Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 10

Journal of Ship Production, Vol. 2, No. 2, May 1986, pp.


Factors in the Selection of Drydocking Systems for Shipyards

J. R i c h a r d Salzer 1

This general paper discusses the principal types of launcher/recovery systems for ships, the sizes of ship for which
each system is presently applicable, the size limitations that are projected for each system, and a comparison of other
factors to be considered in the selection of a system for a new or modernized shipyard.

Introduction The most important factors to consider in the selection of

THE MANAGEMENTof nearly every shipyard at one time or a drydocking system are the following:
another considers an investment in a new or enlarged dry- The basic purpose of the drydock: Is it to be used for
docking capability. Sometimes the choice of system is easy, repair work only (including maintenance and inspec-
as only one type of drydock will meet the shipyard's need. tion), or will it be also used in conjunction with a new-
More often, however, management must evaluate several building program?
systems and decide between them. The scarcity of objective The dimensions, keel loadings, and general character-
advice makes the decision difficult in many cases. Individ- istics of the full range of vessels to be accommodated.
uals who are best qualified to provide decision-influencing Siting influences.
data are usually the principals or employees of firms that The need and provisions for future expansion.
produce or design specific types of systems, and their infor- For systems which will serve newbuilding requirements,
mation is naturally biased. a means for minimizing the drydock out-of-service time
This paper provides comparison factors for beginning the for the launching function.
selection of a drydocking system. The information was com- When a drydock is being used for newbuilding, it cannot
piled from the author's experience as an independent con- generate repair revenue. For this reason, various techniques
sultant working with many shipyards and from data gen- have been developed for reducing the out-of-service period
erously supplied by the leading drydocking system designers of a drydock for this purpose. These techniques and the
and suppliers in the United States. adaptability of various drydocking systems to their appli-
The paper describes the significant features, gives the pros cation are discussed later.
and cons, and provides rough comparative budgetary cost-
estimating guidelines for each type of drydocking system. A
summary of technical factors in tabular format is presented Vessel size influences
for ease of comparison. Figure 1 depicts the range of sizes for which each type of
drydock is generally considered suitable. Graving dock sizes
Drydocking systems and general selection factors are generally unlimited, and graving docks have been built
for 1000 000-dwt tankers in several parts of the world. The
The term "drydocking" is defined for the purposes of this sizes of floating drydocks and shiplifts have been steadily
paper as the technique of isolating a vessel's underwater body increasing over the past few years, and the present sizes are
from the wet condition to permit repair, maintenance, or in- not the largest considered feasible. Marine railway sizes are
spection to be done dry. A drydocking system may also func- controlled by the cost of their civil works and are usually
tion as an element of a launching system for new-built ves- limited to sizes of 8000 tons of vessel weight, although sizes
up to 12 000 tons have been considered. The mobile marine
The drydocking systems from which selection must be made lifts are generally limited to about 250 tons.
Perhaps the most important factor in sizing a drydock is
Graving docks not overall weight of a vessel, but rather the distribution of
Floating drydocks its weight. The weight per unit length along the keel is sel-
Marine railways dom a constant number; that is, it varies with the maximum
Shiplifts weight profile of the vessel. Frequently, therefore, drydock
Mobile marine lifts designs must provide for higher keel loadings in specific areas
Most drydocking systems physically lift the vessel from of anticipated weight profile.
the water, but in one--the graving dock--the vessel re-
mains in a below-water-level chamber from which the water General cost factors
is removed. This fundamental difference in operation ren-
ders direct comparison between the graving dock and the Budgetary cost-estimating data are presented in a series
other systems difficult. On the other hand, graving docks of curves (Figs. 2 through 5). These curves provide an initial
are usually only built to drydock vessels too large for other estimation of the comparative and overall magnitude costs
systems; therefore, comparisons are seldom necessary. for the various candidate systems. A definitive cost esti-
mate, however, must take into account detailed local factors,
1President,.Shiptech International, Inc., Houston, Texas. including site conditions, local labor and material costs, and
Manuscript received by JSP Committee December 17, 1985. many other variables. Extremes in local and logistical con-

