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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

BOXBOATS AHEAD: A year ago, capacity on newbuild orders was under 10% of the existing fleet. That has now doubled and new orders coming through from carriers and owners are pushing towards a ‘psychological barrier’, after which overcapacity becomes a risk again. Above: Varying sized containerships at the Port of Felixstowe, the Britain's biggest boxboat port.
Shipyard orderbook for containerships could rise as high as 24% of the existing fleet if a spate of unconfirmed orders go to completion, threatening an ‘overheated’ market and eventual oversupply. “Ocean carriers, non-operating owners, investment banks and lessors have gone…
A file photo at the launch of MV Glen Sannox, the first of pair of duel-fuel powered ferries for Scotland's Western Isles operator CalMac is seen at the the now nationalised shipyard of Ferguson Marine on the Clyde
Scottish Ministers have been asked to "come clean" as fears grow over the collapse of the nationalised shipyard firm at the centre of the ferry-building fiasco, reports The Herald. It comes after The Herald On Sunday, revealed the Scottish Government-controlled…
In Scotland, the Prince of Wales visited BAE Systems’ shipyard in Govan, Glasgow to mark the official start of construction on the Royal Navy’s 21st century warship HMS Belfast, and to see how construction is progressing on as Afloat adds the leadship of the 'City' class Type 26 frigate, HMS Glasgow. All eight of the class, however will be built on the River Clyde shipyard where also currently under construction is HMS Cardiff. AFLOAT adds the 'Cardiff' class name coincidentally was also used by a previous shipyard owner, Govan Shipbuilders Ltd which completed their fourth and final 'Cardiff' class bulk carrier for Irish Shipping. The final of the 25,000dwt bulk-carrier quartet was launched as Irish Larch in 1973. However, just over a decade later, the Irish state-owned company had gone into liquidation.
At a shipyard in Scotland, Prince William cut the steel on HMS Belfast, a ship which will form part of a modern fleet serving the UK's Royal Navy for decades to come, reports BBC News. Pushing down on a button…
The straight-stemmed bow of the new Irish flagged Arklow Artist, the final 'A' class series is seen departing from a Dutch shipyard on the Ems Canal, has been delivered to Arklow Shipping. AFLOAT tracked the newbuild currently berthed in the North Sea port of Emshaven at the Julianahaven basin before it embarks trading in typical 'bread & butter' cargoes such as corn and wheat.
A new cargoship Arklow Artist, the sixth and final of the 'A' class series built at a shipyard in The Netherlands was recently delivered to Co. Wicklow shipowners, writes Jehan Ashmore. As the video shows the bulk-orientated general cargsoship's transit along the…
Clydeside Shipyard: The late Ferguson Marine ferries for Scottish operator, CalMac have been delayed up to another five months due to skill shortage and Covid. Above, the first of the pair, MV Glen Sannox (to serve Arran) this week showing repaired funnel, newly-constructed mast and fresh paint.
Delays of up to a further five months to the completion of two long-awaited CalMac ferries were announced yesterday by shipyard Ferguson Marine, writes The Scotsman. The latest setback was blamed on a shortage of skilled workers and Covid restrictions…
Irish Sea ro pax Norbank, in this Afloat file photo, arriving at Dublin Port (off Poolbeg Marina) from Liverpool, was a recent caller to the UK dry-dock facility of A&P Tyne on England's North Sea coast.
An Irish Sea ferry was among those at UK shipyards on England's North Sea coast, where A&P North East's Tyne and Tees faclities reported a strong two-month period. Afloat adds the ferry, ro pax Norbank, which P&O Ferries operates on…
 Ben-My-Chree on the stocks of the Merseyside dry-dock at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, however the Manx ro pax ferry's return was delayed after the shipyard's tug broke.
The Isle of Man Steam Packet's Ben-my-Chree will head back to the Island (today, 2 June), more than seven weeks after heading intoa dry dock for refit (at Cammell Laird shipyard on Merseyside).  The company's freight and passenger ro-pax ferry has been…
The UK prime minister says national flagship, a successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia, would promote British trade and industry around the world. As AFLOAT previously reported, the naval architect of Cunard's 'QM2' proposed the newbuild should be built in Belfast.
In the UK a new national flagship, the successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia, will promote British trade and industry around the world, said Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The newbuild vessel would be used to host trade fairs, ministerial summits…
