All Canada lifts the Spirit

15 April 2008

All Canada Crane Rental Corp. is providing lifting services for the Spirit of Canada racing yacht as it is prepared for a race. As part of the year-long training and preparation Spirit of Canada will have to be lifted into and out of the water five times.

Spirit of Canada is an Open 60, a world-class sailing boat designed to be light, fast, and strong enough to weather the open seas. The race – the Vendée Globe – is a tough ocean sailing challenge. It is a 48,280 km, three month solo ocean race. With more than 85 days at sea, it is the longest continual single-handed journey in a sport.

All Canada Crane Rental Corp of Mississauga, Ontario, a member of the All family of companies headquartered in Ohio, US, was chosen by skipper Derek Hatfield of the Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges team for its experience, modern fleet, and ability to meet the unique requirements.

Aaron Hanna of All Canada Crane Rental, who supervises the lifting of about 600 boats in Toronto marinas every spring and fall, worked with Hatfield to plan the five lifts. He specified a 40 US ton (36.3 tonne) Grove TMS 640 telescopic hydraulic truck crane with a hook height of 45 feet (13.7 m) and a 20 foot (6.1 m) spreader beam.

The carbon fibre and Nomex vessel is easily damaged so special nylon slings were attached to the adjustable spreader beam for easy manoeuvring.

One of the lifts will be a delicate operation to overturn the vessel, with its skipper on board, in the Mississauga (Toronto) harbour's Port Credit Yacht Club. The slings will be wrapped around the keel to help hoist it and flip it over. Hatfield will then have to right the boat to comply with race qualifying regulations. For such a specialized lift, a mobile crane offers more versatility than a typical boat lift, Hanna said.

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