- A ship is any vessel of 100.0 tons or more.
- A starship is a ship which has jump drives and can travel on interstellar voyages.
- A non-starship is a ship without jump drives and capable of only extraplanetary travel.
- A small craft is any vessel under 100.0 tons; all small craft are incapable of jump. 
Design and Construction: Space ships are constructed and sold at shipyards throughout the galaxy. Any Class A Starport has a shipyard which can build any kind of ship, including a starship with jump drives; any Class B Starport can build small craft and ships which do not have jump drives. The military procures vessels through these yards, corporations buy their commercial vessels from these shipyards, and private individuals can purchase ships that they have designed through them as well. The major restriction on the purchase of ships is money. 
A Traveller with this skill is able to understand the underlying structures and subsystems, to identify structural weak points or areas that are highly resistant to damage. They are able to understand the rigors of space and how to build or modify objects that must exist in space for long periods without failure.
Naval architecture provides a diverse background and exposure to specific skills such as engineering, mechanics, electronics, and material engineering. They also can provide an understanding of designs that are both functional, beautiful and/or practical. Naval Architects possess the ability to analyze and interpret technical drawings and designs and evaluate craft for performance and efficiency. They are indispensable to space-faring races, navies, and planets with space-based industries.
Ship Design: Most vessels are constructed from standard design plans which use time-tested designs and combinations of features. Shipyards work from these plans which cover every detail of construction and assembly. 
Naval Architecture: Small design corporations can produce design plans for any vessel type once given the details of what is desired. The design procedure is followed to determine what is available and allowed, and the results are presented to the naval architect firm. They produce a detailed set of design plans in about four weeks for a price of 1.0% of the final ship cost; they can be hurried to finish the job in two weeks if paid 1.5%. Once the design plans are received, the shipyard may be commissioned to produce the vessel desired. 
Standardized Ship Designs
Standard Designs: There are a number of standard design plans known as Universal Manufacturing Template (UMTs) widely available; they have been in use for a long time, and are available for a nominal fee (Cr100 for the set).
- Starships: Standard starship plans available are: 100-ton Scout/Courier, 200-ton Free Trader, 200-ton Yacht, 400-ton Subsidized Merchant, 600-ton Subsidized Liner, 800-ton Mercenary Cruiser, and 400-ton Patrol Cruiser.
- Smallcraft: Standard plans are also available for the following small craft: 20-ton Launch, 30-ton Ship's Boat, 30-ton Slow Boat, 40-ton Pinnace, 40-ton Slow Pinnace, 50-ton Cutter, 95-ton Shuttle, and 10-ton Fighter.
- Less Standard Designs: Other standard plans may be available at various localities. Standard designs are easier to produce; their prices reflect a 10.0% reduction in normal pricing. The details of the standard designs are shown in naval manuals. Standard design vessels are often available used (…10 to 40 years old) at reductions in price ranging from 10.0% to 40.0%, as indicated by local restrictions. 
Construction Times: Ship construction requires a relatively long period of time, based primarily on the hull size used. The rule section on hulls indicates the basic time required to construct a ship based on a certain size of hull (...ranging from 10 to 36 months). Standard design ships take about one month less than the stated time. 
Construction time for any custom hull is 36 months, regardless of tonnage. 
A ship’s hull is broadly composed of two sections:
|Six Most Common Hull Sizes |
|Hull (tons)||Main %||Engineering %||Price (MCr)||Time (months)|
|100 Tons||85 %||15 %||MCr2||10 months|
|200 Tons||185 %||15 %||MCr8||12 months|
|400 Tons||350 %||50 %||MCr16||16 months|
|600 Tons||520 %||80 %||MCr48||24 months|
|800 Tons||635 %||165 %||MCr80||28 months|
|1,000 Tons||835 %||165 %||MCr100||30 months|
Construction Times: Time required for buiiding any vessel depends primarily on the hull. The drive potential table indicates construction time for each tonnage of hull; any hull over the indicated tonnage requires the next higher construction time. The standard hulls table gives shorter construction times for those hulls; they are more familiar to the shipyard and easier to build.
Costs and Payments: A shipyard will insist upon a 20.0% down payment with the order for the vessel, as well as requiring a demonstration that proper financing is available to cover the balance when due. 
Most Common Standardized Smallcraft Types
- Cutter (50-ton)
- Fighter (10-ton)
- Launch (20-ton)
- Pinnace (40-ton)
- Ship's Boat (30-ton)
- Shuttle (95-ton)
- Slow Boat (30-ton)
- Slow Pinnace (40-ton)
Most Common Standardized Starship Types
- Free Trader (Type A) (200-ton)
- Mercenary Cruiser (Type C) (800-ton)
- Safari Ship (Type K) (200-ton)
- Laboratory Ship (Type L) (400-ton)
- Subsidized Liner (Type M) (600-ton)
- Subsidized Merchant (Type R) (400-ton)
- Scout/Courier (Type S) (100-ton)
- Patrol Cruiser (Type T) (400-ton)
- Yacht (Type Y) (200-ton)