BigLift MC-Class touching its limits below and above the water
Last Summer, BigLift Baffin shipped three immense STS container cranes. According to the producer, Liebherr Container Cranes, they were the largest single objects ever engineered and produced in Ireland. In order to be able to ship these cranes, BigLift’s engineers set out to find solutions for several challenges.
The biggest challenges to address were found both under the waterline and high up in the sky at the same time. When BigLift Baffin was loading in Cork, IE, the water level in port was low, so that the cranes had to be driven on board on a minimal draft. This resulted in a clearance of water under the keel of only slightly over 2 ft.
At the destination, the opposite issue had to be considered. Due to height restrictions of 67.4 metres to pass under the Verrazzano-Narrows and Bayonne Bridges in New York, and the total height of 65.25 metres of the cranes alone, the vessel had to ballast down completely to be able to pass under the bridges, leaving clearings of only 1.5 metres free board and up at the other end a clearance of about 60 cm only, high up in the air between the cranes and the bridges. Apart from her great versatility with her ballast capabilities, BigLift Baffin also proved again during this voyage, that the MC-Class is able to maintain good seagoing performance even when the weather is not that favorable. BigLift engineers operating closely with Liebherr engineers were able to find solutions for the many challenges along the way, to ensure that these extraordinary STS crane travelled on a safe and quick voyage. Now that this project has been successfully executed, receivers Maher Terminals at Port Elisabeth NJ, US are able to load and discharge the biggest container vessels afloat to date.