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Steve's Guide To Vessel Types.


Heavy lift vessels are quite amazing vessels, built to load, carry and discharge large, unusual shaped cargoes (or even smaller vessels) that will simply not fit inside the holds of conventional vessels.

Shaped quite unlike any other cargo vessels, heavy lift vessel are designed to cope with unusually large cargos that will not fit inside normal, conventional vessels. There are three basic methods of laoding/discharging these specially strengthened vessels:
Load on - Load off
Roll on - Roll off
Float on - float off

The majority of vessel are only designed for craning the cargos on board or rolling them onto the side of the vessel, but a few heavy lift vessels can be ballasted down, so that cargoes (often on pontoons) can be floated on. The vessel is then raised, lifting the cargo, (now resting on the deck of the heavy lift vessel), out of the water, ready for ocean transit, often to the other side of the world. These specialist vessel are often used in the oil industry for the carriage of jack up rigs. Other unusual cargoes can include power plants, desalination units, generators and yachts. In 2003, heavy lift vessels were used to carry away the cut up sections of the TRICOLOR when she was removed from the bottom of the Dover Straits.

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