Super Yacht Construction

Client: Devonport Yachts (part of Babcock Marine)

Location: Frigate Refit Complex, Devonport Royal Dockyard, Plymouth

Project: Project 55 super yacht construction

Service: Access and environmental containment



Provide a bespoke access solution with environmental containment for heat retention and insulation for the construction of a £165 million super yacht.


The Challenge

The challenge was to create an access solution for multiple trades to construct the yacht while retaining the right environment in a volume not less than 72,500 cubic metres. The internal volume was to be heated from the front and rear with four huge 250KW heating units  - it was important to maintain the heat due to the application of the external fairing coat and then the application of a glass-like paint finish that was required for the luxury vessel.

All the time the temporary containment was to be opened up to enable very large pieces of machinery to be fleeted in.


The Solution

A bespoke portal frame roof was constructed dockside to dockside off a heavy duty supporting scaffold, totally independent of the access scaffold required to build the yacht. Designed and built by Denholm Industrial Services, it was 120 metres long and 25 metres wide with freestanding gables running to a height of 20 metres at either end. The roof had several subsections that could slide over each other in a concertina fashion and be “parked” at one end of the dock while machinery and other luxury items could be slung into place, such as the 3 tonne bath for the mast suite or the 5 level spiral staircase.

When fully constructed the scaffold weighed 650 tonnes compared to the weight of the yacht at 3850 tonnes. When a critical flood up was required for the yacht, Denholm Industrial Services was tasked with dismantling all of this equipment in seven days. To achieve this, Denholm Industrial Services ran two shifts, day and night.  The task was completed in six days, one day ahead of schedule, earning plaudits from the customer on a job well done.