Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. (BHGI) was contracted by Commerce Construction of Bridgeport, New Jersey for a conversion design and construction oversight of the former Navy barge, EX-YC695, from an open hopper lighter barge to a deck crane barge. An initial feasibility study was conducted to determine if the barge had the stability required to be fitted with a Manitowoc 4000W series crawler crane. With no plans available for the existing barge, a detailed vessel survey was conducted to develop a full set of design plans for the existing structure. During the survey, the barge was also evaluated for condition and the ability to accept such a major addition. Despite being 70 years old, the steel on the barge was in excellent shape from the meticulous maintenance and care of the Navy and Commerce Construction. From that point, BHGI developed a design for the conversion of the open hopper barge to a deck barge capable of supporting up to 2000 lbs/sq. ft. and the Manitowoc crane. While the barge will remain unclassed and uninspected, all conversion work was developed to meet or exceed ABS class rules for deck barges.
BHGI developed the conversion and general dry dock repair specification, and provided owner representation services throughout the bid solicitation, award, and conversion process. The biggest challenge was the alignment of critical conversion structure to supporting members of the existing structure. The barge also underwent a thorough dry dock overhaul, including the reconditioning of all interior voids and exterior surfaces.
Several key features were integrated into the barge during the conversion. First and foremost, is the 2000 lbs/sq.ft. deck addition. Also added to the barge were two 36” spud wells on the bow and a 10,000 gallon integrated service fuel tank under the main deck. When fully outfitted with the crane, generator, deck winches and crew storage, the barge will draw around three feet, allowing Commerce Construction access to a wide variety of work sites.
Dimensions: 140’ x 50’ x 11’Max Deck Load: 2,000lbs. PSFClassification: Designed to ABS Maltese Cross, A1, Deck Barge, Inland Route, Unmanned (not classed)Designer: Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. for the conversionBuilder: General Ship Repair Corporation, Baltimore, MD for the conversionOwner: Commerce Construction Corp., Bridgeport, NJ