The draft or draught of a ship's hull is the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull (keel), with the thickness of the hull included; in the case of not being included the draft outline would be obtained. Draft determines the minimum depth of water a ship or boat can safely navigate.

A table made by the shipyard shows the water displacement for each draft. The density of the water (salt or fresh) and the content of the ship's bunkers has to be taken into account. The draft can also be used to determine the weight of the cargo on board by calculating the total displacement of water and then using Archimedes' principle.

The closely related term "trim" is defined as the difference between the forward and aft drafts.[1]

Graphical representation of the dimensions used to describe a ship. Dimension "d" is the draft.