Cimolai has partnered with Derecktor Shipyards in Ft. Pierce (Florida, USA) to carry out one of the world’s largest mobile boat hoists, using the MBH 1500 US t.

It completed the haul-out of its first huge vessel in the Port, which from an aging 100-year-old cargo terminal is now ready to become a state-of-the-art superyacht repair and refit destination.

Derecktor Fort Pierce in Florida will soon be the most important port of call for the global fleet of megayachts. It is the first US Shipyard specifically designed for superyachts – large sailing and power vessels up to 250 ft (76m) LOA (Length Overall) and 1500 US t.

Here, in an exclusive interview, Hoist speaks to Claudio Carlon, sales manager, Cimolai Technology, to discuss the project in more detail.

After a period of construction, which started in December 2020, including the excavation and development of the haul-out platform for the MBH 1500 US t machine, the travel lift is now assembled and fully operational.

The giant mobile boat hoist travels on 32 all-steering rubber tyres and is fitted with four couples of hydraulically adjustable lifting points that run on the same runway, all along the upper beams. Thanks to Cimolai Technology’s engineering department, what seemed to be hardly feasible until some years ago, has now become accessible to all shipyards that need to handle loads in excess of 1000 t.

“We have been working and cooperating with Derecktor Shipyards for over 10 years.

We started in 2018, with the supply of a 900 US t Mobile Boat Hoist (MBH) for Derecktor Dania – the megayacht repair and refit yard on the East Coast of the U.S. at Ft.

Lauderdale in Florida. Then we provided another MBH 220 US t to Derecktor Dania in Ft. Lauderdale and after that, as the collaboration between the two properties (Cimolai Technology and Derecktor) was based on mutual trust and they were satisfied with our machines, they appointed us for the installation at Derecktor Ft. Pierce of the biggest unit so far, i.e. the 1500 US t MBH,” said Carlon.

“The order for the machine was confirmed at the end of October 2019; it was completed and shipped in late 2020.

After that, the machine was assembled in Fort Pierce and commissioning was completed in April 2021.

“The main challenge is to lift megayachts. To achieve this, we had to face various issues: The machine’s capacity required in-depth study and a consistent technical and engineering development before being put into practice. Studying a machine that, despite its large size, could guarantee high manoeuvrability and versatility. These characteristics are a distinctive feature of all of Cimolai Technology’s machines.

“The special MBH developed for Derecktor’s Ft. Pierce will be used mainly to hoist megayachts. This requires attention to the development of those peculiarities that favour the securing and lifting of these type of vessels. For example: develop control systems for weight balancing with a strapshoist mechanism and increase the number of straps and distance between them to support the yacht in a more balanced way throughout its length.”

According to Carlon, an increasing number of yacht refit shipyards and mega yacht manufacturers are requesting lifting systems like the one installed at Ft. Pierce for yachts launching and hauling activities.

“This is due to our lifting system which has proven to be very effective, very easy to use and quick in carrying out different operations and requires fewer people to manage many work steps. To prove this trend, Cimolai Technology has other high capacity MBHs under construction, also with renowned European mega yacht manufacturers,” he added.

“We overcame the challenge of lifting megayachts by developing control systems for weight balancing by means of straps and by increasing the number of straps and the distance between them to support the yacht in a more evenly distributed way throughout its length during the entire lifting operation.

“The demand for these types of strapshoist systems is increasing, particularly with high-capacity machines (MBH), both for lifting work-boats but (and even more) also for the world of refit of megayachts up to 70-80 m (LOA). So, we notice that the market is progressing at the same time with us and moving in this direction.”

In addition to the nautic sector, Cimolai Technology covers civil and industry sectors. Regarding shipbuilding and shipyards, in recent years and in terms of the trends to come, Carlon says he believes we are witnessing a boost in innovation, especially in respect to technological upgrades with new equipment in shipyards, repair and refit yards.

“We are working hard on technologies to make our systems and equipment ever more innovative, high-performing and safe. We can count on a team of engineers who are ready and dedicated to facing these challenges; programmers who develop automation to supervise our machines also with the aim of adapting them to the so called Plan Industry 4.0; systems that can assist the operator during the use of the machine, optimizing its use,” he said.

“All of our machines are equipped with GPS or Wi-Fi system connection that allows our staff to be in contact with each other, in real time and intervene immediately providing remote assistance to the client’s operators and maintenance staff directly from Cimolai Technology’s offices.”

Next, the company sees big investment and an increase in the pursuit of environmental sustainability by introducing more fully electric machines to shipyards, with high performance in all aspects in terms of versatility, manoeuvrability, optimization of the working cycles and being eco-friendly.