Rapid Response Solutions (RRS) oversaw lifting and rigging operations as three bespoke carbon composite masts for a luxury super yacht completed a year-long manufacturing process at Trafalgar Wharf in Portsmouth, UK.
Magma Structures, which has have been at the forefront of the development, design and manufacture of innovative freestanding rigs for large yachts for the past two decades, employs over 100 people at its flexible waterside manufacturing facility. The two Portsmouth companies have combined expertise for the duration of the project.
The final stage was to lift the masts off supports, out of the building and onto land transportation for the first leg of their journey to an undisclosed overseas customer. Each mast travelled separately to meet the install schedule. Neither party would reveal the exact dimensions of the masts but each was different, believed to be in the region of 60m in length, weighing approximately 30t.
Paul Barber, managing director at RRS, said: "The main complication was ensuring loads were not transferred in the wrong places or directions. Although the masts are extremely strong when stood vertically in the yacht, they aren't as strong laid over. Also, the paint coating is extremely high quality and couldn't be marked.
"Lift planning was extensive and involved hours of meetings with designers. The site is challenging in its layout and isn't ideal for lifting and moving objects of this size. With all three masts varying in size, weight and centre of gravity, each lift had to be looked at completely separately.
"Because of the value of the loads the insurers wanted to be involved in the build-up of the lift plan to ensure all eventualities had been thought of and calculated. Using our KranXpert lift plan software we were able to create a 3D plan and carry out a virtual lift in advance to prove the cranes' suitability."
A 150t Liebherr, model LTM1150-6.1, from Ainscough lifted the first mast, while Marsh Plant supplied a 130t Liebherr, model LTM1130-5.1, with full ballast to lift the second. The third and final lift is scheduled for mid-August, again with the LTM1130-5.1.
The first step in the load out process was to lift the top of each mast with an 18t mini-crane from Valla and tow it out of the building using trollies; the Valla took approximately 7t of load. The crane was waiting outside to load the masts onto transportation.
Below the hook, a Modulift MOD110 spreader beam was used at 14m. The beam had spare capacity but the size was needed to gain the spread required between the lift points, Barber explained. Two 25t Straightpoint Loadlink plus load cells were used under the beam, connected to Straightpoint data logging software to monitor the loads being passed between the lifting points.
Throughout the build four 12t Straightpoint load cells, also wirelessly connected to data logging software, were integral to the design of the yacht's operating software, in addition to calculating the centre of gravity for the load out, shipment to the boat yard and the final stepping of the mast before installation.
Each mast had already been lifted many times in the factory—masts were raised and lowered as supports were changed—but that was always with RRS's Megalift that was used to lift in two positions independently.
Five RRS personnel were onsite for the more complicated and critical load out—two of its most experienced appointed persons and a term of expert riggers. All below-the-hook equipment came from RRS's tackle store in Portsmouth, where it stocks a variety of load cells in addition to around 30 Modulift beams ranging from 2t to 250t.
Barber concluded: "The load out was the grand finale of a project that has been challenging but fun. We have learnt a lot working alongside Magma's engineers and I think they have learnt from us. Using technology we have being able to provide accurate weights every time a lift has taken place, which has given the design team valuable information to crosscheck with their calculations. We have provided Magma with a turnkey solution for rigging support offering several solutions to each request as it was presented, which is an achievement we are proud of."