Ship Yards & Classification
Ships “Made in Hamburg”
Hamburg is Germany’s largest shipyard centre. Even the “Queen Mary 2” occasionally visits the ‘Elbe 17’ dry-dock. The Hamburg shipyards are engaged in building and/or repairing craft ranging from yachts, port and inland waterway vessels up to large ocean-going and cruise ships. Ships can also be revamped or overhauled there. Extensive shipyard capacity and the high number of ships calling have also prompted major engine builders to open service centres in this Hanseatic port. Also located in Hamburg is the headquarters of the VDM, the German Association for shipbuilding and marine technology.
Ensuring maximum safety
Classification societies are responsible for ship safety. As independent experts, they determine the condition of a ship, award her a class, and effectively dictating which trades she may be deployed in. Class also serves to fix a ship’s valuation for trade and hull insurance. Apart from the safety of the vessel, the top priority here is to ensure long-term protection of human life and the environment. Vessels therefore need to be regularly checked for operational seaworthiness by experts from the classification societies. The societies’ work is based on international regulations and standards that they themselves lay down. These apply to hulls, engines, equipment and safety management. Classification is absolutely essential for any ship being deployed in international waters and ports. In addition, classification societies act as expert witnesses and advisers for shipowners and shipyards in planning and constructing newbuilds.