Modulift Spreader Frame Lifts Viking Boats on TV Set

A modular spreader frame comprising Modulift beams is being used to lift handcrafted boats during filming of the History Channel’s “Vikings” historical drama series in Co. Wicklow, Ireland. The elaborate set was created at Ashford Studios and is being shot in collaboration with Irish National Marine Services.

The CMOD 24 frame is being utilised beneath the hook of a 50t capacity  mobile crane, supplied by crane sales company Irlequip Ltd., which is also a distributor of Modulift’s range of lifting and spreader beams.

Supplied from Irlequip’s Modulift stock, the frame with a 5m by 4m maximum span allows it to lift all vessel types on set. These boats vary in dimension and weigh up to 5,000kg. The frame, recommended for loads that have more than two lifting points, is capable of lifting up to 30t depending on configuration; the corner units are rated at 7.5t each. The majority of lifts on this project have seen the frame employed at 4m by 3m, but the larger span has also been used for the biggest of the boats.

Damien Maher, capital equipment sales at Irlequip, said: “We were asked to provide a solution for lifting boats in a safe manner. We suggested the spreader frame as a practical means to not only lift but also to cradle the boats, thus, preventing any inward pressure or stress. Furthermore, the rig allowed the boats’ masts and sail rigging to protrude through the opening inside the ‘box’ created by the beams.”

The CMOD modular spreader frame is designed to expand the capabilities of Modulift’s modular spreader beam system. The struts from the beams are combined with four corner units to complete the frame. Those already in possession of Modulift struts can reuse them with the corner units to achieve four-point lifts. Maher explained that the CMOD 24 is the smallest frame that facilitates a length of 5m.

Irlequip were consulted on the additional rigging gear and recommended the correct slings and shackles required, allowing the user to source the equipment from their regular supplier. Maher and the team remain in regular contact with the crane operator, who was already part of the crew, and onsite riggers, as the project continues.

In this case, a 50t mobile crane with a ‘power-boom’ was deemed the best solution allowing maximum flexibility where internal headroom was at a premium. Additionally, the hydraulic luffing jib proved invaluable for mounting lighting and allowed for the precise focus of light during certain shoots.

Maher said: “Irlequip always carries a stock of mobile cranes ranging from 40-250t, being new and refurbished. Additionally, we carry a stock of tower cranes to serve our customer demands. The market remains buoyant and we continue to invest in growing our team and facilities.”

Maher concluded: “We carry a large [Modulift] stock ranging from MOD 6 to MOD 70 and also CLS adjustable spreader beams. Larger beams can be supplied to our customers thanks to the excellent support we receive from the team at Modulift UK—often at very short notice. We would like to thank all our customers for their continued business, without each and every one of them our continued success would not be possible. We are proud to represent Modulift in Ireland.”

The CMOD spreader frame is currently available from the CMOD 6 up to the CMOD 250. The systems lift up to 300t.  You can visit Irlequip’s website at

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