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Building Mending Ships


Almost all major ports and many minor ones had yards where ships are built or repaired. Indeed, in some ports - notably those on the River Clyde in Scotland - building ships became more important than handling cargo or passengers.

How shipbuilding and repairing comes to ports

Work for ship repairers - a damaged hull

Magnifying glassWork for ship repairers - a damaged hull

Initially, shipbuilding began in ports because there lived the industry`s customers, the shipowners. Another reason was that ships using a port constantly need repairs, which require much the same skills as shipbuilding. Ship repairing was often a more certain business than shipbuilding. An owner could postpone building new ships if times were hard. However, they could not so easily put off repairing a damaged ship. Ship building and repairing were therefore often combined.

Southampton Speaks

audioMending the `Flying Breeze` (0:50)

audio`Queen Mary` accident in dry-dock (0:45)

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