Home | Blog | What is a dry dock and how does it work?

NEWS | SYM

blog

What is a dry dock and how does it work?

A dry dock is one of the biggest challenges in civil engineering. And not only that, but also all the auxiliary elements that compose it make dry docks a highly complex structure. From SYM Naval we want to approach, broadly, the operation of a dry dock in a shipyard as well as its main characteristics in this article.

 

The dry dock and its fundamental role in a shipyard

First of all, it is important to highlight that the dry dock is part of the facilities of a shipyard regardless of its main activity, being the ship building or repair of vessels. In order to carry out these shipbuilding and repair works, the shipyard also has a part of its own dry dock, additional equipment such as cranes, facilities such as berths and workshops that make it possible to repair or build a ship.

Regarding dry docks, we can differentiate several types according to their use:

  • Repair and maintenance: Used for emergency and planned dry-docking surveys of ships.
  • Shipbuilding: Docks destined mainly for the construction of ships.
  • Shipbuilding and repair: Mixed dry docks used for both shipbuilding and repair works.

Taking into account the different facilities and equipment that a shipyard can or should have, a reasonable conclusion seems to be that the dry dock is the most fundamental part since it allows carrying out both shipbuilding and repair works on ships.

 

How does a dry dock work?

Generally speaking, a dry dock is a chamber separated from the adjacent port water by a gate. Its basic structure comprises the floor or plan of the dock, the side walls, the front wall and the gate that defines the dry dock.

The filling and emptying processes of the dock are carried out by pumps generally located in a pumping station. Starting with the dock filling process, and taking into account that the dock is dry and without any vessel inside, it is filled by the pumps until water level inside the dock is equal to the water level in the outer zone allowing the gate to open and the ship to enter to the dry dock. Once the ship is inside the dock, the gate is closed and therefore the process of emptying the dock begins by pumping water to the outside. During the process of emptying the dock, vessel is centered and positioned on the blocks and dry-dock is completely dry to make it accessible. These blocks where the ship is located and depending on its position, can be classified as: keel blocks, bottom blocks or side blocks. Both the number and type of these blocks will depend on the size of the ship that enters the dock.

Dry docking a ship is the most complex and dangerous operation to be carried out in a dry dock. Each ship to be docked, must have a dry dock plan, forward and aft draft condition, displacement, load disposition, stability conditions and detailed information of damages, if any, at the dock entrance. Based on this dry dock plan and with all the information about ship dry dock conditions, the necessary calculations are made for the proper positioning of the ship on the blocks.

Once the required work is completed and the ship is ready for departure, the dry dock filling process begins by pumping out water into the dock until the ship floats freely. At the moment when the water level inside the dry dock is equal to the water level outside, the gate is opened and the boat is towed out.

 

Although this article is informative about the concept of the dry dock, we hope that it has been useful to the reader. At SYM Naval, as a shipyard that also specialises in carrying out repair and maintenance work in dry dock, we will be glad to provide more information if you wish and send us your questions through our contact form.



Need more information?

Contact SYM Naval and receive professional guidance


Technical cookies are strictly necessary for our website to work and you can navigate through it. These types of cookies are those that, for example, allow us to identify you, give you access to certain restricted parts of the page if necessary, or remember different options or services already selected by you, such as your privacy preferences. Therefore, they are activated by default, your authorization not being necessary in this regard. Through the configuration of your browser, you can block or alert the presence of this type of cookies, although such blocking will affect the proper functioning of the different functionalities of our website.


The analysis cookies allow us to study the navigation of the users of our website in general (for example, which sections of the page are the most visited, which services are used most and if they work correctly, etc.). From the statistical information on navigation on our website, we can improve both the operation of the page itself and the different services it offers. Therefore, these cookies do not have an advertising purpose, but only serve to make our website work better, adapting to our users in general. By activating them you will contribute to this continuous improvement. You can enable or disable these cookies by checking the corresponding box, being disabled by default.


Functionality cookies allow us to remember your preferences, to personalize certain characteristics and general options of our website, every time you access it (for example, the language in which the information is presented to you, the sections marked as favorites, your browser type, etc.) Therefore, this type of cookies does not have an advertising purpose, but by activating them you will improve the functionality of the website (for example, adapting to your type of browser) and the customization of it based on your preferences (for example, by presenting the information in the language that you have chosen in previous occasions), which will contribute to the ease, usability and comfort of our page during your navigation. You can enable or disable these cookies by checking the corresponding box, being disabled by default.


Advertising cookies allow us to manage the advertising spaces included in our website based on criteria such as the content shown or the frequency in which the ads are displayed. For example, if you have been shown the same ad several times on our website, and you have not shown a personal interest by clicking on it, it will not appear again. In summary, by activating this type of cookies, the advertising shown on our website will be more useful and diverse, and less repetitive. You can enable or disable these cookies by checking the corresponding box, being disabled by default.


Behavioral advertising cookies allow us to obtain information based on the observation of your browsing habits and behaviors on the web, in order to show you advertising content that best suits your personal tastes and interests. To understand it in a very simple way, we will give you a fictitious example: if your last searches on the web were related to suspense literature, we would show you advertising about suspense books. Therefore, activating this type of cookies, the advertising that we show you on our website will not be generic, but will be oriented to your searches, tastes and interests, therefore adjusting exclusively to you. You can enable or disable these cookies by checking the corresponding box, being disabled by default.
To understand it in a very simple way, we will give you a fictitious example: if your last searches on the web were related to suspense literature, we would show you advertising about suspense books. Therefore, activating this type of cookies, the advertising that we show you on our website will not be generic, but will be oriented to your searches, tastes and interests, therefore adjusting exclusively to you. You can enable or disable these cookies by checking the corresponding box, being disabled by default.

SAVE

Welcome to the basic information about the cookies from the website of the entity: SHIP & YARD TECHNICAL MANAGEMENT S.L.,
A cookie is a small file of information that is stored on your computer, smartphone or tablet every time you visit our website. Some cookies are ours and others belong to external companies that provide services for our website.
Cookies can be of several types: technical cookies are necessary for our website to work, do not need your authorization and they are the only ones we have activated by default. The rest of cookies serve to improve our page, to personalize it based on your preferences, or to be able to show you advertising adjusted to your searches, tastes and personal interests. You can accept all these cookies by clicking the ACCEPT button or set them up or reject their use by clicking on the COOKIE SETTINGS section.
If you want more information, consult the COOKIE POLICY of our website.