Superyacht cranes with 2:1 strength-to-weight ratios
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Nautical Structures’ most recent crane design, the NS-Series crane, represents the latest state-of-the-art technology with regards to hydraulic motion and control. This enables the operator to control the crane intuitively at the touch of the joystick. Perhaps even more valuable for the superyacht market, however, is the fact that the NS-Series crane provides a 2:1 strength-to-weight ratio.
“Most deck cranes are built closer to a 1:1 ratio, so a crane that can lift 1000kg, from any other manufacturer, would normally weigh close to 1000kg itself, and the same can be said for some of our older crane models as well,” says Rick Thomas, partner at Nautical Structures. “Our NS-Series crane that is designed to pick up 1000kg actually weighs 460kg, and this ratio continues all the way through the series to the 2000kg-capacity crane, which weighs slightly less than 900kg. As a yacht builder or naval architect, this efficiency is extremely appealing because they are always looking for ways to reduce weight.”
The crane system is built on several moment-capacity platforms, which allow Nautical Structures to build the equipment in capacities starting at 500kg, going up incrementally to 2000kg safe working load capacity. The secret behind its impressive strength-to-weight ratio is material of construction – the NS-Series is fabricated entirely from aluminium and Duplex stainless steel, including all hydraulic fittings and components.
The secret behind its impressive strength-to-weight ratio is material of construction – the NS-Series is fabricated entirely from aluminium and Duplex stainless steel, including all hydraulic fittings and components.
“Nautical Structures has invested heavily in specialised castings,” explains Thomas. “A lot of the crane’s critical components are aluminium cast, so this takes a lot of weight out as the material is only being used where it is needed, ensuring the most efficient structure. Also, Duplex stainless steel is a high-strength stainless steel that saves on weight. These alloys and materials in combination are what give the equipment its relatively lightweight, yet high-strength capacity.”
In its standard configuration, the NS-Series crane is somewhat of a chameleon, fitted with a fibre-glass decorative shroud to enhance the finished appearance and suit the style of a high-end luxury yacht. However, the crane can also be supplied without the shroud, as its industrial and rugged appearance would be fitting for installation on board most expedition yachts and research vessels.
The NS-Series crane can also be integrated into a number of different configurations. “Mounted to a periscoping standpipe, the crane can stow nicely below deck, and ‘pop-up’ for deployment,” adds Thomas. “Often times, the deck covering may be attached to the top of the crane and move with the crane, making the integration simple for the shipyard.”
All of the NS-Series cranes are built with Nautical Structures’ non-fouling, load-limiting, nearly-silent hydraulic linear winch system. This hydraulic winch is a critical element of the Handling of Persons compliance, which is available with any of these crane systems. The cranes are also built to comply with several established international standards, including Lifting Appliance for the Marine Environment (LAME), Life Saving Appliance – SOLAS Rated (LSA-SOLAS) and the Red Ensign’s Rescue Boat Launching Appliance (REG). Nautical Structures has the flexibility and capability to supply these cranes to be compliant with any existing standards in the superyacht industry.