Shipwrights of Barrett's Bay
Dry Dock

Collin McAndrews     Thomas Douglas

Barrett's Bay was an extremely busy place as water transportation was cheap and dependable. All manner of transport was by water, from the largest and heaviest materials to the smallest farm produce, including water taxi service from one point to another. Ships are powered by sails, and the harbor, on a clear day, looked like a field covered with white butterflies. All the vessels were of wooden construction and included fish trawlers, oyster boats, barges and bogies and their construction and repair required the skills of ship carpenters, riggers, sailmakers, wood caulkers, painters and blacksmiths.

The Barrett Bay Shipwright's dry dock was reconstructed to accommodate the many different types of ships that would under go construction. With a large deep water quay (which is an artificial basin or an inclosure in connection with a harbor or river, -- used for the reception of vessels, and provided with gates for keeping in or shutting out the tide) 373 feet in length, workshops and all the necessary appliances for carrying on shipbuilding on an extensive scale or any other business requiring water accommodation.

There are seven different types of docks that are used to work on the ships under construction:

Dry dock, from which the water may be shut or pumped out, especially, one in the form of a chamber having walls and floor, often of masonry and communicating with deep water, but having appliances for excluding it; -- used in constructing or repairing ships. The name includes structures used for the examination, repairing, or building of vessels, as graving docks, floating docks, hydraulic docks, etc.

Floating dock, which is made to become buoyant, and, by floating, to lift a vessel out of water.

Graving dock, for holding a ship for graving or cleaning the bottom, etc.

Naval dock, with which are naval stores, materials, and all conveniences for the construction and repair of ships.

Sectional dock, a form of floating dock made in separate sections or caissons.

Slip dock, having a sloping floor that extends from deep water to above high-water mark, and upon which is a railway on which runs a cradle carrying the ship. It's a slip or water way extending between two piers or projecting wharves, for the reception of ships; -- sometimes including the piers themselves; as, to be down on the dock.

Wet dock, where the water is shut in, and kept at a given level, to facilitate the loading and unloading of ships; -- also sometimes used as a place of safety; a basin.

When a ship is brought into the basin for dry docking, it passes through the dock gate, a floating caisson. When the dock is ready to receive a ship, the gate is moored to the quay side of the basin. Once a ship is floated into the dry dock and its keel is resting on pre-placed blocks, the gate is towed into position and filled with water to sink it into place. As water is pumped from the graving dock, water pressure from the basin forces the gate tightly in place, creating a seal that keeps the working space beneath the ship dry. The graving dock is opened by reversing the procedure. Next to the dry dock is the pump house where the machinery for pumping the water from the dry dock was installed.

The Shipbuilding Plant and Materials including a boiler with all machinery and materials for working a patent slipway; 5 cranes; 6 winches; Bogies; Jack Screws; Lathe; Cramps; Boiler and Steam Kiln; English and Foreign Oak Elm and Yellow Pine Timber; Staging Planks; Deck Deals old and new rope; chains; iron and wood blocks; shovels; whip and cross saws; Augers; caulking ions; Ring Bolts; Wood and metal pumps; Paints; oils; Naptha; Pitch; Coal Tar; New and old iron; grindstones; Treenails; Ladders and a quantity of gear and materials, about 100 casks and buoys (for raising ships).

In the Blacksmiths shop are 3 pairs of bellows; 4 anvils; 4 vices; Tongs Hammers and all necessary tools.

The Overseers of the Shipwright's of Barrett's Bay:

Master shipwright: responsible for most workmen and all construction and repair work.
Master attendant: managed the ships in harbour and saw to the maintenance of the ships in Ordinary, i.e. when the ship was laid up.
Clerk of the cheque: mustered the workmen, looked after expenses and kept accounts of earnings.
Clerk of the survey: checked the details of all stores received, and issued and surveyed materials.
Clerk of the ropeyard: mustered the men, and received and issued stores.

--under construction--

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