With the rapid growth of Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data, how to exploit Sentinel-1 imagery and achieve effective and robust marine surveillance are crucial problems. In this paper, we present the OpenSARShip, a dataset dedicated to Sentinel-1 ship interpretation. The OpenSARShip, providing 11 346 SAR ship chips integrated with automatic identification system messages, owes five essential properties: specificality, large scale, diversity, reliability, and public availability. These properties make sure that the OpenSARShip achieves its objectives. The first is to provide researchers a benchmark dataset to develop applicable and adaptive ship interpretation algorithms and push the performance ceilings of data analysis. The other is to provide a dataset for performing application-oriented quality assessment for Sentinel-1 imagery, which can boost their applications in a targeting way. The construction and the organization of the OpenSARShip are discussed, which show the inside of the dataset and ensure the essential properties. The elaborate geometric and scattering analyses, the benchmark for classification, and the imagery applicability assessment by using the OpenSARShip all demonstrate the applicability and potential of the dataset.