User Rating:  / 49

This webpage page provides a summary of our (Clipper Ship 'City of Adelaide' Ltd. - CSCOAL) process for transporting the clipper ship 'City of Adelaide' from Scotland to South Australia. It may be subject to change if operational requirements dictate.

Bathymetric Survey of the River Irvine – COMPLETED

Before any detailed strategies could be developed for rescuing the 'City of Adelaide' from the riverbank of the River Irvine, it was important to know the geomorphology of the River Irvine - see Figure 1. It is now two decades since the 'City of Adelaide' was slipped at Irvine, and in the intervening years the river has greatly silted up behind the clipper's slipway - see Figure 2. Environmental issues in this day and age mean that dredging would have been a costly exercise. Understanding the underwater conditions was therefore an important issue for developing a strategy that avoided dredging.

CSCOAL developed a specification for a bathymetric / hydrographic survey of the River Irvine. Beckett Rankine in London assisted CSCOAL in this regard and aproached Aspect Land and Hydrographic Surveys on CSCOAL's behalf. National Historic Ships saw the usefulness of this information and offered to fund the survey on the proviso that the information be provided to all of the, then, competing parties. CSCOAL agreed to this, and the survey was commissioned.

Soon excellent detailed three-dimensional survey data had been generated by Aspect, and then CSCOAL set about refining its strategy for rescuing the 'City of Adelaide'.

River Irvine
Figure 1 - River Irvine


Silted River behind 'City of Adelaide'
Figure 2 - Low Tide - Silted River behind 'City of Adelaide'


Develop Transportation Strategy - COMPLETED

Having obtained much detailed information on the infrastructure and stakeholders along the River Irvine, including detailed CAD drawings from the designers of the retracting footbridge over the river, CSCOAL developed a strategy plan for the rescue of the 'City of Adelaide' - see Figure 3. CSCOAL's in-house team of engineers have much experience in heavy-lift operations, and together with advice from other experts internationally, a low-risk strategy was hatched; basically an earlier iteration of the overall strategy portrayed on this webpage.

The strategy included the development of a steel transportation cradle to be used to take loads imposed on the 'City of Adelaide' during the load-out from Irvine, transfer to a heavy lift vessel, the ocean-going transport to South Australia, and the load-in at Port Adelaide. The cradle is designed to be manufactured in pieces for assembly in situ beneath the clipper.

Bathymetric Profile of River Irvine in line with Slipway
Figure 3 - Bathymetric Profile of River Irvine in line with Slipway


Laser Survey of 'City of Adelaide' - COMPLETED

The Scottish Maritime Museum commissioned Headland Archaeology in Edinburgh to undertake a detailed laser survey of the 'City of Adelaide' - see Figure 4. This was invaluable as it permitted the cradle to be designed with millimetre precision – see Figure 5.

Laser Survey Data
Figure 4 - Laser Survey Data. Image: Headland Archaeology.


Laser Survey Application
Figure 5 - Laser Survey Application. Image: Headland Archaeology / Steve Bown / Navtech.


Design Transportation Cradle - COMPLETED

Aztec Analysis, an Adelaide company who are Australian heavy lift experts, provided their pro-bono support to design the giant 100-tonne steel cradle. The General Arrangement of the cradle is shown in Figure 6.

Cradle General Arrangement
Figure 6 - Cradle General Arrangement. Drawing: Aztec Analysis.


Structural Detailing of Cradle - COMPLETED

Steve Bown of Bown Drafting in Murray Bridge, South Australia, turned the cradle design into a detailed 3D CAD model and detailed all of the individual cradle components such that they could be manufactured at multiple engineering workshops around South Australia. Steve also provided his marvellous time and effort on a pro-bono basis.

With valuable help from South Australian laser survey experts Custom Spatial Solutions, Steve was able to use the precise 3D laser survey data from Headland Archaeology to ensure that the cradle bilge supports conform to the exact shape of the clipper's hull - see Figure 7. Timber packers are also incorporated into the design to make allowance for fabrication and assembly tolerances, as well as for steel cradle contraction or expansion due to temperature.

3D CAD Model of Cradle
Figure 7 - 3D CAD Model of Cradle. Image: Steve Bown.


