Over the past few weeks, misuse of the blue crane has come to our attention. Most recently, the cable was off the sheave and jammed beside it, making the crane inoperable. And it had been left that way for another to discover.
Here is a brief overview of operating procedures. The crane can lift a load up to 9,000 lbs, using just the hook, or one of the two short spreader units (one blue, the other orange) with straps. The ideal lift is one that uses member-supplied lifting straps and the single hook assembly to transfer the boat to and from the water. The crane is not intended to be used to lift masts or bosun chairs, or any other light weight work. That is where the white crane needs to be used.
The key to unlock the blue crane controls can be signed out at the OOD Station. Note that the crane should always be left in its “parked” position. This means that the boom has been pulled all the way to the south and the hook attached to its tether strap. The boom must be tied off so that it cannot swing freely. Under no circumstances should the hook ever contact the ground. This removes the tension on the cables and allows them to quickly jump out of the sheaves and become trapped.
Once the key has unlocked the controls, the first action is to lower the hook and undo the tether. Please do not start by raising the hook and destroying yet another tether strap. When the lift operation has been completed, it is expected that the operator will return the crane to the same “parked” position.
If the blue crane cannot be used properly by Members, consideration will have to be given to a new NYC House Rule that only trained and certified Members can operate it. At that point, it would need to be booked in advance. Cost of repairs from misuse keep climbing and cannot be allowed to continue.
If the crane does not appear to be correctly positioned when you approach it, this needs to be reported to the Office and recorded in the Log Book when the key is returned.
Don Weston, Vice Commodore, Marine Operations