The size of the Ark was comparable to modern ocean going ships
How big was Noah’s Ark, well the length and beam of Noah′s ark make it very sea-worthy and compares with that of a 14000 ton Tanker.
It had the correct proportions, unlike the ark in the Babylonian flood story which was a cube 55 metres by 55 metres by 55 metres!
The ark resembled a huge barge. It was built just to float – it had no sails, oars, propellers or rudder.
It consisted of 3 decks and a 0.5 metre ventilation gap just below the roof, running it′s full length.
Ark size comparison with other ships
The eight images below are shown to the same scale: (Different sized monitors may display these inaccurately, but it will give a visual indication of their sizes)
In 1620, a merchant ship called the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, England. It carried 102 passengers hoping to start a new life in America.
Length: 19.5 metres Beam: 8 metres
How big was Noah’s Ark? A lot bigger than this! The Cutty Sark was a Tea Clipper sailing very fast between China and Britain from 1870.
Length: 67.7 metres Beam 11 metres
The SMS Scharnhorst was an armoured cruiser of the Imperial German Navy before and through WW1.
Length: 144.7 metres Beam: 21.6 metres
The size of Noah′s ark
This is how you are to build it:Genesis 6:15
The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.”
Length: 140 metres Beam: 23 metres
A 14000 ton Tanker – comparable size to Noah’s Ark
Length: 143 metres Beam: 23 metres
Multi Purpose Dry Cargo Ship DWT 22000 ton
Length: 164 metres Beam: 25.3 metres
On the Titanic’s first trip at 11:40 PM on 14 April 1912 it hit an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean and it sank two hours and forty minutes later killing over 1500 people.
Length: 269 metres Beam: 28 metres
Length: 300 metres Beam: 44 metres
Could Noah have built it?
Noah had probably never seen an ocean or had any knowledge of ship building, but the end result was that it had the right proportions to be very sea worthy.
It was also massive in size to hold a lot of cargo, animals and people.
We can be utterly amazed how the ancient civilisations built enormous and complex things:
The Pyramids, Stonehenge, cathedrals, complex cranes and other machinery, and all with tremendous accuracy.
When modern engineers come to copy some of the ancient things, their knowledge and skill is often severely stretched and often they express amazement at how it was originally built.
So early mankind were clever engineers.
How did Noah know how big to build the Ark and how to construct it?
God gave Noah the dimensions and the plan of how to build it:
So make yourself an ark of cypress wood [i];Genesis 6:14-16
make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.
This is how you are to build it:
The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.
Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around.
Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.”
Noah probably was very rich, so he would have been able to hire a lot of men to build it.
Below is a ship that can be made to order from Holland, of a very similar size to Noah’s Ark:
Length: 143 metres, beam 23 metres.
(Noah’s Ark: Length: 140 metres, Beam: 23 metres).
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.”Genesis 6:9
See next article: Could Noah have built the huge Ark?
[i] The Hebrew word is unknown.
[ii] Volharding Shipbuilders opens in a new window.