The St. Maarten marine service industry took a large step forward in July with the arrival of a new 75 ton KMI Sea-Lift. The lift, said to be the only one of its kind in the Caribbean, was brought to the island by St. Maarten Shipyard NV., and is in operation at their yard alongside the Simpson Bay Lagoon.
The mammoth task of assembling the massive machine fell to Mike Unger, field representative for KMI Sea-Lift, and a team from the St. Maarten Shipyard. Unger said he was impressed by the speed at which the lift went together and praised the workers at the shipyard for their diligence.
“This is a big piece of equipment. It’s our newest model and the first one of its type,” explained Unger. It’s taken us exactly eight days from it being in its shipped condition to being fully operational.”
Although massive, the Sea-Lift is extremely maneuverable. “The Sea-Lift is new technology. All you need is a boat ramp. It speeds up haul outs and increases yard capacity,” said Unger.
The 75 ton lift can haul boats of up to 80ft in length. Yachts that are too narrow to sit on the hoist can be hauled in slings hung below the two arms.
Catamarans and trimarans will like the Sea-Lift because the lifting arms, which are fitted with dual air bunks, fit beneath the yachts support structures, reducing the stress that can be imposed on multihulls when they are hauled using traditional slings.
“We are hoping that the new Sea-Lift will see the return of some of the big charter catamarans to St. Maarten to be worked on here.” said Jeff Boyd, managing director of St. Maarten Shipyard.
Having looked at another new hoist that is operating in St. Maarten, he said he saw no reason for the two businesses to directly compete with each other.
“We looked at a specialty market that we feel we can capture and that we can do a better job with, and we bought the equipment that can do it. There isn’t another hoist like it in the world today.”
For information about the St. Maarten Shipyard, visit: www.stmaartenshipyard.comÂ
Details about the Sea-Lift line of products can be found at: http://www.sea-lift.com
Model 75 SEA-LIFT specifications
Engine Model Cummins QSL9
Power 365 HP 272 kW
Length Overall 87ft (26.5m) Lift Height 17.5ft (5.3m)
Width Overall 23.5ft (7m) Turn Radius 81ft (24.7m)
Height Overall 16ft (5m)
Lift Capacity 75 tons, 68 tonnes
Machine Weight 125,000lb (56,699kg)
Gary E. Brown is the Editorial Director of All At Sea. He hosts the radio show YachtBlast on Island 92, St. Maarten, and is the author of the thriller/sailing adventure Caribbean High. Visit his website: http://garyebrown.net