110 8756-1417/86/0202-0110500.45/0 JOURNAL OF SHIP PRODUCTION

INNIll emil ilmHmunkdlilllm=ianallllr.llnk dlHIdlh .llh .IHllUN| | | e l Nell| UU III III lililllUl( illllllO5loll)~1 ill dllt .11h.TllllllI I I l i i i | i n i lUllnllildlaa liUillTlitlfl~ dnnIkdaInulah ~lnlla l l l i n Ulul I l i l l i l a i
| m ~ u B N i ~ N m ~ 1 1 1 1 1 ~ 1 1 ~ i ~ H i ~ J ~ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ~ j ~ L ~ q m u l l ~ N ~ u ~ 1 1 ~ 1 ~ B ~ H ~ i n m H ~
i ~ i n ~ ~ L ~ ] ~ 1 ~ M m ~ | ~ u ~ m ~ H ~ I ~ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ~ m ~ i ~ i ~ N ~ u u ~ n ~ 1 1 1 ~ 1 ~ 1 I ~ ~ | | m m i N N ?
i annni|annillll I I I I I l l IIin11111111IIfllHIIII11IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII IIILlromeu n n n n n i l I I uII I uI I IIIIIIIIIIPlII HIIIll U l I IIIIIIIIII1!1[111111~ m m m i i i B | l I n l l l III IIII B llllllllllfilllll I I IIIIIIIllll II]lllflll P ~ " U n i N n N I
IIInlllHIllU Ulllnll1111111111111111iLIlillllllllllllifl Ifll l l l l l l l l i m n l l l l l l n llllllllllllllllllllllmlnllllllllBllllmllllllilnlllll IIIIIIllllUllllllll111111111111111111111111flll]lll]]L .lllll
nnlllllll i n limll11111miii1111[llHi i i IIIlilllllll ~ l l l l l i H i n l n n l l l l n l l l UNIIlUml IIIlllllllllllll]]ll IIIIIIIIIIIIIIlilllllllltU IIIIII II I III I I n i n e IIIIIIIIIIItlIIIIIIIH III IIIIII IIIIIIIIIII]1~ n I I l l I I I I I
INIIIlUlI Illll I U ; liiillnlnnul I t I ]llll I I I I I I l l I I I l U l l IIJIIIIIIIIIHIIIIII[IlU l l l U U U l l l l l l l l l ] m l l m i i l n i l l l l n
Mobile Marine Lift "- ~ ~ "- -" -"-"-"-=-=;-=-~-=!IlIIlUlIIIlII[IIHIIII1111 n1111]111111111111111116 i l l III Bill I I i Ul i i 1I11111111111111[111311 n llUll111I[111HIIIllIll l U l l i I I I I i u U l I II IIII1111111111111111111 II lift fill Illll]lll111111illll J i l l
smiHaui11iiu1mi1Di|u l l l l l l l l l l l i l l l i l l l l l l l l q l l l l l l l l l l l ~ l i l l l l l l t l U l i l l l n | l l BUllUlIIIIIIIIIOIIIIIIILlU11 IIIIIllll I l f l l l l J l N illl
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . l .......... I ....................... B | . . . .
illlnl i NUnUmllUllUimlulmllmillUliilllllllIIIIIIIIIINNNIHIIU ilUUlUllliilllllllmnllllllllllnlllmllllll,lulnlalUUlll nuuuMiinllllltLlUmUlulnuii ii igli I I N H I I I
niliHlnl I I m l I InllHIIIinllllllll i i i IiiIIIllllll ii ii 11111 nnI I i l l m lu u nmill11111111 IIIIIIIIli 111111111111111 !1111~1 IIIn a h u m u n l i i i l U l i i i i i i i iiiii ill 1111i111~1 i i i i i Iii Ul HUll,n,tJ. l l n n i l N I I I
NnNNHNIII iIIiIIinlllllmlllllllllfl[lllnnllllnnlli IllLIIInl i i N U U n l l l IIIIIIII111111111111H[IIIIIIIII IIIIIIlllillllll]lIIIIllmnmmll H N NII m U l U l lUUlUlllllllllllllll 1n1nlr ....... liimmHNli
BeeliNe| I I UNIIIIIIIIIIIIllfll IfllLIIillII HI IIIIllllll II[Lmlln u m i i H Nn u l i e ilUlllllllllllllllllllltlnl U l l l l i l l l l ~ l l l l f l l l l i l i l m B i N NI NI n l l m l lUUlllllllllHIIIlll i n n IIh ;Nell
RanninillilNINIIIIIII ~1~1~H~u~1~I1~1I~iiiiii~n~n~I~u~Biuq~]H~mm~|~N~un~1~I~n1~h~ . . . . . |Heel
BnillNHInllUnlllllllfllllUli[Inlllmlllllllllllllll IIItllzHanmmmniinnllin IIIIlUlllllllllllllllllllllltlnllltllllllll I I I l ~ l l l l U m l l n N n l u n l l n l l l l l l l l l l l l l l H l f i l l l l l U l l l l l l l l H i i F l [ l ~ l [ t ~ l l n n m n m H N l
inlnlUllUllllUlllllllllllllllllltllnillllllllllll ~ H 1 ~ ~ n ~ u n ~ ~ H ~ u ~ F ~ ~ u ~ n ~ M ~ i ~ n ~ i ~ III I I I I l [ l l l 1 1 [ l l n n l l i l U l U l |
Marine Railway --_-------'--'2-'-"-":::: :: ::! :?~:~:::?:'.r.'.~:'.'.'.'.-';::?:::;: ::::~.'.'-".:'.'.'.'.-----------"------: _-";:; ;-': :: :! ::: ',:'.'.:'.'.!'.'.',:'.'.::: ::: ::::: :::: i l l l l l l l l l n n n | i n u a n l m i m l nllllllllllllllltlllll]l u lllllllllll]llH)llllll m i e n mHuron|
....................................................................... llJ111111Rii|iillllllll
II n. l l.l l l.l l l.l l l.l l l.i l l.l l l.l t l.l l n. U.U l.l l l.l l l.l l l.l U. l l n. m n i | i i l l l I .......
l U l l l l l UlUllllllllllllllll i i i
I n iii l l i U i i i i i
.... 1,1,1,1.................. l ..... h i
I N ml H I n i i i i i I i i ii IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMI IIIIIIIIII Bill, 111111111 i N m| l u l l | I l U IIIIIIIIil11E IIIIIIIIIII I III n llllllll IIillllllll i n l l m l I l l I l U IlUlIIIIIIHIIIIII!IilII IJ||lllUUllllllllg Illll = i l l m H i I I
i n n l l I I I I I I H I I III I IIIIIIIIIIIlfl [111111I lUlIIIII lllll IIII FIIII i n l l i I =1111 I I IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII lie 11111111 II In lllllll I I I I I I n l m l l l l i l l ilmlnllnllHiiilllliHi - -llllllll[llllll n i u l l n u H | D
