Dock (maritime)

A dock is a facility that serves ships to dry up so that work can be performed on the underwater hull. Docks are now mostly run either as dry or as a floating dock. Most docks are operated by shipyards. Dry docks, used for the construction of new vessels is known as building docks.

  • 2.1 history 2.1.1 Renaissance
  • 2.1.2 Modern

Dry dock

A drydock is a basin that can be shut off with a water -tight closure of the remaining water. By lowering the water level in the basin can be exploiting Knitting ship is to be drained.

The basin is called Dockkammer, directed against the water side with the entrance gate as a water- tight seal is the Dockhaupt. The entrance gate is performed either as a sluice gate or as a floodable float which can be floated to close the dry docks in a fold on Dockhaupt. By flooding the float sets before Dockhaupt aground and is pressed after emptying the Dockkammer of the water prior to dry -sealing against the fold. At the bottom of Dockkammer Pallen are attached, which bear the burden of the ship, as long as it is dry.

When be docked the ship is usually drawn with winds in the Dockkammer while take over on the side of the tractor Dockhauptes accurate positioning. The ship will be centered and set before the entrance gate is closed in the chamber. The water is then pumped into the Dockkammer, so that the water level drops and the ship will sag to the floor of the chamber. Once the keel begins to rest on the keel blocks, the Kimmpallen be with their threaded rods in height adapted to the hull, so that the load of the ship is evenly distributed on the bottom of the chamber. Ships with a pronounced keel must be additionally supported with beams sideways against the wall of the Dockkammer. After completely draining the water, the work can begin on dry lying ship.



The dry dock was invented around 200 BC in Ptolemaic Egypt. The ancient Greek author Athenaeus gives in his work The Gelehrtenmahl a fairly detailed description of the structure and functioning. The fact that Athenaeus his report drew up 400 years later ( around 200 AD ), suggests that dry docks were the entire ancient world through known and have been used.


Dry docks were used in China in 1400 for the construction of the large treasure ships. The largest ships built were 59-84 meters long and to have had nine masts.


The oldest German dry docks was built in Bremerhaven. The first plant was until 1840 by Johann Lange created in 1837 and supplemented after 1860 by his son Carl Lange at a second facility.

Another dry dock was built from 1845 to 1846 in the shipyard FW Wencke. It had wooden Dockwände and was 52 m long and 32 m wide with a driveway width of 11 m. The son of the shipyard 's founder, Albert Rosenthal left in 1860 to complement the equipment a second 81 m long chamber, the common driveway has been widened to 15 meters. The wooden walls were later replaced by those made of limestone and bricks. Remnants of this 4.8 m deep system still exist today and are listed buildings.

Also at -look & Oltmanns (1856 ) and Hermann Friedrich Ulrichs (1865 ) developed dry docks in the years mentioned. The Lloyd Werft built in 1871 Doppeldock.

Gallery dry dock

In dry dock (Malta ) with eingedocktem Grasmere Maersk container ship

List of selected dry docks

Normadie Dock


A floating dock is a floating, submersible device which can accommodate ships for maintenance work on the dry torso.

To be docked a ship, the flood tanks of floating docks are filled with water so that the dock will sag. After the required clearance above the dock floor has been reached, the ship is drawn with winds in the dock and accurately positioned centrally with the help of tugs and determined. Then the flood tanks of floating docks are pumped out again, so that the dock lifts up again and the ship is like to lie in the dry dock at the Pallen.



A precursor of the floating docks of current design can be found in a small Italian book called Descrittione dell'artifitiosa machina, which was published in Venice in 1560. In the booklet specifies an unknown author, a new method is to recover a spilled due to ship, and asks for the privilege to apply his design. An accompanying woodcut shows a ship, the starboard and port side by two large swimming scaffolding is flanked, which are assembled on the ship to a roof. Through a series of ropes that are lowered from the roof, the ship is lifted into an upright position.

Constructed in 1691, the Danish Admiral Henrik clamping a floating dock from which the following coin shows. The inscription on the back translates as: " In 1691 AD, during the reign of King Christian V. best, was invented by the drive and the hard work of Henrik clamping the ship's engine, with the help of old and broken by long use ships with quite a great deal of time and expense savings can be repaired and put in new condition as it were, and to such a degree was an amenity that had refused to nature, provided by technology. "


A built of wood floating dock was placed on the Stülcken shipyard in Hamburg in 1858 in service. The floating dock in its current form was developed in 1893 by the U.S. shipbuilders Gilbert. The first dock of this type was in operation until 1911.

Gallery floating docks

His ferries Floating in Rouen (France)

Large Battleship in Floating ( 1912 )

Former GHH Schwimmdockwerft in Nordenham - Blexen on the lower Weser

Dock at Blohm Voss in Hamburg

Dock at Blohm Voss in Hamburg

Similar facilities

A dock ship called a transport ship that can lower its hull below the water surface to receive floating loads.

In the Netherlands, a similar device for transporting large ships to the port of Amsterdam were used before the construction of Noordhollandsch kanaals, the ship's camel was called. The facility is also used in other ports to allow vessels with a deep draft to the application.