Port Arthur, Texas-based Vessel Repair's new 280' drydock and a two-barge transfer system were put into service in July. The first docking and transfer on to land was a 30,000-bbl. barge for Golding Barge Line. Golding was also the first customer to build a pushboat at Vessel Repair.

The drydock was built through a Marad small shipyard grant awarded in June 2019.

Built by West Gulf Shipyard in Galveston, Texas, the drydock has features that include inclined stairways built into each wing wall instead of external vertical ladders.

The wing walls extend to within seven feet of each end of the dock and have a large opening at midship. The result is an improved end to end stability, giving better control.

The console is on the very end of the drydock, in line with the dock to land transfer, instead of at midship, allowing the dock master to directly monitor deck alignment during transfer.

The dock and 700' transfer system are served by a 70'x42'6" rolling bridge crane that straddles two barges on land and also travels over a barge on the dock.

The second of the two transfer berths features a structural galvanized 80'x70' rolling blasting and painting building. Two 30-ton blast pots are provided along with two 750 cu. ft. per minute high pressure air compressors.

The entire transfer system in surfaced in concrete. All utilities are new with regularly spaced stations including three-phase and single-phase electricity.

The project also called for a substantial amount of dredging and insulation of all new bulkheads. The new slip was made considerably wider to not only accommodate the new drydock but also to add space for barges in the slip.

The expansion project is the largest Vessel Repair's 36-year history.