mnlnnlllU i l i l U l n | iilllillllillll]llll l l U l iliillllll iiii iiii H H I I U Uil H i l l l i iliillllllflllllllllil Ill liilllllll IILlillll i N n n l i m i | l U i l I I I UlillUII{::,"ilL[IH I IFIIIl~inNNnilu
ilil|R l i l U III 1iilllllllilillllillU l i l II IIIIIIIIli i i l l i l l i l i i U n i n n I I ID 1 1 e l i iUillllliHIliHmlililllillillll illlimi l i e i n i n l in i i l l i l l i l . ...... - .......... |a
II I l i i l U I I U l 111 III I uuII II|llllllllfll[m 1 e l IIIIIIIIII IIII q l l [ i i l l i l III I I I l U n l l l i I1]lllfllllllllllLIIII 111111111111HJIIII1tllmU | | I I | | | | U| m uUllll~l~ -. 411|I
iiaB~iii1iiiiimi~iii~HHiiiiH~11i1~ii~ii1iiiiiiiH~ii~ti~ii~iiN~uiim1i~1~u1~iu~]iiiHi1~11~i~i~i1iiH]]ii lillllllilili ]i ,, ttl[l(ll I H i Imin a
Shiplift .nnnnnnn|BHmm11i1umttiiiiiiiiiiumumugi1t1]L1mmmniiHBpamNi
...... - - o......,.,,o---- .-..,,,..,,,,,-,-- - . , . . - - - - - - - - - - - .......... ,--,-,,,, ................................ - - - - - - - - ,
|lDnilP 0 ~ill IIHiilllillliillUlil I i l U l i l i i l l l l i i i n i i l i l O
I D n i l i l D I l e l l N INIIIIInilm11111111ilHli i n l l lell~BII i i i i l i l l p i l m i l i l n en |1 i | n H l i l l leeHiiiitllllllil i i i iml ililt i l i i ] f l l l n n e a l B i l l | III1| iI|iilUllillllllliliii[iill II III lill i i l l l l i f l l i n i l ! ! U i l l n l n |
iiiillinlsl i | l | U l l l l illeBiiIiiimll i m l eill Hlii iili[llliHiilDe e e l n i l l l i l i i e leeHlillfllllilill i i ii el iiin itll011ilill u l i e l e i D I lU lUUI U i l iiImSlllllit ell i m l lell i B l i l l U l l l i ~ l n i i i l i e l i o
IIIIiIiinu lUilU ulUUliiiiiiiiiiilimll i m i lUlllllll i l l l [ l l l t i U i i l l l i i I I l i l l lilliilillllllllllllil[i iii ii IHIIIIlil IIHli I I n i i i l U l i i i l m i i i iililil II 11111111 l i IlU IIIIIIIIiI1~fl III
i1Ii1u[1:]un1[I1I1u1i]iun U I ~1111111111[1111|| I I I I I F i d l l l Iqlll
IIIIIIInl iiiiiiiiiilUllllllllil]lllllUlllllllllltllll;Uillllllllllllllllln I|11111n111111i111t[111 IIIIIIIIIiIIll IIH I i ] i l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l , ' ~111
IIIIIIIlU Inl II IIIIIIIIIlUlll I II I iiiiiiiiinnnl ~ iiii
i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i n iiiiiiiiiiili1[111(i l u ii i i i i l ~ l l l l i l l l l i l l l l l l l l l i u i i i i i i i ilUlllllillllillllliLi[i ii iIi i111111111IIH;]111 I I I I I I I I I I I I I Ullllllmumm.n.m m=~nmnm=ln~ . u n i n l l l I l i l l I
N I I I I l U n 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 iilillllliilllHUHI lUUlIlUil LIHlillfl il l l l l i l l l l l n U l U n l l l l l i l l l l l l l l l l l l i m l I l i l ! i lllliilll IIili111iI I N N I q l I | n | H ! uuuulllliimuUi]llllll in ilmOlllllllm m l m m m H m n i n
Floating Drydock ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... UP I
nllllllllllllUllUlellllln~llmlllllllllBiiim~llllllllllllllllllll i m l l e e l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l IIIIIIllllBIIlflllllTIn I I I I I I I I I I I I I U IIIIIIIIIIIIHIIII ~ I III ltlkd
iiiniinllllnllllllllllllllllllUllllllllllllUllllll~ll *llllllllllliil I iii I Jiu ! Ullllllililnllllll hlllllllllllllnlhmlllUllll~iil|mliill
I IIIIIInl IlnUlll11111111111[111111111 IIIII III IIIIIIIli111ql l l l l l l l I I I I I I I i i i I i iIIii1111]1111111ili111 IIIII 1111111111
Ilii I III I I l l l l
i i iiili ii lilllUllll i i
I I I I B I l U l l u m IIIIIIIII] II11111~1i
iliH ~
i l l l l Bill IBIIIIB flU
IH H n U l U L ~ I I I I I
IIIIIIIIII 1111111111IIIIIIIIIIII1111111111111I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I lUnllll111111111111111ilHIIllll1111111IB fill I IlL ~1111
IIIIIIIIII 1111111111IIin111111111111111 lUllllllllllll[llllllllllllllllln I IIIIIIHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIllllllllllllllllIB I LIII]11" ~,illll
iiiiiiiiilliiiiiinlllllllllllllllllHiiiiiIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiliilllmnllnlnull IIIIIIlllnllllllllllll]lllllll iiiiIIt111111111111 i l l U l l i IBUlIIIIBIIIIIflIIIII Bli i l B i l l ] i l l l i i l l l i ill
~ "n,H|lmlmnnnmnnnunan|nnnnn inulJJllllnnunlluullmllllll,llllnnlummmuuhnnumlmmml,i,]mllnllnlun m,,,,.U|.--..udlllllllll m,,,,,,,=l ~i ~h.,,m~-N11|.
Graving Dock ~ ~ -- -"--=--=;."-'-%=;-=;;. ~! !?.!! !!!L?!!?!???!.~.=.=.=! !;?!?!!!!! !!!?!!?!!!i . . ~ = = . . _._.~_.=!.=.=.=! .=.=.=!! !=2!! !! !!!!!! !!,!!!,.*!! .=! !.=!.. !2!! .!!!!,,,,,--.=~-=-"-'-'-=-'2-=-=-=-=~=!!!=. ...................... =.=.=__._...]???!L.?!J?!--i=H=--i--=~=--_=--=~_
iillueinllilnlliil lielBiiillillllllalllieil Hilllldllln I n l a l l IIIlUl inllllnllililllltllilltllllllillllillllliilll~ i l l I i I I n iI l I I I ilU II Hi ~H IH '11~ in i l InB
.;;; ;_._._. ,;_,_,_.;;;!~]~~!~~!!!!.~ ~,;!~].,;!!]!!!! .!~!!~!~!~~ _=_=_l:::::: ,: ,!: :m!!!!!!!!! !,!!n,,,!!_,;;!]!!.! !!!!! !!!!t_L..,,,--,!;,,,!,,!!]!~!!!!!!],!!~,_,;,_u]!!!! =_!]!~!m!,~

