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2021 May June Marina World

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Meeting the COVID challenge Nearly 200 Sublift submersible hoists, manufactured by Swede Ship Sublift, have been built since 1990. All are still in operation, effectively launching and lifting sail and/or motor boats on slipways as a cost-effective alternative to the crane, trailer and tractor option. The past year has, however, brought unique challenges. Despite reporting a fairly impressive delivery record over the past 12 months, general manager Peter Hartzell is up front about the cost of COVID-19. “It’s been extremely difficult to obtain parts for new machines and carry out delivery, commissioning and operator training for Sublift customers during the pandemic,” he tells Marina World. “Many new permits have had to be applied for and we’ve needed both patience and drive to succeed. But customers have been fantastic and most have understood the delivery delays.” Like many companies battling with the lockdown/re-open rollercoaster in past months, Swede Ship Sublift has had to capitalise on all its resources, such as employing local Sublift technicians for hiring, commissioning and training, and paying staff to work overtime when overdue parts have finally arrived so as to catch up with production. “It’s a very expensive solution but we are rather proud that we’ve succeeded in delivering,” Hartzell notes. At least nine machines have been commissioned since June 2020, including three 12 tonne machines to Swedish customers and one machine each to clients in Switzerland, Norway and the UK. A UK customer also bought a 25 Technical success in Portugal and beyond The largest boat hoist on the Portuguese continental coast, a 300MT Marine Travelift (right), is in Portimão in the Algarve. The 20-year-old machine underwent comprehensive repair and maintenance in the first quarter of 2021 by lifting equipment specialist Almovi. A service provider and distributor of renowned brands such as Marine Travelift, Grove cranes, Genie platforms and Sennebogen crawler cranes, Almovi has a highly trained and wellorganised service team specialising in corrective repair work, preventive service and inspection duties. The boatyard in Portimão is operated by the public entity Docapesca, an important marine entity whose role is to manage fishing and non-commercial public harbours, including boatyards and their respective equipment. Similar entities exist in the Portuguese archipelagos, such as Portos dos Açores in the Azores and APRAM in Madeira. Almovi works closely with all three organisations providing regular service and parts for lifting equipment. Most boatyards in southern Europe have increased their activity due to the COVID pandemic as customers prepare for the summer season afloat. Even the large 40 tonne Sublift requires just a single operator. “Since the last quarter of 2020, we have noticed a significant increase in requests for assistance and preventive maintenance for harbour equipment,” confirms Almovi managing director Manuel Arriaga. “We have also seen a drive to have equipment certified, an annual requirement for all lifting equipment in Portugal.” Almovi’s activity covers multiple segments from construction to industry. However, its origin as a port equipment supplier dates back to 1956 when Ahlers Lindley sold a 5 ton steam shunting crane, manufactured by Thomas Smith & Son, to the Portuguese naval shipyard Arsenal do Alfeite. Today, as part of Grupo Lindley, Almovi continues to work closely with ports and harbours supplying quality equipment. For example, in 2020 it supplied a 120 tonne mobile harbour crane to the Port of Praia da Vitoria in the Azores in collaboration with YARD MACHINERY tonne Sublift and another Swedish company invested in a 40 tonne version. All machines require just a single operator who manoeuvres the Sublift by remote control. Gottwald (Konecranes). Almovi’s service team travels around the world and various manufacturers rely on Almovi to commission and service their equipment. In 2020, the company commissioned boat handling equipment in Brazil and serviced equipment in Spain, Algeria, Angola and Mozambique. For Arriaga this is the ultimate sign of confidence in his team: “It is an immense satisfaction for us to feel that not only our customers but also our partners and suppliers trust the experience and capabilities of our technical team,” he says. – May/June 2021 51

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