Bay Ship & Yacht Co., a US based refit and new construction yard 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-high retractable roof, offers Bay Ship & Yacht clients a covered environment for commercial ship and superyacht service, repair and refit projects.
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. “The ability to close its roof makes working conditions ideal for delivering the best-quality product Bay Ship & Yacht is known for, and it is something our painting and vessel refinishing will surely benefit from. I am quite proud of this new facility of ours, and I know our customers will be delighted with our new expanded capabilities.”