Australia’s Fastest Boat is No Match for Team at Davos Crane Hire
4 July 2019
Pair of Cranes Get Catamaran on the Water, Again
For the last 20 years Nerang Australia’s Davos Crane Hire has been the go-to company up and down the Gold Coast for mobile crane services. While no two lifts are ever the same, there are some that stand out more than others. Davos Crane Hire operations manager, Adam Spies and his crew recently completed one of those jobs when they were asked to transport the Southern Ocean 55 catamaran racing boat from a holding yard at Stieglitz Wharf in Jacobs Wells, Queensland.
Faced with obstacles high and low, selecting a pair of cranes that would be able to maneuver in a tight space with precise control was crucial for the Davos Crane Hire team. After inspecting the site, the team selected the Terex Demag® AC 55 City crane with the support of a Terex® MAC 25-4 pick and carry crane.
“We determined that lifting and transporting the catamaran needed to be done in three phases,” explained Spies. “First we needed to position a crane in a confined space so we could lift and reposition the catamaran to the driveway. Next, we had to lift and walk the boat down to the water, where we would then have to lift it over the top of trees before gently placing it on the water next to the dock.”
To pull it off, the crew needed a crane that could handle the weight of the four-tonne boat and then be compact and maneuverable enough to carry it to the water on a narrow roadway. “We chose the AC 55 City crane for this job because it could handle the load on its own with outriggers and later be used to transport the boat,” Spies explained. “The crane’s rubber load chart allowed us to do the whole project with two cranes. Without it, we may have had to use a third crane, which would have been much more costly and time consuming.”
Davos Crane Hire’s operators drove the City and pick and carry cranes 35 minutes from its depot in Nerang the morning of the project. Onsite, the AC 55 City crane got to work first. The crew positioned it 15 meters away from the catamaran with its outriggers fully extended and a boom length of 33.9 meters. At this configuration, they were able to avoid having to add any additional counterweight. Two crew members then rigged all four corners of the 3.7 m tall boat. The crane operator lifted it from its original location at a 15-meter radius over the top of a nearby shed. Once cleared of the shed, the boat was then placed on the ground in a clearing.
“This initial lift was a bit tricky,” said Spies. “The area was tight. On one side we had a row of trees and on the other a shed, so our slewing area was limited, but we pulled it off without any issues.”
Lift 2 and Transport
Once the Southern Ocean 55 was lifted from its resting place, the crew’s next job was to get it to the water. This task presented a whole new set of obstacles.
For this lift and transport, the team would have to perform a tandem lift and orchestrate both cranes’ movements to make the 200-meter-long journey to the waterfront. The AC 55 City crane was positioned toward the rear of the boat with the boom in its shortest position. On the front of the boat was the MAC 25-4 crane which had to travel backwards for better maneuverability.
“We had to temporarily remove some signs, keep our slings as short as possible and both cranes’ booms in their lowest positions.”
The crane operators and riggers had to negotiate a 90 degree turn with a car parked in the corner. “We had to take the turn wider than we would have liked,” said Spies. “This again proved to be a challenge because there was a 6-meter-tall workshop that we had to stay clear of. After making the corner, there was a new caravan parked on the narrow road that both cranes had to lift the boat over.”
The Davos Crane Hire team successfully navigated all of the obstacles and made it to the waterfront. Spies said it’s times like this he’s glad they have such a highly trained team with years of experience working on challenging lifting projects.
The catamaran was placed on the ground by the waterfront, where it was rigged up for the final lift, again, using the AC 55 City crane with outriggers fully extended and an 18-meter lift radius. The timing of this lift was important — it had to align with the incoming high tide in order to place the boat in the water at a radius on the crane’s load chart.
“To place the boat in the water we had to lift over the tops of trees and close enough to the dock so it could be tied down — it wasn’t easy,” added Spies.
The Southern Ocean 55 is one of the fastest boats in Australia, and the team at Davos Crane Hire is one of the most efficient teams operating in the Gold Coast region. The team’s Demag and Terex cranes can’t match the catamaran’s speeds on the water. However, from start to finish, including travel times to and from the jobsite, this project was done in under three hours — now that’s fast!
“I’m proud of my team for the work they did on this project,” Spies said. “They do a great job on every job. We were also impressed with the AC 55 City crane on every phase of this job. That machine’s load chart with and without outriggers saved time and money.”