Goodbye Lago Maggiore...
Next Stop Seaside
October 2, 2007
After having spent 862 days testing, improving and most of all enjoying the catamaran, the time has come to broaden the horizons and take the cat to the seaside.
This will not be an easy feat, due to the width of the cat. If all goes according to plans, next April or May the two day long journey will take place.
As you can imagine, the marinas on the lake are not equipped to handle a
catamaran weighing almost 22 metric tons, 16.5 meters long and 6.8 meters
To do it in the marina where I spent the last two years would have been almost impossible. It would have meant to lift the cat again over a roof and transport it across an orchard on top of a container.
Add to this that after six years, in spite of regularly paying my monthly parking fee the cat and I had outgrown our welcome, it was high time for a change.
Luckily a marina at the end of the lake, the Verbella, has enough open space near the lake where I could assemble all the necessary trucks to haul the cat out and move it nearby for some much needed maintenance on the underwater parts.
When I asked Malcolm Tennant to design the cat I insisted that the cat could
be hoisted by four straps fixed to the deck of the cat.
Without them it would have been almost impossible to move the cat, since no other equipment is readily available on the lake. Nor at the seaside for a reasonable cost.
The straps, to be legally used and approved by the insurance have to be marked and color coded under EU specifications. Pale blue means that each strap has been approved for 8 tons. With the cat at this point weighing nearly 22 tons there was an ample reserve.
The monster crane effortlessly lifts the 22 tons. In
the background under the cat you can see the truck with the cradle waiting.
The fixed crane of the marina (on the left, painted blue) is not powerful enough to lift over 20 tons.
|It is always amazing to see how precisely the crane and its operator handle such heavy, cumbersome loads.|
This is the cradle that we built to transport the cat.
Even over a short distance a truck is needed since the crane cannot move with a heavy load attached.
For the transport to the seaside the cradle will have to be reinforced to withstand the bumps and vibrations caused by the road.
The big truck looks almost small underneath the cat.
It perfectly fits between the two hulls.
For the transport to the seaside a special trailer will be used that rides low to the ground, leaving only 30 cm clearance between the cradle and the road. Hopefully the road will not have deep potholes...
The cat gets moved. The distance was so short that the truck traveled backwards.
There is no point to finish to paint the hulls since more than likely during the transport they will suffer.
On top of that it is cheaper to have the hulls painted at the seaside.
The crane is ready to unload the cat from the truck.
One of the nice features of a cat is that they don't need a cradle when resting on the ground, just a few heavy pieces of wood.
The truck on the left was only needed to transport the cradle from the old marina to the new one. The big, flat bed truck that did the actual move of the cat would have been too big and cumbersome to go to the old marina.
This operation also served to check that everything would work for the big day when the cat would be transported to the seaside.