South Africa’s Vanguard has completed a complex lifting operation to upright a sailing vessel named Europa at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront Yard in Cape Town. 

Vanguard executes complex lift in Cape Town

The vessel, which weighed 650 tonnes and measured 44.5m long, recently slipped from its keel supports and rolled onto its starboard side during relaunching operations. Vanguard was contracted to engineer and perform an up-righting operation to realign the vessel with the centre line of the track system.   

A crane lift was not possible due to the restricted workable space surrounding the vessel. Therefore, Vanguard’s engineering team designed a bespoke lifting solution comprising two hydraulic gantry systems, which were positioned over the vessel and between the masts to minimise further impact to the masts and rigging.  

Once the 400-tonne and 600-tonne capacity systems were in place, header beams were positioned, and four 186-tonne capacity strand jacks were installed. 

The strand jack system, which was rigged to keel brackets that had been custom fabricated for the operation, provided a high degree of accuracy and enabled the Vanguard team to lift and upright the vessel in a controlled and precise manner. Once the vertical lift had been completed, Vanguard completed a transverse skidding operation to realign the vessel with the track system.  

Vanguard collaborated with Resolve Marine and alongside Trinity Marine Architects for the project, which required extensive planning and engineering work.