After the 230 metre-long, 30m wide dredge Fairway, widened, lengthened and deepened Lyttelton Harbour’s navigation channel – an ambitious and untested plan was put forth to install new navigation aids.
Smith Crane & Construction’s Piling Manager, Matt Draper, successfully tendered the project to install several spar buoys along the channel without the use of divers – as is the usual practice.
Improving maritime safety, a spar buoy is a tall, thin buoy that is anchored to the sea floor via a concrete mooring block and chain – allowing it to float upright in the water.
This project’s buoys comprised a large platform on top where maintenance can be carried out on the various devices, such as solar panels, light controls and radar reflectors.
Generally, installing spar buoys involves two winches – one to the lift the block and another to lift the buoy.
As they’re both lowered in the water, the buoyance of the structure straightens it. Then a diver would disconnect the lifting points underwater.
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