We design the full spectrum of development for dry dock facilities, from dock size selection through to detailed design specification and commissioning. Dry docks are also known as graving docks from the historical process of cleaning and tarring wooden hulled ships.Dry Docks

Understanding our clients’ needs, we design cost effective and operationally efficient dry docks. Working closely with our clients, we ensure we understand all their operational requirements, and deliver innovative and state-of-the-art solutions to achieve their objectives.

Royal HaskoningDHV has lead the way in the design of new dry docks and the renovation or modernisation of existing dry docks by the installation of dock arms, hauling-in facilities, and piped and electrical services. We were also responsible for drafting the British Standard for shipyard design, including dry dock and dock gate design.

Our dry dock project experience includes all operational types of dry dock, principally shipbuilding docks and ship repair docks across the full spectrum of dock sizes built in all types of ground conditions and tidal ranges around the world.


Royal HaskoningDHV has designed over 150 gates across the world during the last 65 years, including many of the largest and most innovative. Our gate designs focus on low capital cost and ease of installation as well as efficient operation and maintenance. Every design takes full account of the unique parameters of the location and functionality required. Our experience encompasses all types of entrance gate and intermediate gate.
Read more on Dock and Lock Gates

Dock copes and operational services

Dock copes can accommodate crane rails, piped services, power supplies, dock arms, hauling-in tracks, winches, bollards and other vital operational features of dry docks.  We deliver the most efficient solutions for dock copes, always balancing cost and operational performance, including maintainability.

Multi-purpose dock pump houses

Modern pumphouses typically contain numerous pumps for the main dry dock dewatering, dock floor drainage or stripping, fire, ballast, contaminated water and sub-floor drainage, in addition to the filling or flooding valve system. We develop the most appropriate type and size of pump house for every application, from large ones with centrifugal-type pumps containing huge vertical mixed flow, to intermediate ones with propeller-type pumps with vertical submersible mixed flow, and small ones with submersible centrifugal-type pumps. The designs include all control systems and power supplies, with particular emphasis on maintainability.

Dock floors

Dock floors have a unique set of conditions in which they have to support large concentrated downward loads from ships or rigs and the potentially large upward water pressures due to the inherent proximity to the sea. Applying our global experience of many different site locations, we select and design the most suitable and cost effective type of dock floor from the range of:

  • Gravity floor
  • Drained floor
  • Anchored floor
  • Hybrid floor

We also deliver unique designs for dock blocks to support vessels when docked.

Equipment, mechanical and electrical supplies

Our multidisciplinary teams of dry dock technical experts and mechanical and electrical specialists are world leaders in planning and developing designs for the range of equipment and mechanical and electrical systems needed for dry docks.