The New Student's Reference Work/Docks

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Dry Dock

Docks are basins for receiving ships, and are of two kinds, wet and dry.  A wet dock is a basin in which ships load and unload their cargoes. Where the tides cause great changes in the level of the water, the dock is walled in and the water inside is thus kept at one level.  Dry docks are of two kinds: the stationary dock and the floating dock.  They are used in order to get at that part of ships which is under water, in order to mend them.  The stationary or graving-dock, as it is sometimes called, is made of stone or timber, the sides rising in steps.  The entrance is closed by gates, and after the ship has entered the dock the water is pumped out, leaving the ship resting on timbers arranged for that purpose.  Floating docks are of various sorts, their object being to raise vessels out of the water. One of these, which may be given as an example, is made of iron in the form of a long box without ends.  Inside are compartments filled with water, causing the whole to sink below the bottom of the ship, which is then towed on to it.  The water is then pumped out of the compartments, thus allowing the dock to rise with the ship upon it.  Among the finest wet docks are those at London, Liverpool, Havre, Antwerp and Brooklyn, N. Y.  All ports of any size have dry docks.  One of the most wonderful feats of navigation was the towing of the dry-dock Dewey from the United States to Manila via Suez Canal, in 1907.  See Harbors and Docks, by L. F. Vernon-Harcourt.