The new £150,000 marine crane is now operational at Shepards Wharf Marina in Cowes

A new £150k hydraulic marine crane was officially commissioned at Shepards Wharf Marina in Cowes, Isle of Wight, in front of a large audience.

Attendees to Monday’s event included Island MP Andrew Turner, Cowes Harbour Commissioners, the Cowes Etchells Fleet, teams competing in the International Etchells Invitational Cup and the marina’s own dry sailing customers.

Marina Manager at Shepards, Jock Rafferty, said: ‘It is a great honour for us to host the prestigious International Etchells Invitational Cup and to welcome you all to the home of dry sailing in Cowes to participate in the opening of our new marine crane.

‘The crane you see here today is not only a fantastic new asset for Shepards but is also the catalyst to a whole new dry sailing era for the marina, cementing our place as leaders in this specialist area of the sport.’

Deputy Harbour Master at Cowes, Rod Hodgson, said: ‘Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) is committed to attracting new events to Cowes to reinforce our status as the major UK sailing centre and to help build the fleets of day class yachts that have been a mainstay of the Cowes yacht racing scene for many years.

‘We are extremely keen to demonstrate that more new significant events of this type could be attracted to come to Shepards Wharf Marina and Cowes as a whole.’

David Franks, Cowes Etchells Captain and long-term supporter of Shepards Wharf Marina was given the honour of commissioning the new crane on behalf of Cowes Harbour Commission.

He said: ‘I am proud to be able to commission this crane during our inaugural Etchells Invitational Cup and I hope that this is the first of many new events for Cowes.’

How it works

The state-of-the-art crane was successfully installed at Shepards Wharf Marina in time for the 2014 season and is already impressing the marina’s dry sailing community.

It is remote control operated with a launch capacity of six tonnes and a telescopic outreach of 14 metres, has a 360° turn and can be slewed continuously. The hoisting, derricking, extending and slewing mechanisms of the crane are all driven hydraulically.

In addition, the system has been equipped for man-riding operations up to 500kg with a reach of up to 20 metres above the water, making the stepping of a mast a very simple procedure. Corrosion resistant plasma coatings designed for harsh marine environments have been used on the telescopic rams, also providing good sliding properties.

The new dry sailing crane is one of the largest of its type in the country and offers the marina much improved operating procedures, enabling Shepards to lift any single point yacht, motor boat or rib, quickly and quietly, which aims to future-proof the marina’s dry sailing operation against lifting requirements in the years to come.

Pictures: Shepards Wharf Marina’s new hydraulic marine crane; Cowes Etchells Captain David Franks officially commissioning the new crane on behalf of CHC.

Credit: Olek Creations 2014 /