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. 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
Poland. The shipbuilding industry tends to be more fragmented in
Europe than in
Asia. In European countries there are a greater number of small companies, compared to the fewer, larger companies in the shipbuilding countries of Asia.
Most shipbuilders in the
United States are privately owned, the largest 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
River Thames (King
Henry VIII founded yards at
Deptford in 1512 and 1513 respectively),
River Wear and
River Clyde – the latter growing to be the World's pre-eminent shipbuilding centre.
Alfred Yarrow established his yard by the Thames in
London's Docklands in the late 19th century before moving it northwards to the banks of the Clyde at
Scotstoun (1906–08). Other famous UK shipyards include the
Harland and Wolff yard in
Northern Ireland, where
Titanic was built, and the naval dockyard at
Chatham, England on the
Medway in north
The site of a large shipyard will contain many specialised
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
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.