USS HENRY CLAY SSBN-625
IN THE DRYDOCK
At this point, the ship was completely in the drydock
and was being positioned over
the "keel blocks." Keel blocks are blocks of concrete, topped by wooden structures
that conform to the shape of the keel, the bottom surface of the ship's hull. The
keel blocks ensured that the weight of the hull was evenly supported without putting
undue stress on any part of the hull. Navy divers were sent down into the drydock
to observe and report on the position of the ship over the keel blocks. Once the
ship was properly placed, the drydock commenced pumping out water ballast so
that the keel blocks rose up and met the hull.
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© 2007 Gerald A. Pollack