AMC-CUF Floating Dock “Yagan”

Clark & Standfield have considerable experience in the design and construction of Naval floating docks, having designed or constructed floating docks for the majority of the world’s leading navies.



Clark & Standfield docks have been designed from simple small lift docks off 150t lift to sophisticated self-sufficient docks capable of docking large nuclear powered submarines with all the necessary support and back up facilities.

Clark and Standfield’s involvement with Naval floating docks began with the design and construction of a depositing dock for the port of Nicolaieff for the Imperial Russian Admiralty.

As a result of further developments in the design of floating docks by the company and their success, Clark & Standfield were asked to design and construct a large floating dock for the Spanish Navy suitable for ironclads and was commissioned by docking the Battleship ‘Alfonso’ thus proving the ability of floating docks to dock some of the world’s largest warships.

The United States Navy, however, were suspicious of floating docks and were reluctant to use them for drydocking ironclads.

Clark & Standfield set about overcoming the U.S. Navy’s scepticism and this eventually led to Clark & Standfield being comissioned to to design and construct the U.S. Navy’s first floating dock for ironclads near New Orleans. The dock, with a lift capacity of 18,000t, was commissioned in 1898 and succesfully demostrated her potential by lifting the battleship the U.S.S. Illinois. As a result the U.S. Navy has continued to use to this day a large number of floating docks for both surface ships and nuclear submarines.

Shortly after this success, the British Admiralty commissioned Clark & Standfield to construct a 16,500t lift capacity floating dock for Bermuda using a patent Clark & Standfield design. This was the first Admiralty Floating Dock (AFD) and was commissoned in 1900.

So began Clark & Standfield’s long association with the Royal Navy, designing 60 AFDs ranging from small destroyer docks to the large sophisticated fleet carrier docks. All current Royal Navy floating docks are Clark & Standfield designed.

Clark & Standfield continues to work with the Royal Navy, not only on floating docks, but also on many other marine related projects, including support work for the latest Ballistic (Trident) Nuclear Submarines.

Two current Admiralty Floating Docks are regularly used for the docking of nuclear powered submarines, demostrating the confidence placed in the suitablility of floating docks for lifting vessels.

Clark & Standfield have designed naval floating docks for the following countries:

  • • Britain
  • • USA
  • • Russia
  • • Spain
  • • Austria
  • • Hungaria
  • • Chile
  • • France
  • • Japan
  • • Argentina
  • • Turkey
  • • Italy

Floating Docks

Floating docks have been in use for many years and have their origins dating back to the 18th century. It is inevitable that over such a long period, floating docks should develop into the highly efficient forms we know today. They are without a doubt the most versatile of all dry docking methods, surpassing shiplifts, marine railways, graving docks and others. The cost effective structures of today still make the floating dock one of the favorite choices for dry docking facilities.


With even large docks requiring no more than about 9 pumps the probability of failure is reduced and should it occur, an adjacent pump can share the duty of a failed pump. Moreover on complete loss of power it is possible to undock manually.


The floating dock is independent of the site geology, thus avoiding expensive site survey and test bores. They are not vulnerable to seismic activity and the construction costs are not subject to unforseen geological problems causing hidden extras in the civil engineering works.


The floating dock is a valuable asset due to its mobility as it can be sold to realise the value of the asset of from the sale, purchase a new or secondhand floating dock. This is important where trading patterns may vary in time requiring changes in size of docking facillities.


Where depth of water at site is a problem, dredging can be avoided by allowing the dock to be manoeuvered into deep water  to recieve a vessel before returning to the shallow for work to begin. Where a part or shipyard rearranges its facillities a dock can be moved and resited. For naval use, a dock can be towed nearer to the theatre of operations providing an advanced repair facillity. Should the class of vessel be transferred from one base to another, so can the dock.


Construction time for for a dock can be under a year and is not subject to lengthy cicil engineering works. For use in isolated areas, a floating dock can be built where labour and facillities exist and then towed to site. Floating docks can be provided as a complete package causing no inconvenience to an owner’s premises. Compare this with the upheaval which results from the civil engineering works required for a dry dock.

Damaged Vessels

A floating dock can be heeled or trimmed to match that of a vessel, avoiding high local block loads and black cradle alignment problems.

Tidal Variations

The depth of water in a floating dock is under its direct control thus avoiding problems of changing tide levels whilst docking/undocking.

Shore Transfer

Floating docks have been used for shore transfer of vessels since the 19th century. Today’s docks are capable of transferring vessels such as aircraft carriers by longitudinal or transverse shore transferby the use of docking grids or ledges. Clark & Standfield’s depositing dock is capable of depositing a vessel ashore without the use of rails and their inherent problems.


A floating docks can be designed to facilitate future expansion in length, depth or breadth so the dock need not be out of commission for more than a day.


Floating docks provide a cost effective and versatile drydocking facility. They do not have to be preceeded by vast civil engineering works which are very expensive. Being self contained packages, docks are not subject to additional cost arising from unforseen geological problems during construction and are thus more easily quantifiable. Maintenance costs are kept low by today’s modern metal coatings and by the small amount of machinery necessary for docking/undocking. Running costs of docking/undocking operations are proportional to the size of ship lifted, unlike graving docks and require less power than shiplifts.


Floating docks are capable of long life and many C&S docks built in the early 1900’s are still in use today. With today’s modern coatings and treatments there is no reason why even longer life cannot be achieved by modern docks.


The modern floating dock can range from a basic shore dependent dock to a sophisticated fully self sufficient floating dock as a complete self contained ship repair facility. Both can be provided as turnkey packages. The type of facilities that can be provided on a dock are:

  • • Moorings Capstans
  • • Docking Mules
  • • Vessel Centring Equipment
  • • Steam, air, water, fuel
  • • Storage Bunkers
  • • Dockside Arms
  • • Accommodation
  • • Workshops
  • • Generating Plans
  • • Craneage

Proven Performance

Floating docks of all types and sizes have been in existence for many years, thus giving the owner the confidence of proven reliability and experience for all sizes of lift.

Floating Dock Design