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Ahoy there!

Ahoy there!

5 March 2002 Email this article
Facelift, the UK?s premier independent specialist access hire company have recently been called in to help with a task of a nautical nature ? repairs to the Sail Training Association?s newest tall ship, the Prince William. Founded in 1956, the STA have taken over 70,000 people on board to experience life on a tall ship and the work as part of the crew on voyages that last for a few days in the North Sea to Trans-Atlantic crossings to the Caribbean. In 2001 the STA?s veteran schooners, the Malcolm Miller and the Sir Winston Churchill were retired and replaced by a pair of brand new 200ft square rigged brigs, the Stavros S Niarchos and the Prince William. Facelift were called in to help with repairs to the latter. As the masts are the tallest part of the ship, they provide the ideal location to house the radar system and radar antennae, with electrical cables travelling down the inside of the hollow mast. Unfortunately, during the heavy seas encountered by the Prince William on her latest voyage, some of the cabling became damaged leading to a risk of communications failure. Upon her return to Southampton the STA looked at options to rectify the problem. The easiest way would be to get to the cables by cutting access panels in the mast. Understandably contractors were reluctant to carry their gear up 35 metres of rigging and balance on one of the yardarms whilst cutting, plus there was the potential of stray sparks from the cutting gear damaging the rigging and sails. Facelift provided the answer by supplying a 44 metre Bronto from their operated high reach fleet. The Bronto?s impressive 29-metre outreach meant that the full height of the masts could be accessed from the quayside regardless of the rise and fall of the tide. The Bronto?s 400kg-cage capacity could easily lift fitters and their equipment through the rigging to access the masts themselves. The versatility of the Bronto allowed the contractors to get access to the job, quickly, easily and safely and repairs were completed ahead of schedule without the need to dry-dock.