||Paul A. Harren
||American Society of Civil Engineers
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Floating dry docks, often referred to as "floaters," are structures with sufficient size, strength, displacement, and stability to lift a vessel from the water using buoyancy. The docks can be operated with list and trim to reduce block loading and reduce or eliminate vessel stability problems when docking or undocking. Some shipyards are equipped to transfer vessels to shore from a floating dry dock, which enables concurrent work on multiple vessels. Floating dry docks are comprised of a pontoon and wing walls. The pontoon is the main structural component that must be designed to distribute the concentrated blocking loads from the vessel to the dock and ultimately to the uniform buoyant force on the hull. The pontoon provides the transverse strength for the dock as well as contributing to the longitudinal strength. Additionally, the pontoon must have sufficient volume to provide the displacement to lift the vessel and dock out of the water using buoyancy...