Steam-powered crane barge receives a sunny work-up


Workforce members work on the kingpost turntable at the 250 steam-powered Crane Barge at CZ Jetty outside FMF Cape Breton.

Ashley Evans, 
Public Affairs Officer, Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton and Cape Scott

You may notice C2 jetty at CFB Esquimalt is slightly different nowadays.

The spot usually occupied by a Halifax-class frigate, Kingston-class coastal defence vessel, or Orca-class maritime patrol craft (training), is now taken by the 250 Steam-Powered Crane Barge with its boom detached and workforce members bustling methodically around the turntable’s base.

The barge goes in for a refit every five years to Point Hope. The crane certification, required every four years, is done simultaneously. Since this certification is needed for the barge to be operational, Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton (FMFCB) is currently working on the crane.

This is the first work to be done in 17 years on the 250 Steam-Powered Crane Barge at Esquimalt’s Dockyard.

Pulling this work together has been at the hands of the crane riggers, shipwrights, boilermakers, mechanical fitters, rigging loft, and electricians, with ten workforce members working on the Crane Barge at any given time.

The shipwrights began by building the scaffolding for the project – one set for the boom and one for the kingpost.

The boom was then laid down, stripped of all wires, and all hardware was removed. Then, using the crane, the team rigged off the kingpost turntable and laid it on the deck. Four extra wood-decked barges were brought in to support the work on the boom. Non-destructive testing and inspections for damage and wear will be the next part of this evolution for crane re-certification.

This substantial project has included the removal of the crane boom and the turntable for routine maintenance and completing any needed repairs required for re-certification. Involved in this evolution has been the inspection of all moving parts – anything that moves or could receive wear – and removing and inspecting bearings, shives, ware-pads, and spools. The team has also been working to remove the bearing on the turntable – the mechanical piece that the whole kingpost and crane rotate on, similar to a bearing in a bike wheel, turned sideways.

Due to the age of the Crane Barge, many pieces may now be obsolete and the FMFCB team will have to work together to craft any required replacement pieces in-house. The Crane Barge is a Queen’s Harbour Master (QHM) asset. In addition to the four and five-year re-certification, routine maintenance occurs onboard daily, weekly, and monthly.

Thank you to everyone involved in this re-certification. Your work maintaining these great vessels is outstanding.


Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.