Philadelphia Area’s Ship Repair & Maintenance Handbook: How to Meet Your Maritime Needs


Even the newest and most well-built ship needs regular maintenance and occasional repairs. When that time comes, determining your current needs and searching for a shipbuilding service provider that can meet your needs in a complete and timely manner is critical. In addition to the ongoing attention a vessel’s crew provides, support from repair experts while a ship is out of operation is important. Finding a best-in-class Philadelphia area ship repair company that understands what’s involved in the maintenance and repair of your vessel is essential.

Let’s walk through the elements at play during various stages of regular ship repair and maintenance to review the services and capabilities that you should look for in a full-service commercial maritime fabrication provider and ship yard.

Layberth & Dry Dock Services

Layberth and dry docking services are essential to providing both top side and bottom side repair and maintenance services. A boat repair provider should maintain layberth piers with deep water access for short- and long-term needs and provide access to all necessary utilities and equipment to support a complete range of hull, mechanical and electrical ship repair projects. Graving docks and piers should be able to accommodate vessels of many lengths and sizes. Having access to 24/7 layberth services is a necessity for anyone that needs a temporary home for its vessel. Make sure the provider can offer arrangements on short notice, along with potable water, shore power, provisioning and crew transfers.

Ship Repair & Major Overhaul

Having a trusted partner that’s prepared to lend a hand on even the most challenging repair projects is a comforting thought. Look for one that boasts rapid mobilization, A to Z vessel repair and full-service piers and dry docks capable of complex overhauls and repairs. Crane-serviced facilities capable of handling heavy equipment and steel assemblies are a necessity, as is the ability to fabricate and install up to three-inch plate. Having the expertise to handle all piping and electrical needs is also important. Look for a provider that offers:

  • Full-service blast and paint capabilities
  • ABS certified commercial welding capabilities
  • In-house custom marine fabrication
  • Seasoned welders, fitters and riggers
  • A history of complex ship repair projects, such as extensive in-water hull repairs
  • Experience in executing flawless dry-docking of ships, tugs and barges that meet all required standards

Maintenance & All-Weather Vessel Construction

Philadelphia ship repair often takes place at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, home to some of the best ship maintenance facilities in the region. If you’re in need of ongoing maintenance, look for those that support long-term fleet maintenance contracts, preventative maintenance scheduling and everyday upkeep services. Ensure your prospective ship repair partner values high-quality work and can supply competitive pricing and maritime industry certifications when you discuss your needs and their capabilities.

All-weather vessel repair or construction requires a large enclosed fabrication space and heavy tonnage crane capacity in order to support the equipment and steel needs of deep-water ships, tugs, barges and other auxiliary vessels. Look for a provider that commands a big facility when you know that maintenance and all-weather construction is a must for you and your team.

General Metal Component Fabrication

The on-time delivery of high-quality fabricated ship components and other heavy steel fabrications is something to search for in the reputation of your next ship repair partner. Such components must be manufactured and installed in keeping with American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) standards. The ability to operate to ABS standards requires commercial fabrication executed by certified craftsmen that have a proven track record of producing strong and reliable structural pieces for ships and liquid or dry cargo vessels.

Project & Contract Management

One of the most important aspects of your relationship with a ship maintenance provider, besides the quality work they should deliver, is the level of care, attention and trust that its project management team brings to each encounter. Onsite project managers, contract managers and project engineers should be:

  • Trained and certified in modern project management processes
  • Familiar with project management software, such as Microsoft Project®
  • Experts in maritime project management
  • At a ship yard skilled at working with clients from estimating to meeting all project-related needs
  • From a company that is well-versed in providing detailed project schedules and documenting project progress
  • Effective communicators in all matters concerning your vessel

What to Look for in a Maritime Partner

Finding a trusted ship repair and maintenance provider that can meet all of your needs can be difficult, especially when you’re looking for a company that offers high quality work and quick turnarounds. Select your next maritime partner using the points below to ensure you’re working with the best.

  • A total solution provider for quality maritime services and support
  • A partner who possess a full range of commercial fabrication, installation and maintenance capabilities
  • A skilled labor team that delivers top performance and precision on each project
  • World-class facilities and proven experience and track record
  • Use of new technologies and modern approaches to ensure the quickest and most efficient solutions
  • A company that provides personal attention to you and your team during any and all ship repair and service work

Are you looking for ship repair and maintenance services in the Philadelphia area? View our maritime services or contact Rhoads Industries today.

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