Light Vessel Weight at Docking

(Long Tons)
Fig. 1 Range of applicability to vessel size

ditions can alter considerably the figures developed from these It is floated into position above its seat, flooded with water,
guidelines. and sunk to form a closure at the mouth of the basin. The
gate is opened by pumping the water out of the caisson,
G r a v i n g d o c k s (Figs. 6 a n d 7) causing it to float free of its seat and enabling its removal
The name "graving dock" derives from the dock's original from the mouth of the graving dock. The second type of gate
function, to permit the cleaning of a ship's bottom, a process is used almost exclusively in wide graving docks. It is hinged
once known as "graving." Graving docks are large, fixed ba- at the base and lays outward from the dock for operation.
sins built into the ground at the water's edge. A watertight This type of gate usually has a buoyant chamber to facilitate
gate is closed after a vessel is floated into the drydock and operation. The gate is buttressed along its length for sup-
positioned above the blocking that will support it in the dry port. Some graving docks are designed with intermediate seats
condition. Once the gate and the vessel are in position, the along their length so the "guillotine" gates, handled by a
water is pumped from the basin, causing the ship to settle crane, can be used to subdivide the basin into separate
onto the blocks, exposing the underbody for dry work. chambers for simultaneous docking of small vessels.
Many construction techniques are used for building grav- A prime advantage of the graving dock is its ability to
ing docks: sheet pile cells filled with sand, caissons of rein- drydock large vessels. Graving docks capable of drydocking
forced concrete, and monolithic cast concrete, to name a few. vessels in excess of 1000 000 dwt have been built in Spain,
Factors involved in deciding upon a construction technique Korea, Portugal, Japan, and the Middle East. They function
include initial cost (often traded off against life expectancy), well as newbuilding facilities for large vessels when used in
the designer's or owner's preference, local influences such as conjunction with large cranes, which permit rapid construc-
site conditions, and available materials and skills. The in- tion by using large subassemblies. One shipyard in Europe
tended use of the dock frequently becomes a factor in the regularly launches a ship every two months from its single
design philosophy. construction dock using only 600 tons of crane capacity.
When the fixed basin is dewatered, hydrostatic uplift tends Graving docks have certain disadvantages which limit their
to lift the entire structure from its foundation, causing it to practical application to the large vessels:
float. In the early days of graving dock design, this tendency They are traditionally difficult to supply with material
was countered by providing an enormous mass of concrete because they are below the grade elevation of the ship-
or stone in its construction. Those "gravity docks" would be yard.
prohibitively expensive today. Today's modern approach uses They require total removal of equipment and material
a system called a '~relieved" floor, whereby uplift is avoided during the basin floodings that accompany dockings or
by installing a drainage system beneath the floor of the dry- undockings.
dock and pumping water away from contact with the bound- The financial community prefers to loan money to in-
aries of the dock. The cost data presented in Fig. 2 for grav- dustry to procure easily remarketable capital invest-
ing docks assumes the use of the relieved-floor design. ments. Graving docks are not in that category and gen-
Another significant cost variable involves the selection of erally cannot be liquidated should a shipyard fail.
gate style. Two basic types can be used. The caisson or float- Maintenance costs become very high as the docks grow
ing gate is a buoyant structure somewhat like a ship itself. old.

