The First Dry Docks

The First Dry Docks is the final paper in a short series looking at the civil engineering aspects of transport projects prior to the industrial revolution:  

Basin 6 after excavation. (Courtesy of Nanjing Municipal Museum)

Other papers in the series include:

The need to clean, repair and maintain ships has been a challenge from the time merchant and military vessels became too heavy to simply drag up a beach, to a position above the water. One of the early solutions to this challenge involved using the change in water level caused by the tide to assist the maintenance process, another was to increase the pulling power by using animals and simple machines. Other solutions involved creating basins that could be closed to the sea and drained; initially these were temporary structures intended for one-off use, then in 1495 the first reusable dry dock was constructed at Portsmouth Dockyard in the UK.

These and other linked papers can be downloaded from The evolution of construction management:

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