Wepfer Marine Inc., headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., and operating fleets at nine locations along the Lower Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers, is in the process of building a drydock at its shipyard in Memphis.
“We are currently building a 1,300-ton-capacity drydock, measuring 120 by 80 by 7 feet with 64 feet between the wing walls, at our Memphis facility,” said Walt Wepfer, vice president, adding that it will be big enough to drydock a tank barge. The Memphis shipyard already has three 1,000-ton drydocks, Wepfer said, supported by a 140-ton and two 100-ton cranes and a grove crane. “We sandblast and paint and have a machine shop and mechanics,” he said. “We have a lot of experience in swinging rudders, wheels, shafts and Z-drives.”
Prior to building the drydock in Memphis, when the firm moved closer to the mouth of McKellar Lake, the shipyard built the main ramp barge and counts among its accomplishments the rebuilding of many boats that either sank or were heavily damaged, Wepfer said. Historically, the shipyard has done repair work on numerous docks and damaged cells. Also, in Calvert City, the company maintains a 100-ton crane that enables it to do topside repairs such as replacing kevels and repairing barge corners and coamings.
Wepfer anticipates that the new drydock will be ready late this summer.
Caption for top photo: This photo shows the 120- by 80- by 7-foot pontoon for the 1,300-ton drydock that is under construction at Wepfer’s Memphis shipyard.