Images From Inside Dry Dock #5 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Hi F&F,

The Brooklyn Navy Yard (BNY) was founded in 1801 and was the nation’s premiere naval industrial facility. During World War II the BNY was known as the “Can Do Yard”. That moniker is, and was, a testament to the workers ability  to meet demanding production quotas without forfeiting quality or safety standards. At the height of the war-time effort, the BNY employed over 70,000 people; working 7 days a week; 24 hours a day.

Today’s yard is a much different place. No longer; a naval facility, the 300 acre site is an example of a successful modern urban industrial park.  It is home to the greatest concentration of manufacturing and green businesses in New York City.  BNY is populated by such diverse businesses as movie studios, furniture manufacturers, architectural designers, electronics distributors and jewelers; yet it hasn’t lost its connection to the rich maritime past; thanks to yard tenant  GMD Shipyard Corporation.

As an employee of BLDG 92, I work in the yard. I’m engaged in telling the fascinating story of this place. One of the many joys of my job is getting to peek behind the scenes and explore places and things in the yard that are not accessible to the general public.

For this post, I donned my work boots and I borrowed a hard hat to bring you images from inside dry dock #5.

Dry dock #5 measures 1092′ x 150′ x 36′ as a comparison the Empire State Building’s total height, including the antenna, is 1,467′.

How a dry dock works: water is pumped into the dock to reach the level of the water outside. The caisson (basically a door) is opened and the ship floats inside. The caisson is then closed and the water is pumped out so the ship can be repaired.

The ship rests on carefully placed keel blocks to be repaired. Each ship requires a different set up to accommodate the shape of the keel (the ship’s underbelly). Here are some of my co-workers standing on them “Abbey Road” style.

The ship being repaired is secure on the blocks and won’t “keel over”. The crew can work safely underneath.

The dry dock is surrounded by several gantry cranes. Some of the cranes are stationary and others can be moved and positioned via rail tracks.

Now I know why the gold bracelet I’ve been coveting is called a mariner link. It looks just like the anchor chain.

The colors are pretty and have an important purpose. The colors warn the crew; they are nearing the end of the anchor chain.

Being in dry dock #5 was a very special experience.  A big thank you, the size of the dry dock, to the guys and gals of GMD Shipyard Corporation. Thanks for educating me, entertaining me and keeping me safe while touring on your turf.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

About atreegrowsinbklyn

I’m an analog girl living in a digital world. I’m happy except when I’m sad. I’m serious, smart and sophisticated except when I’m silly, obtuse and crude. I’m ambitious and disciplined; except when I’m apathetic and self indulgent. I‘m thoughtful, generous and honest; except when I’m insensitive, cheap and lying. I’m grateful; I’m grateful; I am grateful.
This entry was posted in brooklyn, Curiosities & Oddities, History, new york city, Photo, Photography, photos, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Images From Inside Dry Dock #5 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

  1. Northern Narratives says:

    Very interesting. I like history.

  2. That one with your coworkers is so funny. They look like they have a good sense of humor and must be fun to work with. I really like the close up of the yellow chains too.

    • My coworkers are smart, funny, and creative. They make work more like play. The chains caught my eye right away. It’s interesting how something as utilitarian as a chain can be pleasing to the eye.

  3. cocomino says:

    It’s interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Touch2Touch says:

    Reblogged this on Touch2Touch and commented:
    FASCINATING POST from Adrienne of —
    Did you ever wonder why things KEEL over? Wonder no more!

  5. Pingback: Touch2Touch

  6. Gilly Gee says:

    A fascinating piece of history and life, thanks for sharing it!

  7. tms says:

    Great “Abbey Road” interpretation, and I also like the chains very much, both in colour and black-and-white…

  8. mybrightlife says:

    Hi, followed this through Judith’s post. My husband works off-shore, at times operating those cranes on deck or dragging, connecting or cutting massive chains like the ones in your pic down on the ocean floor – sometimes at 60 M +, so reading your post was really interesting for me and is a great reference point to use when people ask, “so what is it exactly that Eric does?” Thanks!
    Loved the girls in boots too!

    • Hi mybrightlife,

      Thanks for follwing the path from Judith’s post to my blog. The work your husband does takes great deal of precision and skill. I’m glad the blog will help to explain this challenging work to others.

      The girls in boots are a bunch of fun!


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  10. Fascinating post. Thanks for sharing. I love learning new things in unconventional ways.;)

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  13. fgassette says:

    Nice pictures and historical information. Thanks for sharing.


  14. v says:

    Lovely! Really enjoyed reading it. It was fun being there with you, too. 🙂

  15. Pingback: Week seven: Navy Yard | The Weekly Nabe

  16. says:

    ABSOLUTELY great post ! I had to beg to get into the Navy Yard !

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