Author Topic: Canadian Oberon  (Read 1605 times)

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Offline Rokket

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Canadian Oberon
« on: 09 Jul , 2010, 22:17 »
I just watched Monster Movies "Supersize Submarine". An historic group purchased an old Canadian Naval Force (formerly RCN) Oberon, the Onondaga, or just the rusting shell, and had it moved for permanent display. The effort and project are good, and watching the episode of how it was moved was interesting, too. Unfortunately the move itself was...frustrating!

I realize I have the benefit of being an armchair (safe, no experience) expert, AND of hindsight/after-the-fact knowledge, but I'm thinking they should have hired me to do it. Maybe it's my simple-brain and paranoia, but I'll give you the condensed version and you decide...

The Plan was to use a tugboat to tow Onondaga around New Foundland to Rimouski, where it would be hauled up on land and permanently displayed. One team started working on a rail system with about 5 cradles, to take the boat out of the water. They coordinated everything so that the boat would arrive on the highest tide in a long time, they had a window of one day. (I'm thinking, 1 day? Is there nothing they could do to widen this window?")

The voyage starts. As they pull away from the dock I look at the tow chain and cable yoke/bridle, and think "hmm, looks small to me, but OF COURSE they have EXPERIENCE, and maybe they even consulted an engineer to figure stress and strain and minimums. If it were me, I'd be paying a few thousand for a report/recommendation."

So, they are a boat length away from the dock and guess what? The chain snaps. (WTF?!) They nudge the boat back to the pier and spend 6hrs chasing up a bigger chain... [SIGH]

Underway again, and a storm comes up. I'm thinking, "hmm, it would be nice to have a 2nd tug, or even a 'chase' boat to keep an eye on things or maybe control the sub from the rear." Well, the storm is so bad they decide to duck through a canal with locks, to get out of the storm. they had avoided it because the lock is narrow and tricky to tow something through. They hire a 2nd tug to control the sub through the locks, and barely get through without smashing the stern planes. [SIGH]

Meanwhile, at the landing spot, the track guys are building furiously and deciding whether or not to go or cancel, because of the storm. I'm looking at the track and I think a couple things:

  • why don't they use standard railroad track, maybe with welded metal supports, rather than a complex custom built system...?
    I know it's effort and money and materials, but if they built the track a section longer, they wouldn't have to worry about this one day window for a super high tide...

The Track Guy has the boat tied up, and decides to NOT go, too risky. The next day he decides to try it, the tide is almost as high. The FAIL, and end up adding a section of track...

They have 3 semi-railer tow trucks. They also have small pickup/ute trucks on the sides to help haul but they are in danger. I don't know enough about this stuff, but am thinking they might need more power, and there must be a better way... they end up adding an 11-line bock and tackle.

They get the boat on the cradles, and it slips over. They eventually right it and try again, and then decide to STOP FOR THE DAY AND ATTACK TOMORROW! (NO-nononono, be paranoid! FINISH and SECURE IT!) Guess what happens? It slips OVER! It is MONTHS before they haul her into place (10 metres short of the target, saying it will do).

I'm no boat moving specialist, but honestly...

Anyway, glad they got it there, I think it's open now. I can't find a link to it directly, there are blog links and the Monster Moves and a Wiki article. Looks good all spiffed up with paint.

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Offline rabapla

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Re: Canadian Oberon
« Reply #1 on: 28 Jul , 2010, 05:31 »