Philadelphia had a big winter with the Eagles winning the Super Bowl and Villanova winning the NCAA basketball crown. Here’s more big news: an extraordinary video of two “post- Panamax” gantry cranes delivered to the Port of Philadelphia. Post-Panamax refers to the mega-ship that can navigate the wider Panama Canal.
My sailing buddy John Alewynse alerted me to the story because his son Leen, who is a tugboat captain for the port, was assigned to turn the ship around in the Delaware River so they could get the cranes off properly. Note the use of three large tugboats. It only takes two to handle a US Navy warship at Yorktown Naval Weapons Station. God only know how they will get the cranes dockside.
It’s part of a $300 million expansion of the Philadelphia port to increase cargo-handling and efficiency. Two more identical cranes are due in early next year. With their arms extended to the sky, they will stand 13 feet taller than the nearby Walt Whitman Bridge.
The larger cranes can more efficiently offload the latest Ultra Large Container Vessels, which can handle up to 20,000 containers the size of a tractor trailer. The new container gantry cranes will be capable of discharging containers from the new larger vessels more quickly than their smaller counterparts. Each cost $12 million, which seems like a bargain.

Post-Panamax Crane Stats

  • Crane height [boom up]: 391 ft.
  • Apex of crane [height; boom down]: 252 ft.
  • 32 stories high [boom up]
  • Weight of crane: 3,368,659 lbs.
  • Cost per crane: $12 million
  • Crane vessel: Zhen Hua 16 (1982)
  • 91 Days transit time.                                                     Source: Port of Philadelphia

Giant Cranes Delivered

Siblings Sail the York

Alex Soulas of Richmond took his younger brother and sister sailing on the York River on the last cold day of spring.
Giant Cranes Delivered
Holland 34 sailboat.
“We’re from Argentina and used to sail on our father’s sailboat, a 34-foot Holland,” Alex said. “We have great memories.” I pointed out an osprey that had returned from down south to rebuild a new family and nest on channel markers in Sarah Creek. Every fall they migrate to Argentina. They smiled at the coincidence.
Alex took the helm in a brisk northeast wind that propelled us downriver toward Goodwin Island. Once we turned, I reefed the Genoa to go on a close reach. Lucas and Sofi Soulas alternated on the various reaches, feeling the crunch of close reach vs. the delicate wheel on a beam reach. They were impressed by how sensitive the helm feels on different reaches.

Let’s Go Sail

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