Tuesday, 22 January 2008


These four images show the launch today of the new HoverTrans HOVERBARGE built at Ferguson Shipbuilders yard at Port Glasgow. The launch procedure was interesting. Two heavy recovery lorries were securely anchored in the yard, and the hoverbarge made fast to them.

The barge's lift fans were then run up, and the barge slowly lifted until it was hovering. The winches on the two lorries then paid out their cables, allowing the barge to slip down the ways until partially in the water, at which point the lift fans were stopped and the barge allowed to settle on the slip again.

Lines from Clyde Marine's tug BITER were made fast, and the wires from the two trucks released. The fans aboard the hoverbarge were started again, and with BITER taking the strain, the barge was taken clear of the shipyard ways.

Once afloat - perhaps airborne would be a better description! - the hoverbarge was towed down river and across to the Holy Loch, where it will be conducting trials on the mudflats at the top of the loch. The attached video clip shows some moments from today's launch.


Anonymous said...

Strange launch indeed,liked the video.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting!

Were the tugs just for safety or are they required to move it? I would have thought the hoverbarge also has some means to move it around, not only to lift it up?

The ClydeSighter . . . said...

The hoverbarge has no means of propulsion, the four fans solely being to provide an air cushion for lift. It will require tugs, or a winch system if working over land, to move it.

Anonymous said...

Excellent video there, hope you'll have lots more in the future.

Remember the discussion we had ages ago about saving Youtube videos to PC ? I finally got it working with Save2pc and K-Lite codecs.



Anonymous said...

VIDEO very good, what next for Fergusons ?

Anonymous said...

Way to go Jim Ireland! Congrats! Brings back fond memories!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation that it has no means of propulsion, interesting bit of information in the puzzle.