section for the drives and the main compartment for everything else. Standard hulls are available at reduced prices and construction times. Any other hull must be produced on a custom basis. Hulls vary in their requirements for drives and power plants based on tonnage. [3]

The CBPUSAL-7 Hull Series are considered the seven basic known hull types. All other hull variations are considered subtype variations. Certain streamlining configurations are associated with each of the seven hull types, but variations are possible among un-streamlined, partially streamlined, and fully streamlined orientations among other possibilities.

Hull Explication

The Hull: Hulls are identified by their mass displacement, expressed in tons. As a rough guide, one ton equals fourteen cubic meters (the volume of one ton of liquid hydrogen and its tank structure). When hulls are constructed, they are divided into an engineering section for the drives and the main compartment for everything else. All drives and power plants must be located in the engineering section, and only drives and power plants may be placed in that section. All other ship components, including fuel, cargo hold, living space, and computer must be located in the main compartment. [4]

There are seven standard hulls which are available at reduced prices and construction times. Any other hull must be produced on a custom basis at a cost of MCr0.1 per ton with a minimum price MCr20. Construction (or build) times for custom hulls can often be much longer than standard hull construction. Hulls vary in their requirements for drives and power plants based on tonnage. [5]

Any specific drive will be less efficient as the tonnage it must drive increases. There are twenty-four standard drive types, identified by the letters A through Z (omitting I and O to avoid confusion). Also listed are various tonnage levels for hulls; any tonnage which exceeds a listed level should be read at the next higher level. Correlating hull size with drive letter indicates drive potential. For maneuver drives, this potential is the G’s of acceleration available. For jump drives, the potential is the jump number (Jn), or jump range in parsecs. For power plants, it is power plant rating (Pn). For example, a 200-ton hull equipped with maneuver drive-A can produce 1-G acceleration; an 800-ton hull equipped with jump drive-K can produce jump-2. [6]

A ship’s hull is broadly composed of two sections:

  1. Engineering Compartment / Section
  2. Main Compartment / Section

Image Repository

CBPUSAL Function Designation
Hull-Form-C-Cluster T5-Core-Rules 01-June-2019a.jpg Hull-Form-B-Braced-Cluster-T5-Core-Rules 01-June-2019a.jpg Hull-Form-P-Planetoid-T5-Core-Rules 01-June-2019a.jpg Hull-Form-U-Unstreamlined-T5-Core-Rules 01-June-2019a.jpg Hull-Form-S-Streamlined-T5-Core-Rules 01-June-2019a.jpg Hull-Form-A-Airframe-T5-Core-Rules 01-June-2019a.jpg Hull-Form-L-Lifting-Body-T5-Core-Rules 01-June-2019a.jpg
CBPUSAL Function Designation
Image Code Hull Primary Environment Subtypes Remarks (Synopsis)
Hull-C-Cluster-THUMB T5-Core-Rules 01-June-2019b.jpg C Cluster Hull Spacecraft / Vacuum Close Structure Hull Simple spacecraft hull suited to cargo transport.
Hull-B-Braced-Cluster-THUMB-T5-Core-Rules 01-June-2019b.jpg B Braced Cluster Hull Spacecraft / Vacuum Braced Hull Intermediate complexity spacecraft hull suited to cargo transport at increased acceleration rates.
Hull-P-Planetoid-THUMB-T5-Core-Rules 01-June-2019b.jpg P Planetoid Hull Spacecraft / Vacuum Planetoid Hull Simple complexity hull with advantages in durability and readily available.
Hull-U-Unstreamlined-THUMB-T5-Core-Rules 01-June-2019b.jpg U Unstreamlined Hull Spacecraft / Vacuum Box Hull Simplest spacecraft hull. Very basic, simple, and enduring.
Hull-S-Streamlined-THUMB-T5-Core-Rules 01-June-2019b.jpg S Streamlined Hull Interface Craft / Atmosphere Cone Hull Complex hull. Minimizes atmospheric drag. Also available as a Partially Streamlined Hull.
Hull-A-Airframe-THUMB-T5-Core-Rules 01-June-2019b.jpg A Airframe Hull Interface Craft / Atmosphere Wedge Hull Intermediate complexity hull. Increased atmospheric maneuverability. Also available as a Partially Streamlined Hull.
Hull-L-Lifting-Body-THUMB-T5-Core-Rules 01-June-2019b.jpg L Lifting Body Hull Interface Craft / Atmosphere Flattened Sphere Hull Very complex hull. Best lift capabilities. Also available as a Partially Streamlined Hull.

