Meeting the COVID challenge
Nearly 200 Sublift submersible hoists, manufactured by Swede Ship Sublift, have been built since 1990. All are still in operation, effectively launching and lifting sail and/or motor boats on slipways as a cost-effective alternative to the crane, trailer and tractor option. The past year has, however, brought unique challenges.
Despite reporting a fairly impressive delivery record over the past 12 months, general manager Peter Hartzell is up front about the cost of COVID-19. “It’s been extremely difficult to obtain parts for new machines and carry out delivery, commissioning and operator training for Sublift customers during the pandemic,” he tells Marina World. “Many new permits have had to be applied for and we’ve needed both patience and drive to succeed. But customers have been fantastic and most have understood the delivery delays.”
Like many companies battling with the lockdown/re-open rollercoaster in past months, Swede Ship Sublift has had to capitalise on all its resources, such as employing local Sublift technicians for hiring, commissioning and training, and paying staff to work overtime when overdue parts have finally arrived so as to catch up with production. “It’s a very expensive solution but we are rather proud that we’ve succeeded in delivering,” Hartzell notes.
At least nine machines have been commissioned since June 2020, including three 12 tonne machines to Swedish customers and one machine each to clients in Switzerland, Norway and the UK. A UK customer also bought a 25 tonne Sublift and another Swedish company invested in a 40 tonne version. All machines require just a single operator who manoeuvres the Sublift by remote control.