Abstract In the initial stage of ship design, designers represent geometry, arrangement, and dimension of hull structures, which correspond to product model information, with 2D geometric primitives such as points, lines, arcs, and drawing symbols on 2D drawings. However, designers must translate the product model information defined on the 2D drawings more intelligently in the following design stages. Thus, design semantics could be lost and design processes that follow could be delayed because of errors by mistranslating the information. Here, design semantics mean design intents of the designer, that is, functions and structures which the product must have. In this study, a semantic product model data structure of an initial ship hull structure was proposed, and a semantic product modeling system was developed based on the proposed data structure. The proposed data structure can store semantic product model information such as product design results with the use of 2D wire frame geometrical data, part attributes, and design knowledge. Hence, this information can be used to generate a 3D solid model and production material information for CAPP as needed. The applicability of the proposed data structure and the developed system was verified by applying them to the deadweight 300,000 ton of Very Large Crude oil Carrier’s product modeling procedure. The application results showed that the proposed data structure and the developed system can be efficiently used for overall initial ship design environment.