floating dry dock is a type of pontoon for dry docking ships, possessing floodable buoyancy chambers and a "U"-shaped cross-section.  When the water is pumped out of the chambers, the dry dock rises and the ship is lifted out of the water on the rising deck, allowing work to proceed on the ship's hull.

Put simply the FDD will be used as a work platform for boats larger than can currently be managed by Noakes.  The slipway at Noakes caters for boats up to 160 tonne and the travel lift 80 tonnes  The FDD will facilitate a significant increase, catering to vessels around 750 to 1000 tonnes.

The FDD will be moored alongside the revised hard stand (2 wharves are to be removed).  When a boat is to be put into the FDD it will be swung out into the bay and lowered using tanks that fill with water to sink and pump out to raise the FDD again.

The process for ships entering or leaving the FDD is the most dangerous time for the FDD and the vessel being loaded or unloaded.

Learn More

Please follow the Find Out More Link to a simple video demonstration of an FDD loading  a vessel.




Visual – a huge metal box 60 metres long by 20 metres wide by 7.7 metres high.  It doesn’t resemble a boat, it looks like what it is, a floating factory or workshop.

Air Pollution -  Noakes plan to use their existing wet scrubber with an added carbon filter.  This equipment will be approximately 20 metres away from the work going on in the FDD.  A flexible yellow tube will be draped across the hardstand area to connect the FDD to the filtering equipment. The methods to encapsulate the escaping airborne toxic material are also completely unproven.

Noise Pollution – Noakes plan to use “sonic curtains” to mitigate noise from hull blasting, grinding, welding etc.  This mitigation method has been borrowed from land based construction industry.  The ability to adequately tailor this material to suit the individual needs of each successive docking is unlikely. It is also, completely unproven in the marine setting.

Traffic – The increased vessel size will of course increase the requirements for delivery of materials and retrieval of spent toxic materials.  Increased truck and heavier truck traffic is expected.  Increased parking will be required for a variety of specialist trades employed to suit each docking.

Risk – During the loading and unloading phase, the FDD is at it’s most vulnerable.  While entering the dock the vessel needs to be upright, which means that there should be no port or starboard list when the ship touches the docking blocks on the bottom of the FDD. If the point of contact of the ship and keel blocks is outside the centre line of a vessel, it may force the vessel to tip over and can cause the FDD to capsize or strike the bottom. The silt on the bottom of Berrys Bay is highly contaminated from more than 100 years of industry.

Learn More

Please follow the Find Out More Link  to  the  Visual  Impact Assessment prepared for the Waverton Precinct.  Say No to Noakes completely supports its content.