Shipyard vs. Dockyard vs. Boatyard

What is a shipyard?

A shipyard is a place to manufacture and maintain big ships. The shipyard is always close to the ocean so ships can get in and out easily.

What is the biggest shipyard in the world?

The biggest shipyard in the world is the one in Ulsan, South Korea owned by Hyundai Heavy Industries.

Based on, this world’s largest shipyard extends over 4km along the coast of Mipo Bay in Ulsan and covers an area of 1,780 acres. This shipyard has easy access from and to the open sea, because of its location along the coast.

Ulsan shipyard has ten large-scale dry docks with nine Goliath cranes. This shipyard is equipped to produce any type of ship of any size.

In 2018, Ulsan shipyard delivered the world’s largest container ship CSCL Globe. CSCL Globe has a cargo-carrying capacity of 19,000 TEU ( one TEU equal to one 20′ container). This shipyard handed over more than 2,191 ships to 324 ship owners in 52 countries until 2018 ( based on

Below video of the largest shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea

Which country has the most shipyards?

According to, there are 285 active shipyards worldwide as of April 2021. China, South Korea, and Japan were the leading shipbuilding nations in 2020. China has the most shipyards worldwide.

The two largest shipyards are owned by China shipbuilding industry corporation (CSIC) and China state shipbuilding corporation (CSSC).

On the report of, China shipbuilding industry corporation (CSIC) and China state shipbuilding corporation ( CSSC) merged in 2019. The new merged company name is China shipbuilding group. This new company is the world’s largest shipbuilder.

How many shipyards in the US?

There are 10 prominent shipyards and a couple of hundred private shipbuilder-owned shipyards in the US.

The largest shipyard in the US is owned by Ingalls shipbuilding

The 10 notable shipyards include Newport news shipbuilding yard, Ingalls shipbuilding yard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, national steel and shipbuilding shipyard in San Diego, California, Norfolk Naval shipyard, etc.

What is a dockyard?

A dockyard is also a place for repairing and maintaining ships. Dockyard contains docks, workshops, warehouses, etc.

There is no clear line to differentiate between shipyard and dockyard. in many circumstances, shipyard and dockyard are the same.

The only difference between shipyards and dockyard is that dockyard is for small and big vessels, and not necessarily a place to build ships.

2 types of docks

Generally speaking, there are only 2 kinds of docks. Dry dock and Wet dock

Normally the dock is 13 to 18 inches above the water so ships can get on and off the dock easily. The most common materials to build a dock are wood, aluminum, and composites.

Dry dock

A dockyard that exists on land is called a dry dock. A drydock can drain water and keep the vessel on a dry platform. The dry dock is normally used to repair ships

Graving dock, floating dock are all dry dock

Wet dock

 A dock in which a high level of water is maintained by a lock or gate.

The main purpose of the wet dock is loading and unloading passengers and cargo. Vessel maintenance work can not be done on a wet dock.

What is a boatyard?

A boatyard is a place where boats are built, repaired, or stored

A boatyard is normally for building, maintaining, and docking  yachts, boats, or small watercrafts

How to choose the right boatyard for your boats?

Location, facilities and services should be the key points to look for a boatyard


You want to choose a boatyard that is nearby. You probably spend several days a week at the boatyard during summertime, the boatyard should be close by.


In general, a boatyard should have facilities to provide below services

  1. Bottom Job
  2. Painting
  3. Hull paint and repairs
  4. Engineering and machine work
  5. Upholster

Amenities such as an on-site shower, restaurants, and bars are important for everyone.


It is crucial to create a list of needs of service before you decide which boatyard to choose.

You should compare the work and prices among different yards, and find the one best suit your need and budget.

To make sure the boatyard you choose is reputable, reliable, you can look at the history of this yard, How many years is the yard in operation? Do they have a good reputation?

Another way to check a boatyard’s credibility is by talking to other boaters who have hauled their boats out at this yard. walk around the yard and talk to boat owners to check out what kind of work has been done and their feedback.

Boatyard cost

Below list of average costs for several main services at the boatyard

Average Haul-Out ( base on boat size) $13~$14 per foot
Bottom wash$3~$6 per foot
Bottom paint (labor only)$117~$137 per hour
Yard Storage (in land)$10~$30/ft per month
Regular dock slip$12 per foot per month

Similarities of shipyard, dockyard and boatyard

They are all referred to a place that used to build, repair or store small or big watercrafts

Usually all close to the ocean or river for easy access

Differences between shipyard, dockyard and boatyard


A shipyard would be bigger because you’d need more space to build and store big ships than boats.

Approximately Dockyard and boatyard are smaller in size than the shipyard, because they handle middle to small crafts mostly.


A shipyard is where ships are built and repaired. A shipyard can build giant container ships or warships

A dockyard can also make ships but in small size. The major function of a dockyard is to store the medium and small vessels.

Boatyard’s most major function is a dock for boatowners


Shipyard, dockyards, and some boatyards offer steelwork, metal forming, fabrication, and assembly service, so they must-have equipment to fulfill the job

With the tendency to build bigger and bigger ships, more and more heavy equipment is needed at the shipyard. The shipyard will have more heavy-duty machinery such as cranes, forklifts to lift, tilt, lower, rotate, and suspend heavy loads.

Dockyard and boatyard may not have so much heavy-duty machinery, but they are still furnished with equipment such as travel lift, boat lift, boat dollies, shrink wrap kit, etc.