Lifting Equipment Store (LES) has supplied three custom 1t capacity ATEX-rated hoists for installation in the garage area of the Scenic Eclipse, a six-star mega yacht that recently completed its maiden voyage.
Stourbridge, UK-based LES delivered the German-made Stahl hoists, which each have a 4m height of lift, to the Uljanik shipyard in Croatia. There, they were fixed to the garage ceiling and bolted into a flat structural element to facilitate the lifting, movement and storage of 11 Zodiac Mark 5 inflatable boats. In the same garage, located just above the waterline aft aboard the luxury vessel, a chase boat and a seven-seat U-Boat Worx Cruise Submarine 7 will also be stored. As the Zodiacs are gasoline-powered, it was a requirement that all material handling and other equipment were ex-rated.
James Griffiths, a maritime veteran and project captain at Scenic Ocean Cruises, who will skipper the 169m-long Scenic Eclipse, explained that the twin-speed hoists would combine with a crane and a trolley system in the garage. Prior to deployment, an operator will utilise a pendant control to lift one 650kg boat with a single hoist and lower it onto a trolley, which will take it beneath the hook of a crane for lowering into the water. The process will be repeated in reverse. Zodiacs are equipped with a four-point harness that comes to a single lifting eye. Griffiths pointed out that all three hoists could be operational at any one time.
The Zodiac fleet is expected to be in daily use during the Eclipse’s scheduled Antarctica voyages, which set sail from Buenos Aires, Argentina and dock in the UK 16 days later. Its maiden voyage, however, saw passengers and crew call at Reykjavik, Iceland; Quebec City, Canada; and New York, USA.
Griffiths said: “LES have played an important role in fitting out the ship as the Zodiac garage will be in regular use when we’re in Antarctica in particular, where passengers will use the boats to get closer to the region’s spectacular scenery and ice-filled channels. I’ve captained cruise ships and expedition vessels for National Geographic in my past, but the Scenic Eclipse is truly a world-first in terms of luxury and availability of boats, kayaks, helicopters and a submarine to give passengers unrivalled proximity and experiences.”
Additional features of the hoists include fully galvanised load chains, chrome-plated cone brakes, and a special paint system for added protection against harsh environments. As stated, they are also compliant with ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU, covering equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. The vessel itself, which boasts a top speed of 17 knots, has an ice-strengthened hull and a myriad of other state-of-the-art marine and safety features.
Will Dunn, sales director at LES, said: “The association with Scenic Eclipse marks us as a competent supplier of specialist equipment for marine and explosive environments. Maritime professionals like Captain Griffiths and buying decision makers in this specialist sector need to have utmost confidence that their supply chain replicates their own high standards of operation, efficiency and safety. We were happy to share our expertise based on a history of supplying Stahl and Columbus McKinnon solutions, among others, for similar applications.”
LES is frequently engaged in the supply of lifting and rigging gear for explosive environments, most recently to the Nigerian oil and gas market. Meanwhile, it has also delivered an explosion-proof manual hoist to the Scenic Eclipse project for use during maintenance in the helicopter bay.