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A cheaper, easier way to launch boats?

10/31/2011

Recently, we've come across Qingdau Luhang Marine Airbag and Fender Co., which posits an interesting new way to launch boats - with airbags (as the name suggests). How does it work? Well, it's probably easiest just to show you:

 

Essentially, this reduces the need for the pre-fabricated boat ramps normally used to launch boats, and opens up new avenues for getting boats on the water. Online publication gCaptain has a pretty good Q&A with the makers of the airbags about the benefits and drawbacks - these can't be used for side launches, for example, so there is some limitation on size of the ship with which these will work well. Still, some of these boats rolling off the airbags are bigger than you might think. It wouldn't be surprising to see this kind of launch used more often in the States in the near future.

11/1/2011 10:20:33 PM richard bludworth says:
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Air bags can work well with planning and execution. We have done side and end launches of barges and dry docks without problem and would consider them for powered vessels as well. They are not a replacement for high output new construction yards and fixed launch systems.
11/1/2011 6:22:16 PM Robert Lewis says:
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Perhaps the readers need to see the launch of Derecktor's rebuilt drydock on similar rubber air bags not too long ago. To say it was a successful launch would be stretching the definition of successful to the max. And be sure to pay attention to the "anchor" dragging behind. When you have an uncontrolled launch, the secret word is "uncontrolled".
11/1/2011 5:38:33 PM MIke Jones says:
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the Chinese were in good shape they had a warranty from HARBOR FREIGHT
11/1/2011 3:11:26 PM Joe Semon says:
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There was a Chinese ferry launch video on Youtube that showed the same method of launch with less than favorable results. I believe this to be a quick and dirty method of launching that should be reserved for barges that don't have shafting or a power train. Perhaps loggers can be thanked for spearheading this new technology.

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