Investigator is equipped with a number of cranes with varying capabilities, ranging from the main 25 tonne crane with a versatile 12 metre reach, to the stores crane with a 5 tonne capability at ten metres providing access and service to each deck and compartment at sea or in port.
Triplex 20 tonnes load capacity Hydraulic, height above deck 8.062m, width 5.3m and capable of 170o swing range.
The A-Frame is essential for launching scientific equipment from the aft deck. The big advantage of an A-Frame is that it can be used to keep equipment and tow cable clear of the vessel during deployment and retrieval. There are several tow cables that can be run through blocks attached to the A-frame allowing the deployment of equipment such as the EZ net, deep sea camera systems, tri-axis, Multi-corers and other plankton nets. The A-Frame can be positioned above the equipment, the winch lifts it clear of the deck, then the a-frame lifts the equipment over the stern where the winch pays out, lowering the equipment into the water. The same procedure is reversed for retrievals.
Handling equipment for short and long sediment corer pipes
1 x Triplex telescopic boom with 30 tonnes lifting capacity, 1 x Triplex corer pipe handler and 2 x Triplex corer pipe davits with 2 tonne lifting capacity.
The core handling system is designed to facilitate the deployment and retrieval of the long sediment corer. The system lifts the 24 metre core off the deck in the horizontal then, when clear of the vessel, rotates the corer to the vertical, to prepare for deployment. When the core is vertical the handler transfers over to the coring boom. The boom is extended, to keep the cable clear of the vessel and the corer lowered to the seafloor. Upon retrieval the process is reversed and the core retrieved and the samples removed.
Forward Towing Booms
2 x Triplex hydraulic (one each port and starboard) SWL 250 kg standoff from ship side 11 metres.
These booms are used to tow surface nets for plankton and marine debris. As they can extend up to 11 metres out from the vessel the nets are kept well clear of the side of the vessel. This ensures that the samples are taken from clear water and not influenced by the vessel.
Aft Towing Booms
2 x Triplex hydraulic (one each port and starboard) SWL 2.5 tonnes standoff from the ship 2.5 metres.
These booms are for towing surface equipment such as streamers for geo acoustic work, hydrophones or air guns. They are used to keep the equipment out of the vessel wash and give separation to instruments such as hydrophones to increase sampling area and efficiency.
Dreggen Electro-Hydraulic knuckle boom 360 deg rotation offshore crane, 25 tonnes @ 12 metres, 5 tonnes @ 20 metres, 690V-50Hz-3ph.
This piece of machinery can move equipment onto and off the vessel as well as around the rear half of the vessel. As it can lift up to 25 tonnes (@ 5 metres) it can load containers, extra winches and all sorts of supplies and equipment onto and around the deck. It can also lift containers into and out of the hold. Another important role will be to assist the aft utility cranes to safely move equipment around the aft deck to prepare for deployments.
Forward Stores Crane
Dreggen Electro-Hydraulic Pedestal crane 5 tonnes @ 10 metres, 415V-50Hz-3ph.
The forward stores crane has a very important role on the vessel and the hint is in the name. The ship itself runs on diesel but the crew and scientists run on food. This crane is to help load this essential resource as well as spares and engineering supplies into stores up to 2 decks down.
Aft Utility Cranes
2 x Dreggen electro hydraulic pedestal crane 5 tonnes @ 10 metres, 415V-50H 3ph.
The aft utility cranes will be used to more equipment around the aft deck and help deploy and retrieve equipment during a voyage. They could also be used to set up the vessel prior to a voyage, such as hang trawl doors onto the gallows. It will be common to move equipment around the aft deck during a voyage as you change from sampling the plankton to fish, the water column or the seafloor. To achieve this you need to move the different pieces of sampling equipment into position under the A frame and move them away afterwards. The two utility cranes and the main crane can be used to achieve this in a much safer way than we have had in the past.
Updated: 27 November 2014