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World's largest hoverbarge sold

November 8 - Marcon International from Coupeville, USA has completed the sale of the unfinished, newbuilding hover barge "Monty" by builder Sundial Marine Construction & Repair of Troutdale, USA to private buyers.

Readers may recall that we first reported news of Marcon's appointment to sell the barge on December 31, 2009. 

The vehicle, designed to hover about 5 ft (1.5 m) above the ground while carrying about 450 tons (408.2 tonnes) of deck cargo on a clear deck of approximately 9,000 sq ft (836.1 sq m), was being built for Vancouver, Canada-basedRedfern Resources to transport cargoes of supplies to and ore concentrates out to/from a multi-metal gold, zinc, copper and lead mine on the Tulsequah River in Canada, 40 miles (64.3 km) northeast of Juneau, Alaska.

With no roads in the area, the Tulsequah Chief Mine could only be reached from Alaska via the Taku River. The "Monty" (pictured below), reportedly the world's largest hover barge, was designed to be capable of operating year-round over shallow water, ice and land, while being towed by a vessel during ice-free conditions in the summer and amphibious tractors such as Amphitracs or Rolligons with large, soft, low-pressure rubber tyres over the ice and crossing open leads during the winter. From Juneau, Redfern intended to barge the ore to the Skagway Ore Terminal where it would be loaded on ships bound for smelters in Asia. The mining company declared bankruptcy in March 2010 and the barge was not completed.

"Monty" was designed by Hovertrans Ltd. and engineered by BMT Nigel, UK. She measures 210 ft (64 m) x 82.67 ft (24.9 m) with a 5.58 ft (1.7 m) depth of hull.

She is built of DH-36 low temp (minus 20 degree Fahrenheit) steel with sound attenuated aluminum houses which contained the four muffled CAT 3412 diesel driven Woodcock and Wilson fans which provide lift in the hover mode. Electrical power was provided by a 150 kW generator and hydraulics by two CAT 3126 power packs.

The hover barge was also fitted with two Grove M977 hydraulic cranes, four 30 ton hydraulic deck winches at the corners and one main heavy-duty bow ramp the width of the barge plus two side access ramps. A 10 ft (3.04 m) x 16 ft (4.8 m) moon pool was installed amidships and fitted with a bolted plate cover.

New owners plan to eventually finish the "Monty" as a hover barge and commission her into their service. Marcon had been appointed as exclusive broker by the Supreme Court of British Columbia appointed Receivers.

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