Plain sailing with Reid gantry investment

4 April 2019

A sailing club in Wales has installed a 3t-capacity Tall Porta-Gantry crane from Reid Lifting to lift boats and other items during repair and maintenance.

Newport Uskmouth Sailing Club (NUSC), based at the mouth of the River Usk in southern Wales, ordered the crane primarily to lift vessels for completing work on the hulls and keels, as well as for replacing yacht engines and assembling and dissembling masts.

The system has a 6m-long beam and is fitted with a Yale 360 chain block and a rope control system for lateral movements across the length of the beam. It also features a range of upgrades for use in a marine environment, including stainless steel fasteners, castor brackets, bearings, and epoxy plates. The plates, explains Reid design engineer Luke Rossiter, prevent galvanic corrosion between dissimilar metals—in this case, the aluminium and the stainless steel. Isolating nylon pads and washers have also been used throughout the system for the same purpose.

“The gantry can be setup safely with just four people,” added Rossiter. “However, as it has a marine upgrade, it can be left assembled in the yard without concern of it rusting or corroding. Height adjustment is also very easy and can be achieved with just two people using the ratchet system on each A-frame as a mechanical aid.”

NUSC previously rented a crane on multiple occasions throughout the year. The purchase of the Reid crane will therefore pay for itself, said Rossiter, as well as giving the club more flexibility.

Anthony Sperduti, commodore at NUSC, said: “The gantry will be most cost effective for individuals who can pay a fee to the club rather than hire a crane for one-off jobs. The club can recoup the investment, albeit over a few years. Its lightness and maneuverability are also advantageous features. Boat owners will be more encouraged to tackle maintenance projects they would have previously put off because of the costs involved. I anticipate that the crane will be used on a monthly basis.”

Reid Lifting provided two training sessions during the course of day, teaching two groups of ten NUSC members how to operate the gantry crane.

NUSC also purchased wind-up jacklegs, due to the gravel-based ground conditions at the facility. Using four separate spirit levels on each leg, the gantry can be used even on uneven surfaces. The legs also provide an additional height of lift of 300mm and allow for fine height adjustments, if required.

NUSC plans to purchase a second gantry crane system for use in the workshop.