4 August 2010

Shoreham Port's Adur Dry Dock is back in action and ready for new and existing customers after an extensive refurbishment of its 76 year old gates.

They were installed in 1934 and had very little work done on them between then and now. Over that time the steel plate of the gate got very thin and marine worms had eaten away the hardwood timber seals.

The dry dock is a valuable asset to the Port, so Chief Executive Rodney Lunn gave the green light for the complete refurbishment to be undertaken by the in-house engineering team.  The gates were lifted out on a foggy day at the end of March and since then have been completely stripped back to the bare frames and re-built.

Fabrication contractor Four Tees Engineering cut out the steel skin and replaced it with a fully welded 8mm thick plate.  Coastal Preservation Services used ultra high pressure water blasting to clean the old and new steel work before applying several new coats of marine grade paint.  Finally the Port's engineering team have replaced all the hardwood timber gate members, the valves and the myriad of nuts, bolts, washers and fittings that hold everything together.

Over 7 tonnes of new steel has been replaced or added, and over 5 cubic metres of hardwood timber has been replaced or repaired, restoring the gates to their former glory and actually improving their performance.

The gates were successfully put back in position on Wednesday this week using Southern Cranes' new 250 tonne Demag mobile crane which made the task look effortless despite the gates weighing nearly 15 tonnes each and having to be lifted nearly 30 metres away from the crane itself.  The Port's divers were in attendance to make sure everything went back in the right place and to check for a good fit.

The whole operation has been overseen by Assistant Port Engineer, Keith Wadey, who has worked with the dry dock over the whole of his 31 years working at the Port.  Keith said, "Restoring the gates took a huge amount of effort by the entire engineering team, but the greatly improved performance of the restored gates makes all the hard work worthwhile".

Shoreham Port offers one of the few remaining dry dock facilities on the South Coast of England, and we aim to remain flexible to all our customers on bookings and availability where possible.