Section 910: shipbuilding yards
This publication is intended for Valuation Officers. It may contain links to internal resources that are not available through this version.
1.1 This section applies to properties used to build ships and submarines.
2. List Description & Special Category Code
IX Ship Building Yard and Premises
Scat code: 247
3. Responsible Teams
3.1 The valuation of this class of property is the responsibility of the Industrial and Crown Team within the National Specialists Unit (NSU). Referencing support is provided by a specialist team, also within the NSU.
4.1 Responsibility for ensuring effective co-ordination lies with the NSU Industrial and Crown Team.
5. Legal Framework
Pipes and centrifugal pumps used for pumping out of a dry dock, dock gates/caisson, winches and keel blocks were held not to be rateable in Manchester Marine Dry Docks Co Ltd v Duckworth (VO) 1972 RA 389 LT and Manchester Marine Ltd v Duckworth (VO) 1973 RA 345 CA. The walls and floor of dry docks are rateable as part of the setting.
Dock gates and caissons are now rateable as they are a named item in Class 3 (h) of The Valuation for Rating (Plant & Machinery) (England) Regulations 2000.
6. Survey Requirements
6.1 Safety on site
All Ship Building Yards contain safety hazards, so care is required when carrying out inspections.
Members of the VOA visiting this type of property for an inspection or other reason should wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, and ensure they are aware of all the VOA guidelines on health and safety. Minimum requirement: - safety boots and glasses, high visibility clothing and hard hat.
Sites may have a formal health and safety induction process; this must be undertaken and allowed for when fixing appointments. Individuals should comply with all safety rules and precautions prescribed by the site operator without exception.
6.2 Basis of Measurement
The basis of measurement for buildings within this class is Gross Internal Area (GIA). Reference should be made to the VO Code of Measuring Practice for rating purposes in England and Wales.
6.3 Plant and Machinery
The rateability of plant and machinery should be tested in accordance with the principles set out in RM Section 6 - Part 5. Reference should also be made to The Valuation for Rating (Plant & Machinery) (England) Regulations 2000.
6.4 Building Berths
The use of building berths, which are open to the elements, has declined markedly over the years. Today the ship assembly work takes place in large construction halls.
Modern covered construction berths are reinforced concrete dry docks with gates or caisson to the seaward end, and a substantial steel framed building (with cranes) built over the berth. By flooding the berth a vessel can be floated out under controlled conditions eliminating the traditional launch method.
An alternative is the Ship Hall where the vessel is wheeled from the building onto a platform (ship lift) or a barge. The partially completed vessel is either lowered into the water until it is floating (ship lift) or taken by barge to a dry dock to enable it to be detached from it. Also part sections can be taken by the barge to other sites to be assembled into complete ships.
Other principal buildings in a shipyard are usually of steel framed and clad construction, incorporating integral gantries.
Ancillary buildings include gatehouses, workshops, substations, offices, canteens, ablutions etc.
6.6 Crane Tracks
These are usually double checked bullhead track in check shoes rag bolted to concrete deck or road. Typical referencing details include the run, gauge and maximum load of crane
Fitting out quays vary in quality and mode of construction. Shipbuilding yards usually have quays constructed either of a concrete retaining wall, backfilled with rubble and surfaced in concrete or tarmacadam, or in the case of a modern quay of concrete piles carrying a concrete deck.
All quays have ship to shore services laid on including water, fuel, electricity, steam and compressed air. They will also be equipped with some form of cranage.
The length and type of construction of the quay should be noted together with the depth of the quay wall and draft of ship that can be accommodated.
6.8 Fixed Cranes
These are static cranes usually found at fitting out quays although sometimes within the ship yard itself. They can be of the tower crane type as seen on city construction sites or Hammerhead cranes unique to shipyards. They vary in capacity from about 10 tonne to 250 tonne capacity.
The tonnage of steel in the crane structure should be estimate and details obtained of the foundations.
6.9 Dry Docks
In addition to the actual volume of the dock the wetted volume needs to be calculated which is:-
Internal length x width measured across the entrance with the gates open x depth of water over cill at mean high water of spring tides.
Volumes quoted by the ship building and repair industry are calculated in this way.
The design of dry docks has changed substantially to reflect the changes in ship design. The older type of docks may not be suited to ships of modern design.
6.10 Definition of Tonnage
Production of shipbuilding yards is measured in several different ways and the most common tonnage concepts are explained below:-
- GRT: (Gross Registered Tonnage) - A measurement of capacity, being the volume of enclosed space in a ship, both below and above deck including holds and deck houses. One gross ton is taken to equal 100 cubic feet (2.832m3).
- CGRT: (Compensated Gross Registered Tonnage) - GRT adjusted to give an indication of the building work content of merchant ships by application of agreed co-efficients. The co-efficients used by British Shipbuilders are adopted by member countries of the Association of West European Shipbuilders.
- SDT: (Standard Displacement Tonnage) - This is used for naval vessels and is the weight of the vessel fully manned and equipped, including stores and ammunition, but excluding fuel and reserve feed water. The term is used internationally following the Washington Agreement of 192
7. Survey Capture
7.1 Hard copy Rating surveys are held by the NSU Industrial team and amendments to these should be recorded on survey sheets and plans, before being added to the existing bodies
8. Valuation Approach
Shipbuilding yards are highly specialised hereditaments and the usual method of valuation is the contractor’s basis.
See RM Section 4 - Part 3 for the general approach to valuations by this method.
The adoption of unit costs in accordance with the VO Cost Guide is recommended. Where costs are not provided in the VO Cost Guide the BAMS team should be consulted.
9. Valuation Support
Valuations for Ship Building Yards are held on the Non-Bulk Server (NBS).
Appendix 1: Shipbuilding yards
Practice note 1: 2017 - Shipbuilding yards
1. Market Appraisal
There are only five properties in this class and one of them, Pallion Yard Sunderland, is no longer accessible from the River Wear as the river is not navigable up to it due to lack of dredging. Three of other four yards are dependent on defence orders from the UK government. As a result of this BAE System’s Portsmouth Ship Factory has closed following completion on 18th August 2014 of a final module for a new aircraft carrier being assembled at Rosyth in Scotland. As there were insufficient orders for surface ships to support all three of BAE Systems Surface Ship division’s yards a decision was taken to only undertake this work at two yards on the River Clyde. BAE Systems other English yard at Barrow in Furness builds submarines and is building Boats 4, 5 & 6 of the seven boat Astute class of submarine, the next of which is expected to enter service in 2018.
Babcock Marine operates the Devonport Royal Dockyard which is responsible for servicing and refitting Royal Naval ships and submarines. This company also has a relatively small shipyard at Appledore, Bideford in Devon which is constructing its third Irish Navy patrol vessel. This yard is also bidding for a contract to build a £200m Polar research vessel.
2. Changes from the last Practice Note
The last Practice Note was for the 2000 Rating List and covered Responsible Teams, Co-ordination, and Special Category Code which are now dealt with in the Rating Manual section for the class.
3. Ratepayer Discussion
There have been no discussions with the occupiers of Shipbuilding Yards or their representatives
4. Valuation Scheme
There is no scheme of valuation as Shipyards are valued by a limited number of specialist caseworkers who are part of the Industrial and Crown Team of the National Specialist Unit. The properties will be valued using the Contractor’s Basis of Valuation with the majority of costs being derived from the Valuation Office Cost Guide. Costs of more specialist items, which are particular to Shipyards, and are not the subject of Cost Guide entries, will be provided separately.