Bay Ship & Yacht opens dry dock

Sep 17, 2013 by Guest Writer

Bay Ship & Yacht Co., a service, refit and new construction yard in the San Francisco area, has opened a new covered dry dock that can accommodate vessels up to 6,300 tons, more than doubling its lift capacity.

Currently the only dry dock on the U.S. West Coast to be enclosed by a retractable roof, this new facility is a conversion of the submersible Hughes Mining Barge (HMB-1), which played a role in a covert Cold War operation.

According to CIA documents declassified in 2012, the HMB-1 was built in the 1970s by the U.S. Navy as part of Project Azorian, a top-secret plan to salvage the Soviet submarine K-129, which sank while reportedly carrying three nuclear-armed ballistic missiles, from the floor of the Pacific Ocean.

The ruggedly built HMB-1 was designed to submerge to 160 feet and sit on the seabed during the transfer of heavy equipment required to retrieve the sub. After Project Azorian’s conclusion, the HMB-1 was transferred to Lockheed Martin, where it became a floating dry dock for the Navy’s experimental 164-foot Swath vessel Sea Shadow, a test bed for stealth technology.

Today, the HMB-1 dry dock, which has a 69-foot-high retractable roof, offers Bay Ship & Yacht customers a covered environment for service, repair and refit projects, including paint projects. Maximum beam is 76 feet.

In addition to the new covered dry dock, Bay Ship & Yacht also offers a Syncrolift and rail transfer system with a hauling capacity of 1,200 tons.

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