05 September 2011

Dismantling of Ship While Floating Next to a Pier:


The technological feasibility of scrapping a ship while it remains in the water at dockside was investigated. This method of scrapping a ship would provide a lower cost alternative to drydocking a ship before dismantling.

The plan entails washing and gas freeing all tanks to ensure safe working conditions throughout the dismantling procedure and then removing the material from the aft end of the ship forward. At every stage of the dismantling hydrostatics and structural integrity of the ship were examined to ensure a safe and successful scrapping operation. This sequence of removing the materials moves the center of gravity of the ship forward, causing the aft part of keel of the ship to lift out of the water, permitting it to be cut and removed. This allows for the entire ship to be dismantled without the use of a drydock.

A 900-foot bulk carrier was used as a typical ship for testing the plan. The ship was theoretically completely disassembled according to the procedure. It met all safety requirements throughout the dismantling.

Additional guidelines and suggestions for other types of ships and environmental conditions are included.

Author: Edward B Greenspan

Author Affiliation: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Thesis submitted on: 11 June 1984

Link to the full report:

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