MAY 1986 111

" m

$11 I + Actua~ D a t a Points ( d e p t h n o t e d )

Fig. 2

~u / F
z~ / 3( to 0 ~o,,t Del th

o I

40' L
x~ g6

$5 L ZT, 36'

~ .~A
m $3
m3o ,ns CI s t Ri nge or

0 i , . . . . ,, , . . , . ,
1 2 4 5 6 8 q 1 11 12 13 14 15
tiilllons of Cublc Feet of Excavation

' " I
iI Ii

+ A c t u a l D a t a Point

Fig. 3

-- $1600
c [ 1 ! , i
$1200 ! J
E ! i

$600. Ej i
l I
0 i i
b II i ,
10 15 2O 25 3O 35 4O 45 50 5'5 60 65 7O 7~
Actual Vessel Lifting Capacity (lonq Tons x I000)

Dockings and undockings are relatively slow compared dock to be used for two vessels with total independence
with those of other drydocking systems. from one another.
A few innovations which have been developed for use with
graving docks are worthy of mention: Floating d r y d o c k s (Figs. 8 and 9)
Ramps from the yard level into the floor of the dock are
used in some of the new large docks. They improve ma- Floating drydocks are bargelike floating structures with
terial handling by permitting direct truck access to the sufficient displacement, dimension, and stability for physi-
work area. cally lifting a vessel from the water. Wingwalls are provided
Elevated platforms, equipped with welding machines and on either side of the bargelike pontoon structure. They pro-
shop equipment, provide a working surface above the vide stability during docking operations and add to the sec-
flooded water level. They avoid the need for equipment tional strength of the dock.
removal before flooding the dock. Floating drydocks exist in a wide variety of sizes and de-
A newbuilding graving dock in Japan has an entry gate signs. Most are small docks and are frequently designed and
at each end and an intermediate gate with several al- built by the owner shipyard. The large docks are very com-
ternative seat locations. This configuration permits the plex systems and are designed by professionals who inte-



+ Actual Data Point

Fig. 4

co ~]600


~ +



o $40~

i i i = i i a i i
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Actual Vessel Liftina Capacity (Lono Tons x 1 0 0 0 )


+ Actual Data Points

Fig. 5
$1200. [

v $1100-

=====,~ =m,=== ~
J ~900.




o i i i J 2'8 '
? 4 6 10 12 14 l 6 I'8 20 2'2 2'4 2J6
Actual Vessel Lifting Capacity (Lona Tons x I000)

grate structure, utilities, mechanical equipment, blocking, DEADWEIGHT OF DOCK AS A PERCENTAGE

and often cranes into their configurations. OF VESSEL WEIGHT TO BE LIFTED

The basic design parameters--for example, construction Steel dock 20%

materials, the installation of cranes on the wingwalls, self- Timber dock 40%
docking requirements, adaptation to land transfer of vessels, Concrete dock 100%
speed of operation, and remotely operated bilge blocking-- Probably the most cost-effective construction is a composite
have an enormous effect on the cost of the floating drydock. dock with timber or prestressed concrete pontoon and steel
The most significant cost variable is the type of construction wingwalls.
material. Steel, timber, prestressed concrete, or combina- The largest floating drydock, over 1000 ft in length, was
tions thereof are alternative choices. Wood or concrete offers recently built in Italy. It was constructed entirely of pre-
the best resistance to saltwater corrosion, but, as shown in stressed concrete, but reportedly suffers from design defi-
the following table, their weight and consequential cost are ciencies.
greater than those of a steel dock. Floating drydocks have several attractive features:

MAY 1986 113

Fig. 6 A typical large graving dock of the relieved-floor type. This drydock, owned by Mercantile
Marine of Antwerp, Belgium, is 1200 ft in length (courtesy of Christopher J. Foster, Inc.)

They are often more acceptable to e n v i r o n m e n t a l critics dock and vessel can be towed reasonable distances as a
because their fixed civil works are m i n i m a l (especially unit.
when compared with a g r a v i n g dock). A floating drydock can be t r i m m e d to match the list or
Their portability makes them a resalable asset. drag of a damaged vessel.
Most harbor authorities consider them as they would a Among the criticisms of floating drydocks are the follow-
ship and permit them to be installed and operated inside ing:
the harborline, thus saving valuable shipyard space. Routing of m e n and material into the dock is u s u a l l y by
A ship may be docked and undocked in deeper water some gangway from one end of the drydock and is restrictive
distance from the shipyard if water depth near the shore to good workflow.
is inadequate and impractical to dredge. The entire dry- In areas where large tidal variations exist, the gangway


~..r ~'~L,~%~i~g,~,s,o N



._-_--_-_-- ..:, : : . . . . . . . . .~ . . . _.. ,~ ~ . . ~ ...............



! .,i/l.-F1r.\~ix~vlz>.x/l..,Y

" xr-~iiF:



Fig. 7 Graving dock features


angle changes radically during the tide cycle.
All material and equipment must be removed prior to
submergence for docking or undocking.
The requirements of routine maintenance, especially in
salt water, are as stringent as those of a ship. (Modern
coatings, properly applied, can minimize this objection.)
A number of innovations give floating drydocks greater ver-
satility. For example, partial docks have been developed which
isolate only a portion of the hull, such as sonar domes, sub-
marine torpedo tubes, or areas of the hull for local weld re-
pairs. Another example is the removable wingwall of the large
floating drydock illustrated in Fig. 8. When this dock is
grounded on a special support mat, the wall is removed and
a vessel can be transferred to the dock from a land berth for
launching. Other floating drydocks have been designed to
permit endwise transfer of vessels to and from land berths.

