Atlas Enterprises recently moved the heaviest object employees have transported since it was founded as Ron Holland Housemoving in the early 70s. The superyacht, a 215-foot and 480-ton structure, is equipped with a swimming pool on deck that doubles as a helicopter pad when the pool cover closes over the top.
“It’s not the largest thing I have ever driven,” said Chris Holland, president of Atlas Enterprises, “but it is certainly the most expensive.”
Atlas has supplied equipment for the yacht builder’s use numerous times. However, the company wanted the skilled engineering and professional experience of the Atlas team to get the superyacht, which is long enough and heavy enough to be classified as an oceanliner, to the body of water it uses for its sea trails. Due to the size of the superyacht, there was very little room in the fabrication facility for placement of trailers under the yacht.
“The small footprint of our modular Holland Dollies made the move possible,” Holland said.
The move began with two full days of preparation that included completing the bolster and cradle system that had been engineered and fabricated by HMR Supplies. Once the yacht was securely nestled into the bolster system, the dollies that ultimately carried the superyacht onto the barge were put into position. The move ended after an 8-hour session that required the removal of the doorway header within the fabrication facility due to only three inches of clearance for height and navigation of a 90-degree turn in tight quarters.
“It was highly satisfying to see it all work smoothly,” Holland said. “Several times the margin of error was as low as two inches. I’m incredibly proud of our team.”
Atlas’s two partner companies – CR Holland Crane Service and HMR Supplies – assisted with project logistics that included 12 Coaster Holland Dollies, 4 Powered Holland Dollies and two power units. No push or pull truck was used to move the yacht. Holland said two power dollies placed in front propelled the superyacht out of the fabrication building and through the city streets. To reach the launch area, the structure had to navigate an extremely tight fit between a building and a fence just before making the 90-degree turn.
Holland noted the turn would not have been possible without all four Powered Holland Dollies that are hydrostatically driven and run by remote control. Two of those dollies moved the back end of the superyacht independently of the front end throughout the turn.
Once at the water’s edge, the superyacht launched from a barge that carried it into deeper water where the barge was then sunk. As the yacht was moved slowly onto the barge, water was pumped into the ballast tanks on the barge to safely accommodate the weight of the yacht. The bolsters, which were supported and lashed down before any dollies were removed, remained on the barge until after the yacht was launched for its sea trials