December 9, 2004

Today was a very important day.  The PH8 learnt to fly!  

We had to lift the cat for two reasons.  First we wanted to test the whole lifting procedure, including the all important lifting lugs.  Second, having added most of the basic, indispensable items, we had to know the weight and center of gravity.  The weight came in at a satisfying 15,700 kg, well within what I expected.  This weight already includes the engines, rudders, shaft, propellers and the complete electrical wiring.  The center of gravity was within 300 mm of where it should be.  So today was also a very satisfying day.

Notice how high the spreader has to be to keep the chains on the sides at an acceptable angle.

To lift eventually up to 30 tons of catamaran takes appropriate equipment.

At Fulvia's feet is the spreader that keeps the two chains on each side vertical, a requirement made by the designer of the hulls, Alan Walker.

The 5m 40 cm long pipe has an outside diameter of 200 mm and a wall thickness of 10 mm.

The spreader, chains and shackles used to lift the cat weighed a whopping 1,200 kg!

The lifting lugs were cut out of a piece of steel I beam and each is bolted to the cat with 6 high tensile bolts.

I plan to leave the lugs bolted on the cat until it is in the water, that's why I had them painted and bedded down, to avoid any rust.

A close up view of the crane truck.  This is the minimum size that a truck has to be to be able to lift the cat and say place it in the water from a wharf.

Not so much because of the weight but because of the arm.

In Italy it is easier and cheaper to find such a truck or a bigger one than a travel lift.


Just before lifting the cat we took away the scaffoldings up front, giving us the first photo opportunity of the bows and the third keel or anti-slam nacelle. For aesthetic reasons the upper part of the two bows are rounded.  It took a long time and effort to manufacture a pleasant front for the cat, but the result is worth the effort. 

The front is not yet painted due to the freezing temperatures we now have.

Next:  The cat will finally learn to swim!


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