Vessel Repair puts new dry dock and transfer system into operation

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Newbuilding towboat Laura M under construction for Marine Chartering Associates in new dry dock at Vessel Repair

Port Arthur, Texas, based Vessel Repair reports that its new 280-foot dry dock and a two-barge transfer system was put into service on July 23, 2020. The first docking and transfer on to land was a 30,000 barrel barge for Golding Barge Line. Golding was also the first customer to build a push boat with Vessel Repair.

The dry dock has been built as a direct result of a MARAD small shipyard grant awarded in June 2019.

Built by West Gulf Shipyard in Galveston, Texas, the dock has features that include having inclined stairways built into each wing wall instead of external vertical ladders.

The wing walls extend to within seven feet of each end of the dock and have a large opening at mid ship. This results in improved end to end stability, giving better control.

The console is on the very end of the dry dock, in line with the dock to land transfer, instead of at mid ship. This allows the dock master to directly monitor deck alignment during transfer.

The dock and 700-foot transfer system are served by a 70 foot wide by 42-foot, 6-inch tall rolling bridge crane that straddles two barges on land and also travels over a barge on the dock.

The second of the two transfer berths features a structural galvanized rolling blasting and painting building that measures 70 feet wide by 80 feet long. Two 30-ton blast pots are provided along with two 750-cubic-feet-per-minute high pressure air compressors.

The entire transfer system in surfaced in concrete. All utilities are new with regularly spaced stations including three phase and single phase electricity.

The project also called for a substantiale amount of dredging and insallation of all new bulkhead. The new slip was made considerably wider to not only accommodate the new dry dock but to also add space for barges in the slip.

The expansion project is the largest by far in Vessel Repair’s 36 year history.

“We know that this is only possible because of the support of the many barge and boat operators in the marine industry and we thank everyone of them,” says the company.

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