TITAN CRANE ANALYSIS
The floating crane TITAN was built in Germany in 1941 and moved to Long Beach, California, in 1948, where it has been in service
ever since. The luffing type crane has a lifting capacity of 350 t from the two main hooks at the ends of the jib booms. The tip of the
main boom towers 114 m above water level. In preparation of closing down the Long Beach Naval Shipyard, the crane was sold to the
Panama Canal, where it will be used for maintenance work on the canal and its lock doors, etc. Before the crane was moved to
Panama, it was completely refurbished.
Since limited crane capacity is available in Panama, the crane needed to be delivered fully erect, as re-assembly upon arrival was not
an option. A wet tow of the fully erected crane was considered too risky (a sister crane capsized and sank during a wet tow across
the English Channel) and the dry transport option, using a self-propelled heavy-lift vessel was pursued. Because of the 117 m height
restriction of the Bridge of the Americas, the crane boom had to be partly lowered during the transport.
In order to confirm transport feasibility, a detailed structural analysis of the crane structure was performed. A complete survey was
done to measure the dimensions of most of the beams of the crane. A detailed model containing over 1,500 beam elements was built
to analyze the behavior of the structure when subjected to dynamic loadings during the transport. The FEM analysis showed that
internal seafastenings, some strengthening and a boom support were required to ensure acceptable stress levels in all relevant
members of the crane structure.
The transportation contract was awarded to SeaTeam Heavy Lift of Oslo, Norway, and on May 19, 1996, the SEA SWAN loaded the
TITAN crane by means of the float-on method. Upon completion of the seafastening operation, the heavy-lift ship departed Long
Beach on May 22. After an uneventful voyage, the ship arrived in Panama on May 31 where the Titan was safely offloaded and
delivered to its new owners.
Scope of Work
The project scope included:
Upon the safe delivery, Argonautics Marine Engineering, Inc. was invited to provide the procedures (including all supporting
calculations) for removal of all temporary transportation members and re-assembly of the crane, see also the TITAN Re-Assembly
This successful transportation of the Titan crane was featured in the September 1996 issue of the "Maritime Reporter and Engineering
Detailed survey of the crane structure;
Design criteria and ship motion calculations;
Full structural analysis of the crane subjected to dynamic loading during transport;
Design of all internal strengthening and seafastenings;
Design of boom support;
On-site inspection of all internal strengthening, seafastenings and boom support.