We have lift off…

Need your windscreen replacing? On a 70′ powerboat?

Easy! You just need one of these.


The skipper and I really weren’t sure about this. Especially not about offering the owner’s two million pound boat up for a guinea pig trial of this sputnik style baby crane. That’s quite a responsibility. Could those four sucker pads really lift and swing 110kg of glass off the boat and onto the wharf without dropping it through the deck?

An audience gathered on the wharf below to watch. I recognised some of our neighbours from our pontoon.They touched their hands to their hearts. Thanks guys.

I was trusted with the all important job of standing on deck and holding the electric cable which followed the crane. I've learned not to question this kind of thing – why, of course you need a reel of electric cable attached to your crane for it to function. Everybody knows that! It's probably a good thing that I didn't know until later that the cable's purpose was to provide the power to pump air into the suction pads to keep them adhered to the glass. One trip up over a cleat or getting tangled up in the guard rail and the glass would most certainly have dropped and shattered.



Health and Safety boiled down to getting out of the way. Finding myself on the foredeck below the glass as it was manouevred into position gave me a moment to consider how useful legs really are. If the huge piece of glass slipped both my legs would be amputated just below the knee. It doesn’t do to dwell on these things.

When the second piece was finally in and pushed and shoved into place with small hand-held suckers the relief was palpable. We did it.

Well done our English windscreen fitters who flew over specially for the job, well done the skilful crane driver, and well done Skipper who held his nerve throughout.

2 thoughts on “We have lift off…

  1. Just a technical point, the job of the electric cable was probably to suck air from the suction pads, not pump air into then.

    I’m reminded of a time a girlfriend on my yacht was told ‘not to touch anything’ by a crew member when she was sitting at the chart table by all the switches. (Nether come sailing anymore.)


    1. Hi David

      Oh dear, crew dynamics…our switchboard is massive and in a ‘locked’ cupboard opposite the galley. It is also providing storage for water bottles and snacks. Every time I squeeze in there for a tube of Pringles I fear I might have accidentally switched on/off essential lights and pumps…

      Yikes, very good point about the airflow to the suction pads. I’d like to say that I took the explanation from the man in charge of the operation – but actually: no excuses. If I’d considered the purpose of the pump that would make sense.

      Hope we’ve saved lives here 🙂


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