Dry Dock: What you need to know


Dry dock is a technical term used in shipping. That refers to a vessel that has been brought into a dry dock so that it can be repaired or upgraded. This process can be expensive and time-consuming. So it is important to understand what goes into making a Dry Dock happen.

What is a Dry Dock?

  • A dry dock is a facility used for the repair, maintenance, and renovation of ships and boats.
  • They are typically located in coastal areas with deep water access.
  • A dry dock uses water to float the vessel on its side. Allowing workers to carry out repairs or renovations without risk of the ship sinking.

Types of Dry Dock Services

  • There are a few different types of dry dock services that your business can benefit from.
  • Traditional dry docking is the most common, and it involves removing a vessel’s hull. And the underwater support structure to allow for repairs or maintenance.
  • This type of service is often necessary when a ship is in port. As it is difficult and time-consuming to do repairs while underway.
  • Submerged dock services involve maintaining a ship in its berth while repairs or maintenance are conducted underwater.
  • This method is less common than traditional dry docking. But it can be more convenient for the customer. Because there is no need to remove the vessel from its port location.
  • Pipe-and-dock services involve repairing or maintaining equipment by connecting the pipe directly to the machinery or system being repaired.
  • This type of service is popular for complex repairs that would be difficult or impossible to complete using other methods.

Dry Dock Services Benefit Shipper

  • Dry dock services help shippers save time and money. By repairing and restoring vessels in a controlled environment.
  • By doing so, dry dock services can prevent vessel damage and keep cargo moving.
  • Additionally, dry dock services can speed up the process of re-launching a vessel into service.
  • In addition to their benefits for shippers, dry dock services offer many advantages for shipyards themselves.
  • By repairing and restoring vessels in a controlled environment. Shipyards can avoid costly repairs after ships are returned to service.
  • Additionally, dry dock services can shorten the turnaround time required to re-launch a vessel into service.
  • This allows shipyards to focus on more important tasks, such as new construction projects.

Requirements for a Dry Dock Facility

  • A dry dock is a specialized facility that is used to repair or maintain ships and other watercraft.
  • The dry dock must meet certain requirements in order to be approved for use.
  • Size of the dry dock can vary, depending on the type of ship being repaired or maintained. However, most dry docks are between 50 and 200 feet long, and between 20 and 60 feet wide.
  • Depth of the dry dock can also vary, but it is usually between 12 and 18 feet deep.
  • In addition to meeting the standard requirements for a dry dock. The facility must also have special equipment installed in order to make repairs or maintenance on ships possible.
  • This includes a lift system that can transport large objects into and out of the dock. As well as a crane system that can move objects around inside the dock.

How much does it cost to use a Dry Dock?

  • To use a dry dock, you will need to pay an entrance fee, have the necessary insurance coverage, and provide a safe harbor for the vessel.
  • Entrance fee can range from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the size of the dry dock. In addition to the entrance fee, you will need to pay for labor and materials.
  • Labor costs can vary depending on the size of the dry dock and the type of work that needs to be done.
  • Material costs can also vary depending on the type of material that is needed.
  • However, in general, you will likely spend between $10,000 and $25,000 to use a dry dock.

Why are ships dry docked

  • Dry docking is a process where ships are brought into a dry dock for repair or maintenance. The ship is removed from the water, and the dock is sealed off from the outside world to keep moisture away.
  • This prevents corrosion and damage to the ship. The dock is then filled with a controlled atmosphere of nitrogen and air. Which helps preserve the wood and other materials used in construction.
  • Dock’s robot arm removes parts from the ship and replaces them with new ones. While other robots do repairs on deck or inside the ship.
  • A dry dock can take several days to complete. But it is important that the ship is dried out completely so it doesn’t rot while it’s in storage.

Dry dock and wet dock

  • Dry dock refers to a facility where ships are repaired, equipped, or built. Wet dock refers to a facility where ships are moored and loaded or unloaded.
  • A dry dock is typically much larger than a wet dock. It has more facilities for working on ships, including access to the water’s surface.
  • This allows workers to remove rust and other corrosive material from the ship’s hull with less risk of damage.
  • Wet docks are usually smaller than dry docks and have fewer facilities for working on ships. They are best used for loading and unloading vessels. As they can easily handle large loads while still in close proximity to land.

How long does a dry dock last

  • A dry dock is a shipbuilding facility where ships are floated out on the water, placed on a platform and then repaired or rebuilt.
  • It can take anywhere from a few days to several months for a dry dock to completely finish repairing or rebuilding a vessel.
  • Dry docks typically have an open superstructure that allows workers to inspect the vessel while it is in the water.

Largest dry dock in the World

  • The largest dry dock in the world is located in the harbor of Qingdao, China. The dry dock can accommodate ships up to 300 meters long and 125 meters wide.
  • It has a total area of 10,000 square meters and can hold up to 12 ships at a time.
  • Dry dock was built in 1996 and can accommodate vessels up to 300 meters long and 125 meters wide.
  • It has a total area of 10,000 square meters and can hold up to 12 ships at a time.

Purpose of Dry dock

  • Dry Dock is a specialized facility that allows ships to be repaired and maintained. Dry docks come in a few different shapes and sizes.
  • But all of them have one common goal to keep ships afloat. And in the best possible condition for their next voyage.
  • There are two types of dry dock: floating and fixed. Floating dry docks are the most common type, and they can be found all over the world.
  • They are built on platforms that move along the water’s surface. Which makes them convenient for repairs that need to be done near shore.
  • Fixed dry docks are much less common, but they are perfect for larger ships that need to be completely overhauled.
  • They are typically situated on land, which makes it easier to get supplies and workers onto the dock.
  • Majority of dry docking takes place at shipyards, but it is also possible to find facilities that specifically focus on dry docking repairs.
  • These types of docks are usually much more expensive than a regular shipyard. But they offer a few advantages for both shipowners and repair crews.

5 phases of Dry docking

  1. Phase 1: Pre-Docking Preparations

Preparations for a dry dock typically include cleaning, painting, and checking the vessel’s systems. The dry dock will be drained of all water, oil, fuel, and other fluids. Systems that must be shut down during the docking process may need to be depressurized first.

  1. Phase 2: Docking Procedures

During docking, the ship is slowly lowered onto the dock by hand or by an automated system. A connecting platform called a caisson is then lowered into place between the ship and dock to provide support. The caisson has suction cups that attach it to both the ship and dock.

Once in position, the docking lines are attached to either end of the caisson. These lines are then secured to anchors on either side of the dock. The bridge of a ship can also be lowered onto the dock using this method. If a ship is too large or heavy to lower completely onto the dock using docking lines. It may require assistance from cranes or other vessels nearby.

  1. Phase 3: Final Checks & Preparing For Ship Movement

Once the dock and ship are in position, the final checks are made and any preparations for ship movement are made. Any systems that must be turned off during the move may need to be disabled first. The ship may then be moved into position, either by being slowly lowered onto the dock or by being moved by cranes.

  1. Phase 4: Removal From Dock

Once the ship is in position, the dock will be released and the ship can be removed. The docking lines may need to be cut before the ship is released. And the caisson may need to be lifted away using a crane.

  1. Phase 5: Post-Docking Procedures

Once the ship is removed from the dock, any cleaning or repairs that were required can be completed. The dock may also need to be inspected for any damage that was caused during the docking process.

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