Development of Conservation Plan - COMPLETED

One of the requirements of National Historic Ships (Greenwich) is for a detailed Conservation Plan to be prepared. Navtech (Naval Architects) in South Australia provided pro-bono support in preparing the extensive Conservation Plan - see Figure 8. The Conservation Plan is based on Burra Charter tenets, and the excellent National Historic Ships guide Conserving Historic Vessels - Understanding Historic Vessels: Volume 3.

CSCOAL Conservation Plan
Figure 8 - CSCOAL Conservation Plan. Image: Navtech.


Australian Quarantine Inspection Service - Preliminary Assessment - COMPLETED

CSCOAL paid for an officer from the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) - now known as Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) - to perform an initial 'Pre-Shipment Inspection' of the clipper at Irvine, Scotland, in late 2011. The AQIS inspection resulted in an Assessment Report being provided to CSCOAL identifying the necessary action to prepare for the importation of the clipper into Australia.

Figure 9, from the AQIS report, shows one of the types of biosecurity hazards that CSCOAL needs to deal with prior to the shipment of the clipper. CSCOAL is in the process of satisfying the AQIS requirements.

Insect activity on 'City of Adelaide'
Figure 9 - Insect Activity on 'City of Adelaide'


Construction of Cradle - COMPLETED

Construction of the cradle was completed in late 2011, thanks to the generous support of two dozen South Australian engineering firms and One-Steel. Figure 10 shows some of the team at SJ Cheesman Engineering, Port Pirie, South Australia, who donated their time and effort to build parts of the cradle. Our thanks go to the following engineering firms whose combined superlative efforts achieved the fabrication of the cradle:

Our thanks also go to Glen Cooper for hosting a thank-you BBQ at Coopers Brewery to thank the engineering firms for their support with the cradle.

A huge 'pat on the back' goes to CSCOAL's Richard Smith for co-ordinating this geographically diverse group of South Australian engineering firms.

Fabricated cradle components at SJ Cheesman Engineering, Port Pirie
Figure 10 - Fabricated cradle components at SJ Cheesman Engineering, Port Pirie, South Australia


Transportation of Cradle - COMPLETED

Through more superlative donated efforts, Customs Agency Services in Cowandilla, South Australia, organised for five 40-foot shipping containers to be transported from Samaras Engineering at Gilman, to Irvine Scotland - see Figure 11. The first two 40-foot shipping containers of cradle components were dispatched in November, and the remaining cradle components were dispatched in December, 2011. Additonal pallets of cradle components have also been separately shipped to Scotland; also organised by CAS.

Loading cradle trusses into container
Figure 11 - Loading Cradle Trusses into Container at Premises of Samaras


Load-Testing - COMPLETED

In February and March of 2012, the steel cradle, that itself weighs 100 tonnes, was assembled in Irvine for load-testing and certification. After certification, the cradle is disassembled again ready for installing piece by piece beneath the clipper.

The cradle assembly process was assisted by Mark Cauldwell, a farmer from Lincolnshire, who had read about the project in an article by Hugh Dougherty in Old Glory magazine. Mark gave up two weeks of his time and worked in Irvine alongside CSCOAL's Richard Smith from Australia and a team of skilled local Scottish steel-workers. Mark also donated the mechanical support of a telehandler to help lift the steel cradle components - some of which weigh over two tonnes.

Figures 12a, 12b and 12c show some of the cradle assembly process.

More details and photographs of the cradle can be found here.

Cradle assembly team at Irvine, March 2012.
Figure 12a - Cradle assembly team at Irvine, March 2012.


Side Trusses being erected on Cradle. Photo: Hugh Dougherty
Figure 12b - Side Trusses being erected on Cradle. Photo: Hugh Dougherty.


Finalise Access Agreement - COMPLETED

Before works can be undertaken on the slipway site, the Scottish Maritime Museum have to finalise a formal access agreement with the slipway owners.

After an 11 month hiatus, the Scottish Maritime Museum and the slipway owners finalised an agreement at the end of February 2013. CSCOAL then sent a Project Manager to the Irvine site in early March 2013 to commence the next stages of work during the northern spring and summer.


