Lift boats are the service vessels of the offshore oil industry. Their most obvious feature is the three giant cylindrical legs towering 250 ft above the deck. When the lift boat gets alongside a rig these legs are lowered to the seabed and the whole boat is jacked up so that it can act as a work platform to service the rig a hundred feet above the surface.
They are hardly mere boats – these things weigh 2,500 tons, measure 200’ by 120’ and are propelled by a pair of 7’ diameter screws driven by two 1,500 HP diesels. They house 20 workers and carry all the equipment and spares necessary to service the rig. There’s a helicopter landing pad and a 10,000 square foot working deck.
Lift boats carry 2 or 3 cranes to assist in servicing, reconstruction or repair of the rig. Each crane can lift 200 tons and can reach out 150’.
And here’s why lift boats caught my attention recently – each of the cranes has a vhf radio to coordinate crane movements and the builders of the Dixie Patriot, the largest lift boat in the world when it was commissioned in 2003, specified Metz Manta vhf antennas.
So, we can add the Dixie Patriot to the list of Metz antenna users that includes the Clipper Fleet, the US Coastguard, several British Search and Rescue organisations and thousands of individuals who require the very best from their radios and AIS engines.