Proper maintenance and care of a ship pays off in the long run. In much the same way as you would check the oil and battery fluid periodically in your car to prevent problems caused to the engine if these liquids run out, ship owners and operators run a maintenance schedule to keep their ships operating efficiency. This prevention, rather than cure, approach means that ships are less likely to be taken out of action unexpectedly at critical moments, which could lead to extensive losses and payouts of compensation to let down customers. Historically, the UK was a strong force in ship building and ship repair but price competition from Eastern Europe and the Far East has moved this business away from the UK. However, overcapacity in the ship repair market, while much less now compared with recent years, means that there is often a significant difference between repair quotes, sometimes as much as 50%, dependent upon workloads in the various yards. As drydocking costs are among the most expensive elements of any ship’s lifetime operational costs, this price variable can be very important. While some Drydocking is compulsory under classification society and flag state rules, others times it could be for a refit or a ship, or a conversion, or for repainting and anti-fouling of the underkeel. Not all ship repair work is done in the dry dock, though, and any repairs that can be done while the ship remains at berth, will be.