Ships play a crucial role in Malory's narrative. One ship brings a wise man to Percivale, who interprets his dream and another brings a the devil in the form of a beautiful maiden who tries to distract Percivale from his quest.

It is also a ship that carries Percivale, Bors and Galahad, the grail knights, to the final stage of their quest. And on their way, they board yet another ship which they learn is a magical ship that has guarded the grail. Earlier attempts to board the ship caused individuals to be wounded by a magical sword. Hoever, Galahad manages to wield the sword and carries it away as they continue on the quest. On the magical ship, the knights learn that it was made by King Solomon, with parts of it made from a branch of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which Eve preserved after the Fall.