Straightpoint (UK) - Straightpoint, world "heavyweights" in loadcells, were selected to provide their Radiolink Plus loadcell to The Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust recently to help weigh two historic boats of note in Boathouse 4 at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
The two boats being weighed were the Green Parrot, a 45' Picket Boat that had been used by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as her Royal Barge during state visits to Portsmouth, as well as an ST-1502, a 41 1/2' seaplane tender, that was armed and fitted out for Air Sea Rescue duties in the English Channel during WWII, including an onboard hospital.
The crane used at The Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust was a Vaughan 30T with a 5T auxiliary. The loadcell was attached to the crane via twin 10T 2m strops in basket formation through a 30T+ shackle on to the load cell. From the load cell to a 30T+ shackle connected to a double chain spreader to two 15m 10T strops in basket formation around the vessel.
Richard Hellyer, a volunteer from the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust said 'primarily we needed to know exactly how much these two boats weigh so they can be safely lifted or transported by road. In addition, we are putting new engines and new propellers into the Green Parrot, so we needed all the correct measurements and weights to fit the right propeller.'
Richard went on to say 'We chose Straightpoint as they had been recommended to us, plus we wanted to use a company who could help carry out the procedure for us. Their product worked very well.'
Straightpoint's 25T Radiolink Plus loadcell was provided for the project from its hire division, ideal for one-off jobs like this one. The product comes with a handheld remote, which meant on this particular project the system could be operated by one of the team wirelessly from a platform safely away from the boat, well within the product's 800 feet wireless range. The product also comes with an inbuilt audible overload alarm, so if the lift was nearing its maximum tension, the alarm would automatically be sounded. The Green Parrot weighed in the heavier of the two boats at around 16 tons due to the inclusion of the Royal Accommodation, so luckily the safety alarm wasn't activated on this occasion.
Additional features of the RadioLink Plus product include a long battery life of 1600 hours; damage and weather-resistant internal antennae; and an unrivalled strength to weight ratio due to the advanced design structure being constructed from high-quality aircraft grade aluminum. The Straightpoint Wireless Telemetry System makes use of the latest in IEEE 802.15.4 (2.4 GHz) technology. The system's proprietary transport protocol utilises Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) and Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK) modulation, providing high integrity, error free transmission of data, and is unmatched in performance, capable of providing a license free transmission range of up to 250 metres or 800 feet.
David Ayling, Director at Straightpoint added 'as our loadcell products are used in so many different applications from marine, industrial, offshore and many more, it's always interesting to find out the exact projects they've been applied to. In this case, we're delighted to have played a part in this country's naval history by helping to find the exact weight of these two historic boats. It's good to see our marine history being maintained and restored in such capable hands by the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust.'