Marine railways (Figs. 10 and 11) Fig. 8 Litton's floating drydock, which functions with a ground mat and de-
tachable wingwall to permit side transfer of ships from land berths (courtesy of
Marine railways consist of structural cradles that move on Crandall Drydock Engineers)
wheels or rollers along a set of inclined rails. The rails, or
groundways, as they are usually called, extend into the water
from the shore. A hauling mechanism pulls the cradle up- application where river or harbor restrictions prohibit end-
ward along the inclined groundway. wise launchings. The system permits the vessel to be han-
Marine railways are a popular method of drydocking, es- dled parallel to the shoreline, and the groundways can be
pecially in small shipyards. Nearly every coastal village in inclined at steep angles, permitting short way lengths. Be-
the United States has a boatyard or two with a home-built cause of these steep angles, the way-end depths adequate for
marine railway. This paper deals with the larger, profes- launching are near the shoreline and out of the way of nav-
sionally designed marine railway systems. Such systems are igation.
most often constructed in the 1000- to 3500-ton size range. Side-haul systems tend to be mechanically inefficient and
The maximum practical size is generally considered to be are seldom used where end-haul systems will serve. The rel-
about 8000 tons. atively long cradle, with the hauling machines necessarily
There are two basic types of marine railway; each type distributed along the cradle's length, presents problems in
suits a specific geographic situation. The side-haul marine load sharing. Equipment overdesign, and hence inefficiency,
railway is used almost exclusively to solve the problem of is the usual answer to this problem. Hauling machinery in
docking where the vertical difference between yard eleva- this application is usually synchronized by attaching the
tion and water level is large. This condition is very common drums to a common shaft, but recently a side-haul system
on inland rivers where annual water levels can vary as much was designed with the same type of electrically synchro-
as thirty feet. The side-haul system also has an important nized winches as are used in shiplifts.



i[~~ ~ . ~ ~ WIiGWALL ~ ' ~





Fig. 9 Floating drydock features

MAY 1986 115

A light down-haul system is used to overcome friction and
,5 to keep line tension when powering the cradle down the
The type of groundway depends on the type of roller se-
lected. If wheels are used, the groundways will be crane or
railroad rails on ties or on a concrete strip. If the more com-
mon system of non-recirculating rollers is used, the ground-
i i ways comprise t i m b e r s covered with a steel shoe plate. The
groundways m a y be either a s t r a i g h t declivity type or m a y
be cambered. A c a m b e r e d groundway causes the angle of the
way to increase at the offshore end and decrease at the shore
end. This feature shortens the way length, p e r m i t s b e r t h i n g
on a level keel, and provides a n a t u r a l d r a g angle to match
the keel angle of m a n y vessels in the light docking condi-
The principal criticism of m a r i n e r a i l w a y s is t h a t the crit-
ical docking operations m u s t occur at some distance from the
shoreline. This can be troublesome in strong currents or winds.

Shiplifts (Figs. 12 and 13)

Fig. 10 This large marine railway, owned by Norfolk Ship, has a hauling ca-
Shiplifts are the latest innovation in drydocking systems.
pacity of 5200 tons (courtesy of Crandall Drydock Engineers)
Although the practical version of the concept is little more
than 25 years old, n e a r l y 200 shiplifts have been built, and
they are becoming increasingly popular. The reason for t h e i r
popularity is t h a t t h e y combine most of the a d v a n t a g e s of
the other systems and avoid some of t h e i r shortcomings. In
The end-haul type of m a r i n e r a i l w a y , which is the com- addition, they have a few unique and a t t r a c t i v e features of
mon system, consists of several elements. The cradle itself their own.
is a wedge-shaped platform upon which the ship is grounded Shiplifts are l i t e r a l l y m a r i n e elevators. They physically
and hauled. It m a y be m a d e of timber, steel, or a combi- lift 100 percent of the weight of the vessel plus the dead-
nation of the two materials. It is u s u a l l y provided with a weight of the shiplift platform vertically from the w a t e r to
staging support to assist in offshore line h a n d l i n g and vessel a dry working elevation. The most popular system uses a
alignment, as shown on Fig. 10. The h a u l i n g m a c h i n e r y is number of electrically driven hoists with m u l t i p a r t wire ropes
usually electrically driven t h r o u g h an elaborate open gear- which are attached to s t r u c t u r a l b e a m s by a system of run-
ing system and t r a d i t i o n a l l y uses chain for pulling purposes, ning sheaves at the end of the beams. The winches are elec-
although wire rope is equally useful in s m a l l e r applications. trically coordinated so t h a t the beams are raised and low-




[ ~ wlrzi.,-r,'~.Y,,


Fig. 11 Marine railway features


Fig. 12 A typical large shiplift installation. This one is located in the Canary Islands and functions with an ex-
tensive land transfer system (courtesy of Pearlson Engineering/Syncrolift)

ered in unison and function collectively as a homogeneous the largest shiplift has a gross lifting capacity of about 20 000
platform. This is possible because the hoists are driven by tons (60 000 dwt), but shiplifts well in excess of 40 000 tons
synchronous AC induction motors that operate at a constant (120 000 dwt) are being planned.
speed regardless of load. The number, capacity, and spacing Because of the direct vertical lifting feature and the re-
of hoists determine the capacity of the shiplift. At present, sultant enclosed pier envelope, docking and handling are quite







Fig. 13 Shiplift features

MAY 1986 117

Table 1 Summary of factors to be considered In the selection of a drydocklng system

Factor Graving Dock Floating Drydock Marine Radwa Shlplift

Vessel Size Virtually unlimited, the largest Recent docks have been built to Presently limited to about 8000 tons of The largest existing lift will accommodate a vessel
docks handle vessels in excess of handle vessels tn excess of 350,000 lifting capacity, Probable extreme hmit with a light docking weight of 20,000 tons (60,000
1 m~lhon deadweight tons. deadweight tons. 12,000 tons with Optimum site conditions. DWT). Larger units of up to 40,000 tons (120,000
DWT) are probably practical.