Prepare Work Site - COMPLETED

After certifying the cradle, the next step is to prepare the slipway site to enable heavy machinery, such as cranes, to operate alongside the clipper. The river bund behind the clipper might also be lowered at this time - see difference between Figure 13a and 13b. The nature of this work is predominantly earthworks.

Prepare work site and lower river bund
Figure 13a - Prepare Work Site and Lower River Bund (Before)


Prepare work site and lower river bund
Figure 13b - Prepare Work Site and Lower River Bund (After)


Leveling the top of the river-bank bund
Figure 13c - Leveling the top of the river-bank bund


Assemble Cradle Beneath Clipper - COMPLETED

The next major task is to install the 100 tonnes of steel cradle components beneath the clipper - see Figure 14. The cradle will then be performing the function of an egg-carton, suporting the ancient clipper hull - the 'egg'.

Assemble cradle beneath clipper
Figure 14 - Assemble Cradle Beneath Clipper


Jack Up and Weigh Clipper - COMPLETED

A major project milestone is the jacking and weighing of the 'City of Adelaide' - see Figure 15. This event will mark the first time in nearly a quarter of a century that the clipper has moved. It will only be a movement of about one to two metres vertically, which may seem insignficant for a ship that has sailed thousands of miles criss-crossing around the globe, but it heralds a major turning point in the history of the world's oldest clipper ship. Verifying the actual weight of the 'City of Adelaide' is important detail data needed for the subsequent heavy lift works to transport the clipper to Australia.

After jacking, the clipper will be temporarily supported about 0.5 metres above the slipway surface.

Jack-up and weigh clipper
Figure 15 - Jack-up and Weigh Clipper



Clean Clipper - COMPLETED

The methodical cleaning of the clipper was next undertaken at Irvine. This was a large task as can be seen by the photograph of the lower hold of the 'City of Adelaide' in Figure 16a. For a size perspective, please note the small scale of the person wearing high visibility protective clothing at the far end of the hold.

CSCOAL hired Rentokil UK to undertake the large task of cleaning the 'City of Adelaide' in order to satisfy Australian quarantine requirements. Over nearly a month, a large team of Rentokil specialists meticulously cleaned and treated the clipper from stem to stern, both inside and outside.

CSCOAL also contracted Rentokil to arrange for a DAFF officer to fly from Australia to review the adequacy of the mitigation treatment undertaken. The DAFF officer inspected the ship for several days. During the inspections, a few areas of the hull were identified as requiring additional treatment. These were quickly attended to by Rentokil during the week that the DAFF officer was still in Irvine.

After the few rectifications were attended to, and re-inspected by the DAFF officer, the cleaning effort was ultimately assessed as satisfying DAFF requirements for the clipper to be admitted entry into Australia. Thus, a major milestone has now been completed!

Lower Hold of 'City of Adelaide'
Figure 16a - Lower Hold of 'City of Adelaide'
Rentokil cleaning crew alongside 'City of Adelaide'
Figure 16b - Rentokil cleaning crew alongside 'City of Adelaide'
Rentokil cleaning crew
Figure 16c - Rentokil cleaning crew
Rentokil officer scrubbing the inside of the clipper's hull
Figure 16d - Rentokil officer scrubbing the inside of the clipper's hull
Rentokil personnel scrubbing the decks
Figure 16e - Rentokil personnel scrubbing the decks


Cleaning Efforts - Before and After

The results of the Rentokil cleaning efforts can be seen in the following 'before' and 'after' images of an access stairway.

Rentokil photograph showing the access stairway before cleaning
Figure 16f - Rentokil photograph showing the access stairway before cleaning
Rentokil photograph showing the access stairway after cleaning
Figure 16g - Rentokil photograph showing the access stairway after cleaning


External Cleaning

The external surfaces of the 'City of Adelaide' also need to be carefully cleaned to remove seeds, insects, dust, dirt, moss and plant matter as a quarantine requirement for entry into Australia.

Rentokil personnel using a cherry-picker to clean the hard to reach areas of the hull
Figure 16h - Rentokil personnel using a cherry-picker to clean the hard to reach areas of the hull


Install Internal Bracing - COMPLETED

As a precaution to protect and reinforce the 150 year old hull during its first move in nearly a quarter century, scaffolding is installed inside the clipper to brace the decks and iron frames.

