In the 19th century, shipbuilding was flourishing and four shipyards were established in Berck. The last one closed in 1948. The shipyards did not necessarily consist of large buildings such as hangars. The main material, wood, beech and elm, came from the surrounding forests, Saint-Josse, La Calotterie, or Montcavrel. The beech wood used for the keel of the boats is buried in the sand so that it hardens and allows it to withstand groundings.

Without a port in Berck, to launch it, once the construction was completed, it had to be "dragged" from "Berck-Ville" to "Berck-Plage", all along the rue de l'Impératrice, on "breaches" (wooden crosspieces coated with "zlep" or black soap) over 2 km to the sea.

2.5 km separate the village of Berck and the beach, the old "chemin de démarrage" or "chemin qui mène à la mer" is the main urban axis, this formerly impassable artery is now the rue de l'Impératrice.