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Also known as a drydock. This is a dock which can hold a ship steady while the water is pumped out, for the purpose of inspecting, cleaning, or repairing the outside portion of the hull which is normally submerged.

Such cleaning is much more thorough than your ordinary scraping of barnacles, which is a routine procedure done with the ship in the water. Such cleaning can involve burning off the accumulated sea gunk. (grave is an old word meaning to clean the underside of a ship and apply tar to make it watertight.)

A graving dock is also where a ship is built. Some docks are constructed with such care that laser sights and other esoterica are used to ensure a perfectly flat platform on which to base the keel. (Though I haven't been able to find out why that is so necessary.)

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