The Scottish Government has been told it will have to pay £5 million to insurers over the Clydeside shipyard of Ferguson Marine ferries fiasco. This involved a pair of ferries for CalMac with Glen Sannox (above) for the Arran route and a sister for Skye-Harris-North Uist services.
Scottish Ministers have lost a case at the Court of Session brought by HCC International Insurance over money paid to Scottish Government-owned ferries owner Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (Cmal). In 2015, Cmal ordered two ferries for CalMac to be built…
H&W's Methil site, in Scotland is to host a Careers Open Day
Following the recent acquisition of two Scottish based sites, Infratrata, owners of Belfast shipyard Harland & Wolff, is to open to prospective employees a careers open day. The careers open day is to take place at H&W's (Methil) Forth of Fifth site…
The Prince of Wales finished the visit by unveiling a celebratory plaque marking the 160th anniversary of Harland & Wolff.
Harland & Wolff, the iconic shipyard on Belfast Lough with over 160 years of maritime and offshore engineering pedigree, welcomed The Prince of Wales on 18 May 2021 to mark its 160th anniversary. Arriving at Harland & Wolff (Belfast), His Royal…
Bosses said they would now "embark on a programme of transformation" at the Birkenhead based Cammell Laird shipyard with building halls (above) at the Merseyside marine engineering facility.
UK shipbuilder and repairer, Cammell Laird has confirmed more than 140 job losses at the Birkenhead shipyard following a consultation with workers. In a statement, as Liverpool Echo writes, the Merseyside company said 146 people had taken voluntary redundancy and…
A repair contract for ferries has been secured at Harland & Wolff, Belfast
A global ferry company which requires repairs for two of its ferries has been secured by Infrastrata, owners of shipyard Harland & Wolff in Belfast Harbour. The two-vessel deal, reports InsiderMedia, is valued at approximately £1.6m and the completion of…
Isle of Man ferry, Ben-my-Chree is expected to remain in dry dock for a further six days following issues discovered during routine annual maintenance (Afloat adds) at Cammell Laird.  A shipyard and repairer facility as above is based in Birkenhead on Merseyside.
The main Isle of Man ferry, the ro-pax Ben-my-Chree is expected to be in shipyard dry dock for a further six days following issues discovered during a routine annual maintenance. Operator, Isle of Man Steam Packet says worn bearings on…
Belfast Harbour where the Harland & Wolff shipyard ‘would be very capable of building a prestigious ship of this scale’. Above the Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2 (QM2) berthed at its homeport of Southampton, has called to several Irish ports. AFLOAT adds the giant luxury cruiseship/liner was in 2003 built by the French shipyard, Chantiers de l'Atlantique in Nantes.
The naval architect who designed Cunard’s flagship cruiseship / ocean liner Queen Mary 2, has backed Belfast’s Harland & Wolff shipyard to build a new UK flagship vessel aimed at promoting Britain around the world. Stephen Payne, a past President…
An end of April launch for Arklow Artist - the final of the 'A' series of newbuild cargoships
The last day of April saw Arklow Artist, as the final 'A' series of six newbuilds to be launched at Ferus Smit's Dutch inland shipyard, writes Jehan Ashmore. This newest cargoship constructed in Westerbroek, is the first to carry the…


Afloat will be focusing on news and developments of shipyards with newbuilds taking shape on either slipways and building halls.

The common practice of shipbuilding using modular construction, requires several yards make specific block sections that are towed to a single designated yard and joined together to complete the ship before been launched or floated out.

In addition, outfitting quays is where internal work on electrical and passenger facilities is installed (or upgraded if the ship is already in service). This work may involve newbuilds towed to another specialist yard, before the newbuild is completed as a new ship or of the same class, designed from the shipyard 'in-house' or from a naval architect consultancy. Shipyards also carry out repair and maintenance, overhaul, refit, survey, and conversion, for example, the addition or removal of cabins within a superstructure. All this requires ships to enter graving /dry-docks or floating drydocks, to enable access to the entire vessel out of the water.

Asides from shipbuilding, marine engineering projects such as offshore installations take place and others have diversified in the construction of offshore renewable projects, from wind-turbines and related tower structures. When ships are decommissioned and need to be disposed of, some yards have recycling facilities to segregate materials, though other vessels are run ashore, i.e. 'beached' and broken up there on site. The scrapped metal can be sold and made into other items.

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