New hoist dock construction gets underway at HYS


A major civil engineering contract has started this week at Hamble Yacht Services to replace the boat lifting dock which, for the past 44 years, has serviced what is now one of the busiest boat lifting facilities in the UK.

Construction of the new dock is scheduled to take 12 weeks and the replacement, which will accommodate the yard’s 80 tonne hoist and a second 40 tonne hoist, will be ready for the start of the spring sailing season.

The completely new structure has been designed by Mayhew Callum Ltd and is being built by Walcon Marine, a leader in marina and yacht harbour construction. Walcon is putting some heavy resources behind the new build, including its fleet of three barges, ranging from 21 to 24 metres in length, to assist with construction and the movement of equipment.

The new dock project represents another significant infrastructure investment for Hamble Yacht Services, where the site has been steadily undergoing major improvements since being taken over by its current owners early in 2015.

“Our hoist operations are core to the services provided by HYS”, reports Bertie Bicket of HYS.  “By ensuring that our facilities are completely up to date we are securing our position as the leading site for the lifting and storage of large and small vessels on the Solent.”

Hamble Yacht Services is the busiest yard in the country for grand prix racing boats, ocean-going cruisers and legendary classics which choose this central Solent location as their base. Up to 64 vessels can be – and have been – launched in a single day, setting a UK record. The hoist dock has the capacity to lift yachts up to 33.5m (110ft) length, 7.3m (24ft) beam and 5.5m (18ft) draft.

“The integrity of the new dock’s structure will be of the highest specification,” reports Bicket.  “The project started right on time and our site tenants, owners and contractors will experience very little disruption.”

All major structures and equipment will be brought in from the seaward side by barges rather than by road, and likewise the old frames and metalwork will be removed in the same way.

Bicket sums up: “Our lifting and launching capabilities at HYS will have been completely updated by the spring.  Both the hoists are also undergoing a complete servicing and refurbishment over this time.”