Last week Sims Crane massive Grove GMK7550 mobile hydraulic crane dubbed “The Hulk” took a trip to Corinthian Catamarans in Tarpon Springs. Bob Muhlhan, our client and president of the catamaran manufacturer, was onsite for the lift of the vessel his company calls the “Queen of the Corinthian” fleet. The newly built double-decker is destined for Dolphin Encounters in Nassau, Bahamas. The 72-foot long catamaran will shuttle tourists back and forth between the mainland and the island where the bottlenose dolphins and other marine animals are cared for.
Muhlhan stood to the side snapping pictures with his hand-held camera, nervously watching as the Grove GMK7550 hoisted the boat and placed it into the bayou. The first part of the boat to touch the water was the hull, followed by the roof and the second level. His nerves however had nothing to do with choosing Sims Crane as its crane operator of choice. “You’re always worried when you make a lift. When you spend months building a boat, watching it being lifted can be nerve racking. You stand in awe about whether it’s going to make it to the ocean, “says Muhlhan, who seems more like a protective father watching his son set out on his own for the first time.
Our team took good care of the Corinthian 72, making sure we successfully completed the job. Hours before the lift took place, we were onsite to assemble the behemoth crane. Fully erected, it has the potential to reach a tip height of 412 feet, a boom height of 179 feet and an additional 240 feet of luffing jib, coupled with a mega wing attachment. Veteran CCO Operator Bill Piper and Oiler Charles Franklin were at the helm of this project. When it came to the lift, Bill, a boat lover himself, made sure the hull successfully touched the water before handing the reigns over to Franklin. All-in-all it was a good day in Tarpon Springs.