Paragraph Ship: many shipping regulations are based on Gross Tonnage (GT) or on Deadweight Tonnage (DWT). Therefore, shipowners construct ships to take advantage of regulations that place differing requirements on ships above or below certain sizes. For example, ships of 499 or of 1599 gross are popular. Such ships are known as ‘paragraph ships’ because they take advantage of a ‘paragraph’ of the regulations.
Numerous government regulations concerning manning, safety appliances are determined by a ship’s tonnage. For example, a ship of 499 Gross Tonnage (GT) may be a lot cheaper to run than one of 501 Gross Tonnage (GT). Ships built to take advantage of such limits are known as ‘paragraph ships’. Usually, Paragraph Ships are of the small coaster or short sea trade ships but note that Aframax tankers could be considered a type of paragraph ship.