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Is there a database of the ships that were built until now, containing the size, weight, displacement, cost, year of built, and optionally the amount of used materials?

It does not need to contain the data of [almost] all ships, but at least the representative sample.

  • Are you looking for a database of ships registered in all countries, or just ships registered in one particular country? (Some countries might have registration data available, but that probably won't include things such as cost. In any case, flags of convenience would make things a bit more complicated.) – myersjustinc May 10 '13 at 21:40
  • "representative sample" → representative of the whole world, or representative of a particular country/area? By the way, you will probably find that most ships are tiny unregistered pirogues/dinghies. – Nicolas Raoul Apr 23 '14 at 5:12
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From this answer on Get the Data: http://getthedata.org/questions/262/list-of-ocean-going-oil-tankers-and-owner/ (provided by Kit Wallace). Note none of this detail seems to be open data (as per Open Definition).

There are a number of commercial sources such as http://www.ship-info.com/ or restricted sites http://www.equasis.org/ sites with copyright data http://www.digital-seas.com/ but also some amateur sites (which I cant find now).

http://www.shipais.com includes data about the ships it plots - eg. http://www.shipais.com/showship.php?mmsi=256933000 but I'm not sure where that comes from now. Worth investigating.

The ITU holds public details about MMSI numbers in their MARS database which does hold some category data , but its limited - here is the data for tanker with the above MMSI and the database is only searchable by MMSI, name or callsign.

The best source though you need to register and search by individual boat is equasis which contains full ownership details. According to the website

France and the European Commission shared the cost of developing and running Equasis until 31 December 2001 when the maritime authorities of the United Kingdom, Spain, Singapore and Japan also agreed to support Equasis financially. The budget of Equasis is agreed and provided by the Equasis MoU members. It is anticipated that the use of this website will remain free for the foreseeable future

Also:

Marinemapper exports KML files, and seems to have links to a lot of information about the vessels themselves.

Vesseltracker also provides data about a variety of ship types, although it's commercial and non-open.

  • Are any of the datasets you mentioned Open Data? If not, then the answer is not really that helpful. Please also have a look at this discussion. – Patrick Hoefler May 14 '13 at 20:58
  • @PatrickHoefler thx for the pointer. As you can imagine I would be a strong supporter for open data only. At the same time, I think it can be useful to point to sources which directly address the question asked and whose openness is unclear or which could be pushed re open (e.g. equasis here). – Rufus Pollock May 15 '13 at 9:48
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Wikipedia has an exhaustive list of lists of ships.

  • Once these lists can be auto-generated through Wikidata (in phase 3 of the project), things will start to become really interesting :) – Patrick Hoefler May 12 '13 at 15:20
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    Very useful, but please keep in mind that these only include "notable" ships. They will not be a representative sample. – Nicolas Raoul Jun 5 '13 at 7:18
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Not quite all the details you were looking for, but the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas publishes their research vessel platform list as RDF here. You could use the IMO / MMSI numbers as a hopping off point to other data sources for tonnage etc... I've never seen any links to build cost data though.

The idea with these platform codes is to provide an unambiguous, unique reference to a vessel (or other platform) used to collect marine science data. There are plenty of commercial vessels in the list that have been used as "ships of opportunity".

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The Lake Superior Maritime Collection at the University of Wisconsin-Superior has material that may suit your needs.

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If you like some fun data, the University of Madrid published a dataset about ships between 1750-1855 which was extracted from shipping logs. Has name, type, details, locations of the ships (dates, latlng):

http://pendientedemigracion.ucm.es/info/cliwoc/cliwoc15.htm

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