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Nick Owen

Regarding the dry dock conundrum, would widening and dredging the entrance to the basin at Rosyth be an option, or even practicable?

Chris Jones

I think even with dredging the challenge is more to do with the tides and bridges she’d need to pass on the way up river.


The run down of the KGV No.7 Graving dock in Southampton was a huge shame, then again to fit the QE class the listed pump house would need to be moved, new lock gates and keel blocks installed as well as new pumping machinery.
Lack of a suitable dry dock on the South Coast is rather a pain then again the Scot-Nats will howl with rage if there is any hint of deep repair work being done outside of Scotland.


So KGV Dock it is then. In Britain’s Can Do maritime and navy aware environment these things are done as a matter of course.

David Graham

Forget the SNP; as shown in the recent election, the National Party do not own Scotland. I originally come from Greenock, and am familiar with the Firth of Clyde Dry Dock at Inchgreen. On Monday of this week the three cranes at the dock were dismantled [blown up, apparently] by the present owners, The Peel Group.
The biggest ship to use the dock was the QE2 when she came down river from Clydebank, circa 1967. It is an awkward dock to enter, as the entrance is at right angles to the dredged channel, requiring the right tides and little or no wind for a large ship to be safely berthed in it.
Maybe someday we will have the proper facilities in place before we build the assets; after all, the plan to build dates back to SDR98.


I live in Inverness so reasonably familiar with local politics 😉
The SNP’s wings have been clipped a bit but doesn’t stop them being a formidable and vocal political force.
I would presume they would push for Rosyth to remain as the primary deep repair and refit yard for the QE class.
The Harland and Wolff dry dock whilst easily able to accommodate the QE class has its own approach issues for a vessel that size and the company has pretty much walked away from the ship repair business which is ironic considering the money that was spent on it in the seventies to make it into a modern ship yard.
In England if there was any serious move to have a dry dock big enough for the QE class it needs to be somewhere where there is an actual workforce and where the ship can get in without too much trouble. I would actually argue it might better to build or upgrade a dock at A&P Falmouth to suit the QE class.


Are you in Inverness?


I wish I were on a cruise drinking margaritas





David Graham

I would agree that Falmouth would be ideally placed [skilled workforce, A&P actively engaged in ship repairs and their connection to the MoD via their RFA work] as a site for a dry dock. I used to visit Falmouth regularly in the late 80s [my ship used it as a one night stop-over when conducting junior officer training]. My guess is that a new dock would need to be constructed; paying for it is of course another matter.
Harland & Wolff in Belfast are still actively engaged in ship repairing etc [see their current web site for details].


Lots or countries use floating dry docks. Given the price of land in the south of England would one of these be an option to allow dry docking on Portsmouth?


Good point Ath, I’ve always been a fan of dry docks, not only cheaper than building on land they could potentially be moved to wherever they maybe required. However the ships company would have to be messed ashore in the eventuality of th ship going into the dock. I’m sure there must be second hand one out there being unloved.


Not sure in today’s 24h information culture that ” say nothing” is a viable plan. Certainly if she is not back out to sea by the weekend ACA or the Navy will need to comment publicly. The best plan in my opinion be the fullest disclosure that genuine security considerations allow.


Guys, I am sure that you are all excited, however let me share something with you:
The issue with one of the shafts was known at least 6 months ago. Even when she was still in Rosyth there was a talk to put her on dry dock before even goes for see trials. The only reason why ACA and Babcock pushed her out is money….if they have fail to push her out they were risking paying HUGE penalties. Now with HMS QEC out of the dock, they got the money from MOD. Everything from now on will mean even more money for ACA, Babcock and all the contractors.
The obvious question here is, how I know all this….well I worked on her for almost 5 years.
I personally worked on the shafts installation. You can argue as much as you like, however please remember I worked on her for almost 5 years, I’ve seen it all with my own eyes.

Inver sneckie

So it’s all your fault


Sure it is, I build her on my own. This why took me 2 months short of 10 years 🙂

jocky hay

anyone got a rough departure time?

Chris Malcolm

Suitably low tides (to get under the bridges) and high tides (to get into Rosyth) occur once a fortnight. By the Firth of Forth tide tables around the 24th July is the next window of opportunity. So it’s get moving soon or wait a fortnight.

Michael Cox

Would it not be prudent for Portsmouth City Council to do the work on D
lock. They found the money for the commercial port when it was suffering. I realise QE wouldn’t need the facilities all the time but I’m sure it could be put to various commercial uses.
It seems to me to be a proud moment for the city to host these amazing ships so why would we want them to be serviced in Scotland or rotterdam,come on Portsmouth let’s show them just how good a host we can be


Sadly the Queen Elizabeth’s are at the very top limit for shipping access to Portsmouth so it would have no practical use beyond the QNLZ class. The Best thing IMHO is to widen Rosyth entrance AND take KGV dock at Southampton into public ownership and make it part of HM Dockyard Portsmouth for occasional use so it could dry dock the USN CVN’s as well. If the balloon goes up you need a drydock on the south coast.


Why wouldn’t we want them serviced in Scotland? Aren’t we a United Kingdom?
It’s a bit silly to base them in Rosyth though where the bridges are a major obstacle.


I don’t like the look of that crossmember support for the A brackets. I wouldn’t trust that in my boat.

morgan jones

The beer still must be good there HMS EAGLE was at Invergording with other ships many moons ago we drank the pubs dry buy 1900hrs


Yeah they have drank the pubs dry. Ha ha between here and Inverness I would imagine.
Also in my opinion I think it is lovely to see HMS QE in dock.
I still remember when the fleet would arrive in town, it was beautiful to see all the war ships in the Cromarty Firth.


My grandfather ran a motor workshop in Invergordon in WW1 and the inter-war years, and included work on the RN ships, and my mother used to taxi officers around. There was a floating dock, the “Mars” there at that time. (Graving docks are very expensive to build.) If these carriers ever visited Australia they could be drydocked in Sydney, provided more docking blocks were obtained.

morgan jones

Just a thought they havnt by any chance put the props on backwards


Well they shouldn’t have left Rosyth with out the guards for the propeller being fitted, then maybe the chain that wrapped round n caused the damage wouldn’t have


Isn’t there a huge dry dock at Nigg in the Cromarty Firth too? They used to build oil rigs in it. It’s likely to be busy at the moment, but surely it could be used in the future. Invergordon was a former RN base, and all the fuel tank stores are still there….


I was wondering if the global energy dry dock at nigg would be viable as would be a great boost for the areas workforce. live in invergordon and we certainly have had no hassle with having the navy back in port local hostelries have certainly enjoyed having them in port for the last 3 weeks

Kenny Macleod

How about the old dock at kishron dry dock. It’s Europe’s largest and has had some regeneration and upgrading for the energy markets. If they thought a contract for the carriers was possible am sure they would move mountains to get the deal.
Would be ideal for security too.


On a related subject why arent these drydocks used for laid up ships like the 4 Frigates sent for scrapping too soon?

Carl Lemkes

What was the size of Nigg

T Paffitt

The Qe two could be docked in Gibraltar would this be a big problem, the dock out there was big enough to dock the Eagle and the past Ark Royal,these two carriers both of the fifths and sixths both around 60,000 tons deep draft.