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Friday Feature: A Whale of a Project

This unique project involved the transportation of a Whale Sculpture, The Tay Whale, designed by respected artist and sculptor Lee Simmons and fabricated by Littlehampton Welding Ltd. (LWL). The cargo was to be transported from Littlehampton to Dundee Waterfront, forming an integral component of the large civic works which are currently underway at the V&A Museum, to create a central hub for locals and tourists alike.

This project was, on the surface, an example of a typical cargo transportation project, however this was complicated by the nature of the cargo and the loading and discharge locations.

The key issues which had to be resolved were logistical, as there were limited tidal windows at both Littlehampton Harbour and alongside the V&A Museum, which applied particularly tight constraints on the load and discharge of the cargo.

Malin Abram’s experience with larger scopes allows for an appreciation of the time and commercial pressures of executing wide ranging projects where individual components, in this instance the sculpture, form a portion of, and are time critical to, the wider development.

Whilst presenting challenging timeframes with fine tidal windows and a small slippage in the overall fabrication of the sculpture, the team worked to carefully manage and accommodate the required moving target of dates.

The extensive operation provided the opportunity for the team to build their expertise, successfully utilising a complex lifting arrangement which needed input from both ends as well as discussions regarding suitable methods of ensuring a safe lift which could be performed during the more time restricted discharge in Dundee, with only around 3 hours of tide available alongside.

All of this was also undertaken whilst under press and wider media scrutiny, underlining the need to complete the scope swiftly, successfully and safely. Despite this, the team worked to do so and built lasting relationships with the range of reliable subcontractors involved, with all delivering a memorable and profitable project, so the design had come full circle. We modelled the hulls in our stability software and designed a solid ballast arrangement that would allow the hulls to float on an even keel and retain positive stability.

Read about the project in detail…

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