Is 船 (chuán, boat) composed of the characters for vessel, eight, and person? Is this the etymology of 船?
Unfortunately the glyph origin is not correct. It seems like the method you are using is more aligned into the "break every component down into parts you can recognize" way of memorizing characters which is not really efficient for remembering characters with. If you need the actual glyph origin, allow me to explain it.
舟 was originally a pictograph of a boat viewed from a bird's eye view, indicating the original meaning "boat". Here, 舟 (boat) is a meaning component. The connection should be quite obvious.
㕣 currently has an unclear origin with no conclusive original meaning. However though some scholars have theorized that it was likely a pictograph of a marsh at the bottom of a hill with a drainage hole at the bottom. Here, 㕣 (yǎn) is a sound component. You may have noticed that the sound component does not sound exactly like how the character is pronounced. This was because the pronunciation of these two were more similar in old Chinese.
- 船 in Zhengzhang OC: /*ɦljon/
- 㕣 in Zhengzhang OC: /*lon/
The original meaning of this character is "boat" which later extended to "ship" and "vessel".
I hope this will clear things up to you! :)
- Dong Chinese
- Outlier Dictionary of Chinese Characters
- The Digital Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese
- Wenlin Dictionaries