Crane-lifting an 80-Foot/26m 91-Year-Old Wooden Yacht

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Denali.Amida.YP146, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. Denali.Amida.YP146
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: Portland, OR USA

    Denali.Amida.YP146 Rick Coyle | KoKa Media | Portland, OR | USA

    Hello,

    Our nonprofit organization in Portland, Oregon (USA) is spearheading a community project to restore a 1926 Alfred E. Luders Express Cruiser named Denali. Our first priority is to haul her out for inspection and hull repair and our options are limited as far as shipyards with the right resources. Around Portland, we’ve only been able to find one yard that will lift her out with a crane. Up in Astoria, which is $1,500 tug-tow away, there are yards with railways and Denali was hauled out back in 2005 at one of these yards when the previous owner had several ribs sisters and replaced some planks.

    So it seems that our only option is to lift her with a travel lift and lock her on stands. She is 35 net tonnes, 78-ft at waterline and 85-ft overall with a 14.6-ft width.
    My question is: knowing that we’re dealing with mostly 91-year-old timber, what can we do to prevent damage to Denali’s hull from the pressure of the straps as she’s hoisted out of the water?

    And a second question: had anyone ever heard of cutting a large wooden vessel in half in order to store or transport? Our project is stalled because we don’t have a place to work on her and we need a space that will accommodate her - but we can’t trailer-transport her because she’s too long for over-the-road hauling. If we could cut a section to reduce her size it would allow us to move her on a trailer. Has anyone heard of doing that on a large vessel or have experience with this? And reassembling?

    Any insights would be very much appreciated. Photos of Denali and some background info are on our site: Denali Historic Vessel Restoration & Zero Energy Conversion http://kokamedia.weebly.com/denali.html

    Rick Coyle
    Portland, Oregon
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  2. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Don't cut the boat, you might as well toss it in the landfill afterward. A crane hoist is a difficult proposition on a vessel that size. It's not the weight, which is modest, but it's length, which needs support. This is typically done with a steel lifting jig, arranged over the boat, lowered down with the crane's hook. From this lifting jig, you'll drop straps or even better would be to capture the hull with keel and bilge supports. The jig may rival the boat in weight, but it's often necessary on an old, delicate lift like this. Lastly, hire a pro, one that's got the experiences to design a hoisting jig that'll work on this structure. Anyone can weld up a box of rectangular tubing and hope for the best, but if you don't want it to buckle and drop the boat from 20' up, it needs some serious engineering.
     
  3. Denali.Amida.YP146
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    Denali.Amida.YP146 Rick Coyle | KoKa Media | Portland, OR | USA

    Thank you for your reply and for this valuable information. I'm passing it on to the team.
     
  4. Denali.Amida.YP146
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    Denali.Amida.YP146 Rick Coyle | KoKa Media | Portland, OR | USA

    I should clarify, the yard I've been talking to uses a 70-tonne travel lift, not a crane. Does that change things or would a jig still be necessary to distribute the weight?
     
  5. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    "35 net tonnes" sounds like the "tonnage admeasurement" which is based on the internal volume of the boat, not the weight/displacement of the boat. From http://www.jensenmaritime.com/content/download/7782/49839/version/3/file/Guide to Tonnage.pdf
    A 70 ton travel lift will probably much shorter than the 85 foot long boat, so the ends of the boat will be cantilevered a considerable distance past the straps. Probably not a good idea.

    How much experience does the yard have in hauling wooden boats of similar size?
     
  6. Denali.Amida.YP146
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    Denali.Amida.YP146 Rick Coyle | KoKa Media | Portland, OR | USA

    The yards been around since the seventies but I don’t know what their shipright team’s experience is with boats over 60’ or old wooden boats in general. The yard is Schooner Creek Boatworks
    On a side note - I got to walk through their manufacturing facilities and saw something that looked like a cross between a formula one car and a single-seat submarine. Turns out it’s a carbon fiber fully enclosed rowboat with solar power but no engine. Someone is going to row it across the Atlantic.
    Regarding the 85’ wood boat, is it possible to adapt a lifting jig for a travel lift? And is the weight still not as much of a factor as length? It has two Gray/Detroit 6-71 diesel’s that need to be removed eventually. Would it make much difference if they were removed since they are close to center and would be over the straps?

