Shipyards

A shipyard (also called a dockyard) is a place where ships are built and repaired. These can be yachts, military vessels, cruise liners or other cargo or passenger ships. Dockyards are sometimes more associated with maintenance and basing activities than shipyards, which are sometimes associated more with initial construction.

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Countries with large shipbuilding industries include Australia, Brazil, China, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Vietnam.
Most shipbuilders in the United States are privately owned, the largest being Huntington Ingalls Industries, a multi-billion-dollar defense contractor, and the oldest family owned shipyard being Colonna’s Shipyard in Norfolk, VA. The publicly owned shipyards in the US are Naval facilities providing basing, support and repair.
Shipyards are constructed nearby the sea or tidal rivers to allow easy access for their ships. In the United Kingdom, for example, shipyards were established on the Rivers Thames (King Henry VIII founded yards at Woolwich and Deptford in 1512 and 1513 respectively), Mersey, Tees, Tyne, Wear, and Clyde – the latter growing to be the World’s pre-eminent shipbuilding centre.

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The site of a large shipyard will contain many specialised cranes, dry docks, slipways, dust-free warehouses, painting facilities and extremely large areas for fabrication of the ships. After a ship’s useful life is over, it makes its final voyage to a shipbreaking yard, often on a beach in South Asia. Historically shipbreaking was carried on in drydock in developed countries, but high wages and environmental regulations have resulted in movement of the industry to developing regions.

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