Heavy Lift Ship
Heavy lift is an indivisible load greater than 50 tonnes. Hansa Line claims to be the first in this field in 1928 with a ship fitted with tackle to lift 120 tons.
Until recently this has remained the prerogative of the liner. However, since the container vessel has taken over as the common liner vessel we have seen the emergence of specialist heavy-lift ships.
One such, for example, can lift 1,600 tons and Ro/Ro 1,000 tons. There are also some sophisticated vessels known as submersibles and semi-submersibles. These can flood their ballast tanks and submerge their decks to allow the heavy load to be floated above the deck.
When in position the ballast can be pumped out and the ship will rise under the cargo. In 2005 the largest semi-submersible could lift as much as 73,000 tonnes.