Ship building, once the pride of British industry, is only a shadow of its former being.
Small specialist boat builders are few and far between since the demise of the English trawler fleet, killed off by over-fishing and punished by punitive regulation from within the E.U. C.A.P.
Here in the former fishing port of Whitby, there exists a successful builder of tough, sea-going steel trawlers. They are built to a very high standard to meet the harsh conditions of the northern North Sea, notorious for its unpredictable storms and high seas.
Fishing vessels up to 300 tonnes are erected on top of the wharf taking upwards of a year to build. They are gently launched into the river using a massive 1000 tonne mobile crane, as portrayed in the above photo!
It takes almost two days to erect the crane whose components arrive on the back of ten long semi-trailers.
The launch is celebrated by the owners before the hull is floated.
It may be several more weeks before the vessel is ready to be handed over to its new owners!
Concrete is poured into the hull to add ballast for stability. Sea trials are conducted to ensure that the boat is ready for any task or sea condition.
The cost of such vessels can be as high as £1.5 million.
Ship repairs are also carried out in this boat-yard, utilising a huge floating dock Seen Here.
To lift a boat from the water, the dock is allowed to sink by flooding the sponsons. The vessel is then carefully positioned within the strong walls of the dock which is then re-floated by pumping out the water.
The vessel is then supported on strategically pre-placed timbers to keep it safely upright within the now floating dock. Work can now begin.