Marcon brokers sale of giant hover barge

Marcon International, Inc., Coupeville, Wash., has brokered the sale of the unfinished, newbuilding hover barge "Monty" by builder Sundial Marine Construction & Repair of Troutdale, Oregon. to private buyers.

This unique hover or air cushion barge (ACB) was designed to hover about 5 ft above the surface while carrying about 450 tons of deck cargo on a clear deck of abt. 9,000 sq. ft. It was being built for Vancouver-based Redfern Resources, Ltd. of British Columbia, Canada to transport cargoes of supplies in and ore concentrates out to/from a multi-metal  mine on the Tulsequah River in Canada, 40 miles northeast of Juneau, Alaska.The mine could only be reached from Alaska via the Taku River.

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The "Monty," reportedly the world's largest hover barge, was designed to be capable of operating year-round over shallow water, ice and land, while being towed by a vessel during ice-free conditions in the summer and amphibious tractors such as Amphitracs or Rolligons with large, soft, low-pressure rubber tires over the ice and crossing open leads during the winter. From Juneau, Redfern intended to barge the ore to the Skagway Ore Terminal where it would be loaded on ships bound for smelters in Asia. The mining company declared bankruptcy in March 2010 and the barge was not completed.

Marcon was appointed as exclusive broker by the receivers.

Designed by Hovertrans, Ltd. and engineered by BMT Nigel Gee, the giant barge measures 210 ft x 82.67 ft with a  5.58 ft depth of hull. It is built of DH-36 low temp (minus 20 degree Fahrenheit) steel with sound attenuated aluminum houses to contain the four diesel-powered fans that provide lift in the hover mode. Electrical power was provided by a 150 kW generator and hydraulics by two CAT 3126 power packs. The hover barge was also fitted with two Grove M977 hydraulic cranes, four 30 ton hydraulic deck winches at the corners and one main heavy-duty bow ramp the width of the barge plus two side access ramps. A 10 ft x 16 ft moon pool was installed amidships and fitted with a bolted plate cover.

New owners plan to eventually finish the "Monty" as a hover barge and commission her into their service.

November 7, 2011