Siting Restrictions Local extremes of soLI condtt4ons None G e n e r a l l y side-haul marine railways are Not suited to long, sloping sites where shipyard level
can create extreme variations in used on rivers and other areas where =s at a high elevation. (Use side-haul marine railway.)
,mtial cost. extremes in water lever are encountered.
(Usually for flat bottomed vessels)

Speed of Operation Dependent on p u m p i n g capeclty. Dependent on pumping capacity. A function of winch speed. Generally Smaller sizes travel vertically at one foot per minute,
Typical installations utlhze rates Typically one to three hours, under one hour. larger units at 9 inches per minute. Total average lift
of between 6 to 10 hours, time is twenty to forty minutes, often less.

Dredging/Siltation Adjacent b o t t o m level must be Must maintain adequate depth in area Must keep full length of underwater Must maintain clearance beneath platform Operation
maintained below sill of gate of drydock to permit nominal groundway free of silt and debris. This of dock serves to clear out slit. Some docks are fitted
elevation, clearance beneath basehne at sub- can be a malor problem in some areas, with turbulators to assist In carrying off slit. Platform
merged elevation. Dredging can be accomphshed with decking can be removed to dredge Slit i( necessary.
vessel in dock.

Maintenance Gate - Periodic drydocklng for Machinery -- Preventative main- Cradle -- Can be periodically sand- Machinery -- Preventatwe maintenance and occasional
vessel-like maintenance, tenance and occasional overhaul, blasted and painted while out of water, overhaul.
Machinery -- Preventative main- Dock Structure Floating drydocks Groundways - Tradntonally d d f l c u l t Wire Rope - Periodic sample testing and replacement
tenance and occasional overhaul, are usually designed to be self dock- to maintain. May require periodic on a recommended schedule.
Basin - In-place corrosion control mg for vessel-like maintenance, replacement. Platform - Can be removed from the water for oc-
and repair. Protection - Cathodic protection Machinery -- Preventative main- caslonal blast and paint.
Protection -- Impressed current and sacrificial zincs are usually tenance, occasional overhaul.
cathodic protection systems and provided. Rollers - Periodic recychng of rollers
sacrificial zincs are usuailv pro- which tend to creep with prolonged
vlded for underwater steel elements, use. (This tends to assure u n i f o r m wear.)

Guideline, Annual 1 2% of initial cost 1 -- 4% of inlt*al cost 2 3% of imt~al cost 2 3% of initial cost
Reserve for

Capital Recovery None A b o u t 90% of appraised value (less A b o u t 50% of appraised value (less A b o u t 70% of appraised value (less transport and
Potential towing and insurance expenses), transport and re~nstallatlon costs), relnstallatlon costs).

Land Area Required Usually a graving dock is inset into Requires only frontage on the Marine railways are usually installed Shlphft may be installed perpendicular or parallel
the shipyard site and therefore re- property hne. Can often be moored perpendicular to the shoreline. They to the shorehne, either fully or part=ally outside
quires an amount of real estate outside of the harbor's bulkhead take up httle yard space, but the pro- the low water hne or fully on shore.
equal to the footprint of the dock line. jection of their groundway into the
plus access, navigable waters must be considered.

CompatlbdltV with Graving docks are very seldom Often utlhZes a full or partial Side or end transfer capability Is not Shlphfts are des.gned to be used with extensive
Transfer to Land used in conjunction with land grounding mat to stabdlze the usual but may be developed, transfer systems and are highly suited to that
Berths berths, dock's level during transfer Bal- arrangement. As many as forty land berths have
lasting control is possible and has been served by a single shlphft.
been used w i t h o u t grounding mats
but requires a highly trained

Material Flow to All material must be removed from Wlngwalls limit access to the end of Most marine railways are equipped Material can flow naturally to a vessel on a shlphft
Vessels in Drydock area prior to docking or undockmg, the dock. Materbal must be removed with docking scaffolds f r o m whbch a due to the uncluttered area around the platform
Cranes are usually restarted on dock prior to docking and undockmg, docking crew can handle lines offshore. Marginal piers should be designed to accommodate
walls to facihtate handling. New Cranes are often provided on wing- These impair material flow and access rubber t,red cranes or be provided with rag mounted
docks are sometimes provided with walls to ass=st, to some degree, cranes.
a vehicle ramp to remedy this
traditional shortcoming.

Severe Weather A severe rise in tide can flood the Special mooring provisions, as with Docking operations which often occur The elevation of the hoists must consider extreme
Problems dock. a ship, must be observed, offshore in waters exposed to current water heights as electrical damage can result from
and tide f l o w must be somewhat hmlted flooding
to favorable conditions.

Earthquake Special design criteria must be con- Tsunamis accompanying earthquakes Marine railways are relatively susceptible Shlphft installation requires consideration of earth
Resistance sldered for docks to be installed in are the major consideration for float- to earthquake damage because of their quake criteria in the design of their plhngs
earthquake prone areas. Ships block- mg drydocks, relatively long groundways.
ing must also be considered ,n these

Special Features intermediate gates permit subdlvl- Floating drydocks can be designed Cambered groundways can be used to Remote reading load cells are provided at each
Avadable slon of graving docks for more than to be separated into two mdepen- shorten the groundway length and hoist permitting direct readout of ship imposed load-
one vessel at a t~me. dent units, produce horizontal cradle deck on berth ings on platforms.
while providing inclined deck offshore.
Double ended docks with inter- Special adaptations and designs have Sectional platform may be prowded to permit multi-
mediate gates are sometimes used been developed to permit limited pie vessel dockmgs independently or to permit a sec-
to permit a long dock to function access w i t h o u t full drydockmg such tlon of the platform to be lowered to clear a sonar
as two docks for new construction, as the bow docks used for access to dome or other b o t t o m projection
naval sonar equipment.
Large capacity Gohath cranes in
conlunct*on with graving docks
allow vessels to be quickly con-
structed of large subassemblies.

