St. Maarten Shipyard N.V. has confirmed that an order has been placed for a 75-ton KMI Sea-lift, with delivery slated for spring/summer 2010. The Sea-lift lifts a vessel, whether catamaran or monohull, from beneath, with a system of air bunks to spread the load along the whole length of the boat. St. Maarten Shipyard’s Carl Vaughan is excited; the yard’s estimated $1 million investment (includes the lift and the slipway) will cut haul out time considerably, as well as costs.
The Sea-lift requires just one operator, and demonstrations show a complete haul out being completed in 60 seconds. Whereas it can take two hours to haul out an 80ft x 40ft catamaran with a crane, and cost the owner $4,000, the Sea-lift slashes manpower overheads and time, bringing the cost down to the $1,000 band. The Sea-lift can expand/contract and articulate, enter the water beneath the hull, and lift a boat 10 feet in the air, ready to transport smoothly into a covered shed.
Currently St. Maarten Shipyard has a 90-ton and 110-crane in operation. Plans on the horizon are to add a 150-ton lift that could cope with boats over 100ft, and even a 320-ton lift, which Vaughan admits is some “three years away.” The aim is establish the yard as a full-service shipyard with the capability to extend the yachting season in St. Maarten for boats that require yard work. For more information: www.sea-lift.com