In Longman and Walton's book The Lost World of the Flood (2018) they argue that the account of Noah's flood in the book of Genesis, although based on an historical event, employs rhetorical devices such as hyperbole. One example of this is the size of the ark. In the Genesis account, the size of the ark is put at 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high (estimates vary, but that is the approximate size).
As the authors say (p. 39),
"Let's remember that the ark as described in the Bible, if taken as precise measurements of an actual boat, is larger than any wooden boat built not just in antiquity but at any time, including today. [...] the earliest vessels, rarely more than ten feet in length [...] Egyptian art [...] depicts ships that may be as long as 170 feet [...] Even once we move into Roman times [...] the most famous large vessel was the Isis [...] Remarkably, it was 180 feet by 45 feet by 44 feet - less than a quarter the size of the ark.
Moving to more recent times [...] The USS Dunderberg is often listed at the longest at 377 feet, but 50 feet of the length is a ram, so to compare to the ark we should list it at 327. The Wyoming [...] is listed at 449 feet, but this includes the jib-boom; actually it is 329 feet. These modern long wooden boats are also built with iron bolts and steel supports, something not available to Noah."
According to Longman and Walton, unlike a contemporary reader who is used to boats the size of the ark or bigger (such as cargo ships or cruise-liners - indeed, this is small compared to the largest ships nowadays - the largest cruise ship is 1,200 feet long and 210 feet wide), an ancient reader would have immediately recognized this as an unprecedentedly huge ship which would have been virtually impossible for Noah and his family to build (or perhaps even the King's navy).
Hence, they argue, it is plausible to hold an ancient reader would have readily seen this as 'obvious' hyberbole, similar to a person nowadays saying "this luggage weighs 10,000 pounds" - any listener nowadays would know that latter phrase is meant as hyperbole for effect.
What are the main responses to this type of argument? There are two main aspects here. First, do those who hold the flood story is to be understood literally hold this actually would be a practical achievement by Noah and his family, and if so how? Second, are there any common responses to the argument it is reasonable to hold this would have been seen by ancient listeners as hyperbole, who would never have seen boats of this size?