Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
Penarth Dock, South Wales - the heritage & legacy . . .

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Volume Three - The Pontoon Era - Floating dock history and terminology . . .

The capability for the dock to "self-dock" for maintenance purposes may be seen from this image of the dock designed by Clark & Standfield for Flensburg in northern Germany dating from 1892,

They identified the need for this feature and described it in their pamphlet published in May 1901 [020]:

"As regards those portions of the dock which are above the lightwater-line, it is evident that they are also in full sight, and any rust or scale that shows itself can be scraped off and the surface repainted at any time. There is therefore, only under the water portion proper of the dock that is not readily accessible, and even that in the numerous docks that we have designed can be got at without great difficultly. It is our invariable practice to make all docks self docking, that is, capable of bringing every portion of themselves out of the water. Whatever, therefore, the care or repairs that one of our docks may require, the same can always be carried out, and need never be left until they attain serious proportions."

Kempe's Engineer's Year Book for 1969 provides a comprehensive overview of the types of floating docks and the terminology used (2 pages).

The Preface to the Second Edition of the Clark & Standfield pamphlet commences:

"In 1898, the action of the Navy Department of the United Sates in sending Battleship "Indian" to Halifax to be dry docked, on account of there being no Graving Docks in the States that could take this vessel, rudely opened the eyes of the American public to the dearth of docking accommodation for their then rapidly growing fleet, and a comprehensive scheme of docks was promptly laid before Congress.


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