Internal bracing being installed
Figure 17a - Internal bracing being installed
Detail of internal bracing
Figure 17b - Detail of internal bracing


Place Hydraulic Trailers Beneath Cradle - COMPLETED

Self-Propelled Multi Wheel Trailers (SPMTs) are a 'tool of trade' of the heavy-lift and shipbuilding industries. These hydraulically operated trailers, see Figures 18a, 18b and 18c, are able to carry hundreds of tonnes at a time and are extremely manoeuvrable due to each set of wheels being able to rotate and change its travel height independently.

Multi-wheel transporters
Figure 18a - Multi-wheel transporters. Photo: Peter Roberts


SPMTs compensating for uneven ground
Figure 18b - SPMTs compensating for uneven ground. Photo: Peter Roberts


SPMTs being prepared
Figure 18c - SPMTs being prepared. Photo: Peter Roberts


The next step is to bring multiple SPMTs beneath the cradle and clipper and transfer the load onto the SPMTs - see Figure 19a, 19b and 19c.

Place hydraulic multi-wheel trailers beneath cradle
Figure 19a - Place Hydraulic Multi-Wheel Trailers Beneath Cradle


The first SPMT being installed
Figure 19b - The first SPMT being installed. Photo: Peter Roberts


Last SPMTs being installed
Figure 19c - Last SPMTs being installed. Photo: Peter Roberts


Temporarily Move Clipper Up Slipway - COMPLETED

Once the clipper and cradle load has been transferred to the SPMTs, the clipper is moved up the slipway - see Figure 20a and 20b - to afford more room to undertake earthworks behind the clipper.

Manoeuvre clipper up slipway
Figure 20a - Manoeuvre Clipper up Slipway


'City of Adelaide' moved up slipway
Figure 20b - 'City of Adelaide' moved up slipway. Photo: Peter Roberts


Establish Temporary Quay and Earthworks - COMPLETED

The next step is to establish a quay on the mud-submerged concrete slipway on the riverside of the bund, and a temporary compacted rubble roadway behind the clipper - see Figure 21a, 21b and 21c.

Establish temporary quay and earthworks behind clipper
Figure 21a - Establish Temporary Quay and Earthworks Behind Clipper


Nightworks to construct temporary roadway behind clipper
Figure 21b - Nightworks to construct temporary roadway behind clipper. Photo: Peter Roberts


Track being laid on  temporary roadway
Figure 21c - Track being laid on temporary roadway. Photo: Peter Roberts


Barge Preparation - COMPLETED

A flat-deck barge will then be floated into position at the temporary quay, and a steel load-bearing ramp installed - see Figure 22a, 22b and 22c.

Bring in barge and install steel ramp
Figure 22a - Bring in Barge and Install Steel Ramp


'Dutch Pioneer' tug delivering barge from Netherlands to Irvine
Figure 22b - 'Dutch Pioneer' tug delivering barge from Netherlands to Irvine. Photo: Peter Roberts


Installing steel load-bearing ramp
Figure 22c - Installing steel load-bearing ramp. Photo: Peter Roberts


Load-Out Clipper on to Barge - COMPLETED

Using the SPMTs, the clipper and cradle are rolled on to the barge - see Figure 23. The shallow draft barge can then be towed by tug along the River Irvine to the Firth of Clyde.

Roll clipper and cradle on to barge
Figure 23 - Roll Clipper and Cradle on to Barge



Tow Barge to Intermediate Port and Transfer to Heavy Lift Ship - COMPLETED

Once in the Firth of Clyde, the barge will then be towed to meet up with a heavy-lift ship in the intermediate port of Dordrecht/Rotterdam in the Netherlands. There the clipper will undergo final preparations to meet Australian quarantine requirements, before being hoisted on board the heavy-lift ship - see Figure 24. Next stop is Port Adelaide for the first time since the 'City of Adelaide' left there 125 years previously - in 1887.

Tow barge to intemediate port for transfer to heavy lift ship
Figure 24 - Tow Barge to Intemediate Port for Transfer to Heavy Lift Ship




'Deeds not words'.

Member Login

Find Us on Facebook and Twitter

Facebook Image
Follow Us On Twitter - Image
You are here: Home The Project Transportation
Bring Her Home