Future Increase in Grawng docks can be increased m Floating drydocks can be increased Marine radways usually require complete Shiphfts carl be increased in length by adding ad-
Capacity length by excavating at the head- in all dimens0ons by extensive rebuilding to increase capacity. Ground- ditional horsts and platform sections.
wall. rebuilding or by adding sections. ways are often designed to anticipate
future growth, Cradle length can be in-

Simphclty of Winches and centering guides are Vertical control =s maintained by Docking operations are carried out away Docking contact is made at low platform speed.
Drydocklng used to assist in positioning ships. the pumping of water. A certain from shore m a somewhat exposed area. Initial contact is sensed by the load cell All opera
The crew size is a function of the amount of dock and vessel motion The initial contact to the vessel b o t t o m tlons t a k e place }n the relative calm of inner docking
vessel size. Operations are carried must be contended with to assure occurs from the vertical component of sllp
out in the relative calm of a pro- safe operations. A skillful dock- the cradle*s movement as it [s moved
tected bas,n. master is required. toward shore. An experienced and skilled
docking crew Is required.


simple. The platform is raised until it m a k e s initial contact
with the vessel's keel. This contact is registered on the con-
trol panel as readouts from load cells on the ends of each
wire rope. A f t e r the a l i g n m e n t is checked, lifting com-
mences, usually at a speed of about 9 in. per minute or faster.
Among its other desirable features are:
Waterfront space requirements, like those of a f l o a t i n g
drydock, are little more t h a n the a r e a required for the
platform and its hoist support pilings.
A remote control station with hoist controls and load
readouts is located in a n enclosure n e a r b y with good vis-
ibility of the docking operation.
M a t e r i a l and equipment m a y be p e r m a n e n t l y installed
on the m a r g i n a l piers and alongside shore b e r t h s t h a t
usually are provided on the hoist support pilings and need
not be removed for the docking/undocking function. (More
commonly, however, shiplifts function with t r a n s f e r sys-
tems, and r e p a i r work is performed in shore berths; see Fig. 14 A large mobile marine shiplift. Note the use of straps in lieu of blocking
and the mobility that results from the highly steerable wheels (courtesy of Marine
Fig. 12.)
The concept of a platform constructed of i n d e p e n d e n t l y
controlled and coordinated beams offers several advan-
tages. For example, the platform can be operated as two
or more s e p a r a t e sections for independent dockings of Conclusion
small ships, or a section of the platform can be lowered This p a p e r is intended to a c q u a i n t the shipbuilder with
to clear a hull projection, such as a sonar dome. the features and l i m i t a t i o n s of various options a v a i l a b l e in
The load cells, which display the initial grounding of the drydocking systems and to provide him with a p r e l i m i n a r y
vessel, provide a full display of the distributed and total estimation of order-of-magnitude costs. The technical fea-
weight on the platform, a feature of g r e a t i n t e r e s t to all tures are s u m m a r i z e d in Table 1, while cost indicator d a t a
concerned. are covered in Figs. 2 t h r o u g h 5. Obviously, this p a p e r does
not substitute for professional a n a l y s i s of the specific prob-
Mobile marine lifts (Fig. 14) lem, but it should help the shipbuilder to ask the r i g h t ques-
tions when he seeks t h a t help.
The capacity of mobile m a r i n e lifts is too light for most
larger shipyards. They are discussed because the system so
ideally embodies all of the desirable a t t r i b u t e s in a dry- Acknowledgment
docking system, and because the s h i p b u i l d e r m a y find an- The a u t h o r wishes to t h a n k the following firms and in-
cillary uses for the machine in the shipyard. Were t h e y not dividuals for cost and technical d a t a and other assistance
limited to about 250 tons capacity, t h e y m i g h t well s u p p l a n t used in the p r e p a r a t i o n of this paper: M a r k C a r p e n t e r of
all other systems of drydocking. Mobile m a r i n e lifts are fast, Houston, Texas; Christopher J. Foster, Inc., Port Washing-
easy to use, require very modest civil works, v i r t u a l l y elim- ton, New York; C r a n d a l l Drydock Engineers, Inc., Dedham,
inate the need for blocking, provide a built-in t r a n s f e r sys- Massachusetts; J a y J. H a s s a n i of Towson, M a r y l a n d ; Ma-
tem, are easily resalable, and are m a i n t a i n a b l e in the man- rine Travel-Lift Co., Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin; Pearlson En-
ner of a wheeled vehicle. gineering Co., Miami, Florida; and Zidell Explorations, Port-
One m a n u f a c t u r e r c u r r e n t l y offers models in sizes of 10, land, Oregon.
15, 30, 50, 60, 100, and 150 tons. Cost in 1981 dollars ranges
from $4500 per lifted ton in the s m a l l e r sizes to $2000 per Metric Conversion Factors
lifted ton for the l a r g e r ones.
1 ft - 0.3048m
Many shipyards use these lifts for handling plates, shapes, 1 in. - 25.4mm
and pipe in open a r e a s where cranes are not effective. 1 deadweight ton (dwt) - 1.016047 metric tons

MAY 1986 119