NOTES: Hulls are not limited in application. It is possible to build hulls across a variety of applications and characteristics. Hull terminology is often duplicative with semantic overlap.

Physical Structure (Surface)

Secondary Hull Characteristic:

Configuration (Shape)

Primary Hull Characteristic:

Streamlining (Aerodynamics)

Primary Hull Characteristic: Streamlining may be inherent to the configuration, or it may be an applied design feature:

A hull may be additionally equipped for wilderness refuelling with:

Aircraft hulls may be equipped with intakes for various engine types for atmospheric flight.

Hull Materials / Hull Armor (Defensive Frame)

Secondary Hull Characteristic:

Primary structural material: Hull Materials & Armor
Type TL Remarks
Iron TL-3 Relatively hard metal armor of many TL:1-3 and some later vehicles.
Steel TL-4 Next step of hardened metal armor used by TL:4-6 vehicles.
Hard Steel TL-5 None
Light Alloys TL-6 None
Titanium Alloy TL-6 None
Composite Laminate TL-7 None
Lightweight Composite Laminate TL-9 None
Crystaliron TL-10 None
Superdense TL-12 None
Bonded Superdense TL-14 None
Coherent Superdense TL-17 None
Organic Armor Various Organic armor is difficult to categorize by TL and comes in a vast variety of forms and effective levels of sophistication.
Future Armor TL:19-21+ TBD


  • Compartmentalization
  • Electrostatic armor
  • Hull plating
  • Inherent armor (Planetoid Hulls)
  • Reactive armor
  • Reflec coating
  • Structural bracing

Additional Features (Accoutrements)

Secondary Hull Characteristic:

  • Exterior Windows
  • Heat Shielding
  • Non-electronic masking methods
  • Radiation Shielding
  • Stealth coatings
  • Surface finish (color scheme), markings, and logos

History & Background (Dossier)

Hulls are a vital part of any large, complex technological transportation conveyance. they range from the earliest found materials to massively processed materials such as smelted metals, alloys, polymers, composites, ceramics, nano-materials, and more. And despite the many different materials, the basic engineering principles and vehicles and vessel construction have changed very little over thousands of years. [7]

Technological Overview of Hull Development

Unpowered aircraft using floaters or harnessed flying creatures typically become available to sophonts in the TL:1-3 epoch.

At higher technological epochs, more advanced forms of starflight become theoretically possible including trans-universal or trans-brane transportation to multiverses. Some believe that chronotaxis or time travel may become routinely available in the far future.

Expected Tech Epoch Transitions


Transatmospheric Flight:

Spaceflight & Starflight:

CBPUSAL Function Designation Streamlining Spectrum

The Imperial Ship Builders Association (ISBA) qualifies modern naval hulls across this spectrum:

  1. C. Cluster. An accumulation of compartments.
  2. B. Braced Cluster. Structured for higher acceleration.
  3. P. Planetoid. A hollowed nickel-iron asteroid.
  4. U. Unstreamlined. Protrusions increase drag.
  5. S. Streamlined. Cowlings and fairings decrease drag.
  6. A. Airframe. Winged for performance in atmosphere.
  7. L. Lifting Body. Radically streamlined lifting-surfaces.

References & Contributors (Sources)

This article has Metadata

This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.

  1. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  2. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  3. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  4. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 13.
  5. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 13.
  6. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 13.
  7. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak