The Practice of Dry Docking - Dockmaster Course

K.P. Mackie Pr Eng., MSc(Eng)

A Training Course for Dockmasters and Others Concerned with the Dry Docking of Ships, presented by Keith Mackie

The presenter,  Keith Mackie has spent most of his working life in the field of coastal and harbour engineering. Within this field he has specialised in dry-docking in all its manifestation, civil, mechanical and operational. He has built, maintained, supervised, occasionally operated and made investigations for many dry-docking facilities. He obtained his master’s degree in engineering for his theory of dry-docking and was awarded the South African Institution of Civil Engineers Basil Read Gold Medal for Construction for his work in this field.

This training course has been developed entirely by Keith. It is one of the oldest dry-docking courses currently available internationally and is of comparable standard to the best. 


5 Days Course


The course takes a total of 31 hours: 18 hours of lectures plus 3 hours of workshops, 4 hours of laboratory with model tank, a 3 hour tutorial and a 3 hour exam over four and a half days of intensive training


This course is designed to give people with a maritime, ship repair or dry docking back ground a basic knowledge of the theoretical principles of dry docking and a knowledge of the practical aspects. It is intended to give them the understanding needed to ensure that their ships are dry docked and undocked more efficiently and safely


Persons with an accredited maritime, dry dock or other appropriate background, numerate and literate in English

Class Size:

The preferred class size is from 10 to 15 persons permitting close interaction between the class and the lecturer


The course promotes the design and develop of efficient and safe practices for the planning and preparation for dry docking ships to suit any facility, for the procedures used during docking and for the maintenance of the facility. Participants also gain an enhanced understanding of dry docking and an ability to recognise danger signals

Summary of Aims:

a) To understand the provenance of dry docks – the types of docks and the types of ships that use the docks

b) To enhance an intuitive understanding of structures and hydrostatics as applied to dry docking; an awareness of the behaviour of docks and ships; an awareness of the potential danger points and a sense of when to call in specialist assistance.

c) To understand simple formulae applicable to dry docking to check loads and stability and how to use them.

d) To be familiar with the practice of dry docking. e) To have a knowledge of the management of dry docks, of industrial safety and of the dangers of pollution.

Each participant will be provided with a Course Pack containing:

a) A course book satchel

b) A copy of the latest revision of the textbook “Dry Dock Manual”

c) Copies of drawings for use in workshops

c) A pad of note paper

d) A pen

e) A pocket calculator

The program will explain the manual chapter by chapter and teach the delegates the use of the manual.

Afternoons will be devoted to workshops and tutorial.

The last half day will be taken up by an examination, issuing of certificates and closing.

Lunch and tea are considered to be part of the program.

They provide time for general unstructured group discussion around the subject and provide continuity to the course.

The workshops and tutorial, besides serving an assessment function, are used to correct any misconceptions and to fix the basic course content in the participants’ minds.

General Assessment:

Participants will generally be people well into their careers. They will be assessed by observation during the program and by performance in a guided tutorial which all participants will be expected to complete. Final assessment will be based on an “open book” exam paralleling the tutorial.


On successful completion of the course, each participant will be issued with a Certificate of Qualification if they pass the course or otherwise a Certificate of Attendance. Either certificate will be issued by myself as a recognised expert in the field.

STC-Southern Africa offers maritime training solutions and services, which encompass all aspects of Human Resource Development, Consultancy, Technical Assistance and Research.

We are sure to have a solution for your needs. STC-SA’s understanding of the unique needs of the African continent, positions itself well to provide an Africanised approach, whilst still maintaining the highest quality standards..