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1923 - 250 ton Floating Crane

May. 250 ton German floating crane was handed over to the British Admiralty from Germany under the terms of the Reparations Committee and was a duplicate of the large floating crane, operating at Wilhelmshaven, which was new in 1916.

Makers…...................................the Deutsche Maschinefabrik A.G.

Pontoon and Propelling Machinery…........Deutsche Werke, Kiel.

Length overall….........................166ft. 9in.

Beam extreme…........................101 ft. 9in.

Maximum working load on two blocks 200 tons at 59ft 2in radius, or 80 tons at 90ft 5in radius.

Weight of complete structure ......4000 tons.

The pontoon and propelling machinery was assembled at Kiel and towed to Portsmouth in May 1923, the crane parts being transported by ship. Arrangements were originally made for the crane structure, etc, to be erected by Messrs. Cowan Sheldon, with assistance of Germans overseers. Due to subsequent breakdown of reparation arrangements, the German personnel were entirely withdrawn and the whole of the erection and testing was carried out by Messrs. Cowan Sheldon for the sum of £11.000. All motions of the crane itself were electrically operated on the “Ward Leonard” Control System. Power was provided by two steam-driven turbo-generators of 270 H.P. each situated in the pontoon hull. The jib alone weighed 190 tons and the heaviest lift performed was 267 tons during a test lift.

In 1942 the crane suffered a near miss from a German bomb that dislodged some of the counter balance weights, one of 15 tons was thrown into the air falling back through into the engine room and the detonation of the bomb in the water put great dents in the bottom plating. Fortunately there were no casualties. In 1967 the crane was downgraded to lift only 60 tons when fracturing was discovered in the structure. In April 1970 the crane was sold to the Portsmouth ship-breaker Mr. H. G. Pounds; she was finally towed out of Portsmouth in June bound for Greece.