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A raise for Raleigh staff as ship lift speeds up boat maintenance

14 December 2023
It’s quicker and easier to monitor and maintain the Royal Navy’s flotilla of small craft operating in the Plymouth area thanks to a new boat lift.

Delivered to the School of Seamanship at HMS Raleigh’s Jupiter Point site, the new piece of kit can raise RIBs and workboats, including to the Vahana ‘Sea class’ craft which are the heavily utilised by the school, out of the water for maintenance and inspection.

The lift is large and powerful enough to raise larger Vahana boats, including the 15 metre craft operated across the water in Devonport, free of the water.
Craft are lifted on durable polyester webbing slings designed specifically for handling all sizes of craft.

If embarked on the frame, the driver stands in a raised position to ensure they stay out of the water; alternatively, they can control the lift from a dismounted location which affords the best vantage point for the lifting operation.

The lift uses a digitised weighing system and two-speed winching mechanism, all powered from a raised engine canopy, ensuring all engine components remain dry as the frame operates in and out of the water.

Rear Admiral Simon Asquith, Director Submarines, officially ‘commissioned’ the lift which, says the Officer Commanding the school, Lieutenant Commander Jake Dray will benefit all small boat operations on the Hamoaze and environs, not least as it will save time by potentially not having to send the craft to yards.

“This capability will greatly enhance platform availability as we’ll now be able to conduct routine maintenance and emergent work ourselves,” he said.

“It will also allow other operational units throughout the South West to conduct boat inspections quickly and efficiently to ensure they are fully ready for their tasking.”

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