Canvey Island's Floating Dry Dock

Small Gains Creek

First low launcher in use, Dowager converted lifeboat

At first catamarans and other craft were launched and hauled out of the water on a flat platform which ran on rails let into the slipway and was controlled by an electric windlass and a series of snatch blocks.

This was first installed by G. Prout & Sons. Next a lifting gantry was made and with the use of a tractor was pushed into the water and then craft were floated into slings and lifted out of the water. Later a Floating Drydock was constructed {1979 } to take larger craft.

Mobile Gantry launcing

Simply it was an inverted shoebox shape, the two sides were built up and the ends had large valves fitted. When the tide was out the valves would be opened so that as the tide came in the dock would stay on the bottom, a boat would then be floated in and secured. At low water the valves would be closed so that on the next tide the dock would float up with the boat in it. When work was completed on the boat the valves would be opened and when flooded the boat would be floated off.

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