Bay Ship & Yacht Co., an American service, refit and new construction yards for superyachts and commercial vessels, recently expanded its capacity and capabilities by unveiling a new covered dry dock that accommodates vessels displacing up to 6,300-long tons with a maximum beam of 76 feet. Currently the only dry dock on the West Coast to be fully enclosed by a retractable roof, this new high-tech facility on San Francisco Bay 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 successful 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 new HMB-1 dry dock, which has a 69-foot retractable roof, offers Bay Ship & Yacht clients a covered environment for commercial ship and superyacht service, repair and refit projects. This unique facility offers several major benefits:
•The dry dock’s roof prevents lost workdays due to inclement weather, helping projects stay on time and on budget.
•The covered facility ensures maximum quality control for paint and other marine coatings applications. Bay Ship & Yacht has earned QP-1 certification from the Society for Protective Coatings, a nationally recognized standard.
•Projects carried out in the enclosed dry dock are “greener”, since the facility keeps materials, fluids and emissions that may be potentially hazardous to the environment safely contained inside.
The HMB-1 facility has expanded Bay Ship & Yacht’s dry dock capacity by 18 feet in width, while its lifting capability has more than doubled. This allows the yard to service commercial and pleasure vessels that are much larger, beamier and heavier than ever before.
“Under the direction of Alan Cameron, Bay Ship & Yacht’s General Manager, the HMB-1 dry dock was completely transformed in almost every aspect, meeting all environmental requirements with minimal impact on marine life,” said Anthony Del Gavio, Business Development Manager.