Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Bottom Feeder

This is an innovative piece of Ocean Engineering called the “Bottom Feeder”. It was built to salvage platforms that were destroyed in hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It was developed by Versabar, a company that specializes in rigging for offshore lifts.

Its basic components are a couple of deck barges, a truss frame connecting the two barges and four winches. The trusses are mounted on gimbals, which allow them to move to accommodate barge motion. Lifting capacity is 4000 Tons.

The Bottom Feeder salvaged four platform decks in 18 days in 2007. The decks each weighed 1000 tons or more and were in water depths over 250’.

Those folks with offshore construction experience will tell you that there are only a handful of traditional derrick barges with a 4000 Ton capacity. Had it been necessary to mobilize one of those barges to the Gulf of Mexico, the salvage may have waited for years.


One feature of the Bottom Feeder is that it could be built in a short period of time in places where it’s not possible to get a derrick barge. The Caspian Sea is an example that readily comes to mind, but any land locked body of water will do. Local fabrication yards would have no problem building the trusses. Hire a couple of deck barges, truck in the winches, and you are in business for almost any “float over” heavy lift operation.

1 comment:

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