A shipyard is a facility for building, maintaining, and repairing ships and boats which can vary in size from personal sailing boats to large container ships designed to travel around the globe. Usually, a shipyard is positioned in an advantageous location along a large inland river, harbor, or shoreline, and some historic shipyards have operated in the same location for hundreds of years. Numerous people work in a shipyard, including naval architects, engineers, electricians, and an assortment of other skilled tradespeople who contribute to the construction of a ship. A shipyard also has a large amount of specialized equipment.
At the most basic, a shipyard simply builds ships. However, most shipyards also maintain and repair ships that they have built, or ships caught in emergency situations which cannot return to their home shipyard. Typically, shipyards for civilian and military ships are kept separate, because of the security demands of the military, and the highly specialized ships built for most militaries. In either a civilian or a naval shipyard, the yard builds the ship from the ground up, creating the hull and configuring the interior of the ship to the owner's specifications before launching it and fitting the ship out. In a military shipyard, the ships are often covered to prevent opposing militaries from gathering information about them.