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Because A through Z would have been too easy

Ship's hulls are made of a series of metal plates welded or riveted together. To make ship structure more universal, common names and systems have been made to describe each row or type of plating.
     The plates can be welded together either butted up against one another (edge to edge) or overlapping. Each has it's advantages. Here are some tidbits pieced together from the Coast Guard questions:
-Shell plating is arranged flush in modern shipbuilding
-Welding plates together does not reduce plate stresses
-Steel hulls are kept insulated from aluminum framing (the metals would react)
-Butt joints do not reduce plate stress, but do reduce weight, improve hydrodynamics, and keep tensile strenth at joint
-Strake: hull plating, specifically a row of plating
-Garboard Strake: row of plating nearest the keel
  -also known as the A strake
-Margin Plate: outboard strake of plating on each side of an inner bottom
-Bilge strake: row of plating found at the turn of the bilge, where the hull becomes more vertical than horizontal
-Stealer Plate: to reduce the number of strakes at the bow, two strakes are tapered and joined at their ends by a single plate known as a stealer plate
-Drop Strakes: strakes that exist amidships (where the ship has greater girth) but have been eliminated at the bow and stern to reduce the amount of plating
-Butt joint: joint formed when two plates are placed end-to-end and do not overlap
-Seam: joint formed when two steel shell plates are placed longitudinally side to side

(There will be diagrams eventually, for now, see Eyers' "Ship Construction")