    And is there any way to eyeball an estimated weight based on the dimensions and by looking at her construction? I figured net weight was closer to her real weight but I’m learning something new every day.

    Thanks to both of you for all the info it’s really helpful.
     
  7. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    A 70 ton travel lift is a fairly small "2 straper" and not enough for your project. You'll want a 3 strap rig (or bigger) and if the boat is in poor condition, you'll still prefer to have the hoisting jig under her.

    The first thing you need to do is have her professionally accessed, followed by the engineering and assembly necessary, to get her safely on the hard. Moving larger vessels isn't difficult, unless you're not equipped or prepared. This simply means you need big enough gear and have preped for the circumstances of the hoist. In your case, it's likely the hull is fairly delicate, so special precautions need to be followed, or you could seriously damage or even break the boat. If it was me, I'd want the vast majority of the keel supported on steel, maybe even a full cradle.

    It's probable they've moved a few larger wooden craft previously, but it's not something they'd do regularly or have a great familiarity with, if only because there aren't that many around any more. Have her surveyed, with them knowing she needs to come out and get the engineering necessary to insure this come off without a hitch. FWIW, I've seen what happens to old wooden boats when improperly lifted, even in skilled hands and you will have a pile of matchsticks if all doesn't go well.
     
  8. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    I agree with all the previous tips. We must also bear in mind that a shipyard with more than 50 years of operation has had to face many and very difficult problems so, my opinion is, they probably know what they do much better than us, that we are sitting in front of our computer without more data than what you have given us. Discuss all the issues with them, analyze their solutions, if you can be accompanied by a technician of yours, and draw your conclusions.
    If, after that, you still have doubts, collect all the information you can, photos, sketches, etc. and come back here with your questions.
     
  9. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Good answer, be guided by what they say at the yard, but hiring a suitable consultant to offer an independent opinion, wouldn't be a bad idea. And make sure any insurance contingencies are covered, before proceeding.
     
  10. Heimfried
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    Heimfried Senior Member


    Not Atlantic, but pacific. The boat is introduced in this forum: Pacific Rowboat https://www.boatdesign.net/threads/pacific-rowboat.54346/page-7#post-805734
     
  11. peter radclyffe
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    peter radclyffe Senior Member

    its clear you couldn't care less about the boat wanting to cut it in half, so why are you trying to save it,
     
    M&M Ovenden likes this.
  12. Denali.Amida.YP146
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    Location: Portland, OR USA

    Denali.Amida.YP146 Rick Coyle | KoKa Media | Portland, OR | USA

    That’s so badass! Thank you for posting the link. After I read all the posts and links this morning, I emailed Jacob, the pilot who is rowing from Washington to Australia about getting involved with his project and he wrote back. Turns out he’s contracting as a pilot in Afghanistan right now for the sole purpose of funding his trip. We’re stoked! This is a great connection for our nonprofit.
     
  13. Denali.Amida.YP146
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    Location: Portland, OR USA

    Denali.Amida.YP146 Rick Coyle | KoKa Media | Portland, OR | USA

    There are too many things wrong with this statement to even begin. Maybe you can try reading the initial post again.
     
  14. Denali.Amida.YP146
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: Portland, OR USA

    Denali.Amida.YP146 Rick Coyle | KoKa Media | Portland, OR | USA

    Thank you Ignacio. I’m glad I came here with these questions since I have zero experience working with a vessel like this. Our organization can’t afford to rent the boathouse let alone having a jig engineered, so we’ve started to look for a new owner who has the resources to restore her the right way. There’s still a possibility that we’ll pull a loan together but we have less than a week. I spoke with the folks at Schooner creek again and we all agreed that we’re not pulling her out with straps. And they will only allow her in the yard if it’s brought in on a trailer.
     

  15. M&M Ovenden
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    M&M Ovenden Senior Member

    Hi Rick,
    Your media group seems to be attempting to take on a relatively large engineering task. I think you first priority is to hire knowledgeable people (Naval Architects / shipwrights) that have experience in the construction method of the vessel you are hoping to acquire.
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
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