Monaco Marine
Constanța Shipyard, Romania
Turku Repair Yard, Finland
Dubai Maritime City, Dubai, UAE

A shipyard, also called a dockyard or boatyard, is a place where ships are built and repaired. These can be yachts, military vessels, cruise liners or other cargo or passenger ships. Compared to shipyards, which are sometimes more involved with original construction, dockyards are sometimes more linked with maintenance and basing activities. The terms are routinely used interchangeably, in part because the evolution of dockyards and shipyards has often caused them to change or merge roles.

Countries with large shipbuilding industries include Australia, Brazil, China, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam. The shipbuilding industry is more fragmented in Europe than in Asia where countries tend to have fewer, larger companies. Many naval vessels are built or maintained in shipyards owned or operated by the national government or navy.

Shipyards are constructed near the sea or tidal rivers to allow easy access for their ships. The United Kingdom, for example, has shipyards on many of its rivers.

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 ship-breaking yard, often on a beach in South Asia. Historically ship-breaking 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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The world's earliest known dockyards were built in the Harappan port city of Lothal circa 2400 BC in Gujarat, India.[1][2] Lothal's dockyards connected to an ancient course of the Sabarmati river on the trade route between Harappan cities in Sindh and the peninsula of Saurashtra when the present-day surrounding Kutch desert formed a part of the Arabian Sea.

Lothal engineers accorded high priority to the creation of a dockyard and a warehouse to serve the purposes of naval trade.[citation needed] The dock was built on the eastern flank of the town, and is regarded by archaeologists as an engineering feat of the highest order. It was located away from the main current of the river to avoid silting, but provided access to ships at high tide as well.

The name of the ancient Greek city on the Gulf of Corinth, Naupactus, means "shipyard" (combination of the Greek words ναύς naus: "ship, boat"; and πήγνυμι pêgnumi, pegnymi: "builder, fixer"). Naupactus' reputation in this field extends to the time of legend, in which it is depicted as the place where the Heraclidae built a fleet to invade the Peloponnesus.

In the Spanish city of Barcelona, the Drassanes shipyards were active from at least the mid-13th century until the 18th century, although at times they served as a barracks for troops as well as an arsenal. During their time of operation the Drassanes were continuously changed, rebuilt and modified, but two original towers and part of the original eight construction-naves remain today. The site is currently a maritime museum.

From the 14th century, several hundred years before the Industrial Revolution, ships were the first items to be manufactured in a factory - in the Venice Arsenal of the Venetian Republic in present-day Italy. The Arsenal apparently mass-produced nearly one ship every day using pre-manufactured parts and assembly lines. At its height in the 16th century the enterprise employed 16,000 people.

Spain built component ships of the Great Armada of 1588 at ports such as Algeciras or Málaga.[3]

Historic shipyards

Prominent dockyards and shipyards


North America

Aerial view of Norfolk Naval Shipyard

South America

Brasfels Shipyard – Rio de Janeiro


Girvan shipyard Alexander Noble and son, Ayrshire Scotland
Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany
LaNaval shipyard in Bilbao, Spain

East Asia

South East Asia

Visakhapatnam Shipyard

South Asia and the Middle East

Cranes in Cochin Shipyard (India).
Dhaka Shipyard
Dhaka Shipyard – welding propellers

106-by-26-metre (348 ft × 85 ft) Syncrolift and side transfer system.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Archaeological remains of a Harappa Port-Town, Lothal". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
  2. ^ "This is Modi govt's plan for India's first National Maritime Museum in Gujarat's Lothal". 9 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Quarterly Review". Quarterly Review (100–118). Anglo-Spanish Society: 43. 1977. Retrieved 23 June 2023. It is probable that at least a quarter of the ships of the Great Armada sent against England were built at Algeciras or Malaga.
  4. ^ "Ancient Shipyard Discovered in Egypt - Archaeology Magazine". Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  5. ^ "Vigor Marine". Vigor Industrial. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  6. ^ E-mail * Saisissez votre adresse électronique. (24 December 2012). "STX Europe démantelé, Fincantieri va devenir le géant européen de la navale" (in French). Mer et Marine. Archived from the original on 2 May 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Submarine Museum marks Falklands 30th anniversary". BBC. 2 May 2012. Archived from the original on 14 June 2012.
  8. ^ "History of Shipbuilding in the North East". BBC. Retrieved 18 January 2007.
  9. ^ "History of shipbuilding on Wearside". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Yantai Raffles' world-record gantry crane should see first lift this year – Offshore". Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  11. ^ "The Bangkok Dock Company (1957) Limited". The Bangkok Dock Company. Archived from the original on 14 March 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  12. ^ "Bason Shipyard's Brief History" (in Vietnamese). Bason Shipyard Website. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  13. ^ "Alang ship-breakers face Rs 2,000-cr hit from Rupee fall". The Economic Times. 13 January 2012. Archived from the original on 14 November 2013.
  14. ^ "Drydocks World: Profile". Archived from the original on 4 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  15. ^ "HOME". Archived from the original on 24 February 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2018.