The Ships and Boats mod for Minecraft lets you create custom, steerable water ships, air ships and submarines. This means you can create your own pirate ship with treasure chests, construct a submarine for exploring underwater or build an airship to fly around your lands from above. Instead of deserts and mountains, with the occasional lake or river, you can create a water world filled with islands and travel from one to the other on your very own custom ship.
Some people have reported incompatibility with the Zeppelin mod and the Ships and Boats mod. A list of many of the known bugs and issues can be found here.
What Makes It Great Besides the fact that you can steer your ship, the great thing about this mod is that the floating water-going ships react in Minecraft water just like real ships would in real water. They will bob and rock with the waves and dip deeper into the water whenever enough weight is added. Just like in real life, smaller ships will be more easily affected by weight than larger ships.
Redstone is used in ships to power Water Pumps and Aether Pumps so that the ships you build can be submerged or fly in the air. Most blocks maintain their functions when placed within a ship build, including water blocks. This means you can make a boat out of water, out of stone, maybe even out of wool. It’s all up to you.
What Makes It Work You start by creating a ship on the water, just like any other building. You must create a captain’s seat and place it on your ship. Then you add the Ships and Boats mod block to the shore, and change the height, width and length so that its frame encloses the whole structure you created. The use the block to convert the boat you made into a usable, steerable ship. You can watch how it is done here.