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Vb-10,000 (ship)

The meaning of «vb-10,000 (ship)»

The VB-10,000 is a heavy-lift twin-gantry catamaran consisting of two truss space frames atop two barges. The design was derived from Versabar's earlier VB-4000 (aka Bottom Feeder),[1][2] which was developed to clear debris from toppled oil drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Instead of sending divers to section the wreckage into pieces, the heavy-lift capability facilitates salvaging the platform as a single piece.[3] The primary benefit is increasing safety by reducing the number of high-risk diving activities, but substantial cost savings can be realized by reducing the number of lifts and shortening the decommissioning schedule.[4][5][6]

VB-10,000 is the largest lift vessel ever built in the United States.[7] The color and shape of the trusses on VB-10,000 have prompted comparisons to the McDonald's signature Golden Arches.[8]

Each truss is nearly 240 feet (73 m) at its highest point,[9] with a hook height of 178 feet (54 m).[7] The truss sections are decoupled from the motion of the barges by using specially-designed hinges.[10] Each truss has a "wide" side and a "narrow" side, denoting the relative footprint of the truss-to-barge connection.[11] The "wide" side is essentially pinned to the barge with a single degree of freedom (rotational). The "narrow" side has the specially-designed double joint allowing two rotational degrees of freedom. Each barge has one narrow and one wide interface.[1] The hinges use Trelleborg AB Orkot bearings, a composite material which provide a longer life and lowered maintenance compared to the lubricated bronze bearings used in Bottom Feeder.[10][12]

Once the wreck has been lifted clear of the water, there is 160 feet (49 m) of clearance between the two barge hulls for a separate cargo barge to enter. The load may be placed onto the separate barge for transportation.[13] VB-10,000 is capable of lifting 7,500 short tons (6,800 t) in a single lift, nearly doubling the 4,000-short-ton (3,600 t) capacity of its predecessor.[14]

Each barge is approximately 300 feet (91 m) long by 72 feet (22 m) in beam, and each barge carries four 1,000 horsepower (750 kW) dynamic positioning thrusters for station keeping without anchors and mooring lines. The dynamic positioning system is rated to class 3 standards (ABS Class DPS-3).[7][15]

Versabar developed "The Claw" at Chevron's request. "The Claw" is a gantry-suspended submersible grappling device designed to retrieve sunken debris without sending divers to attach rigging. Each gantry on VB-10,000 can support a single Claw, and each Claw is capable of lifting 2,000 short tons (1,800 t) from locations as deep as 350 feet (110 m) underwater. The total lifting capacity of a single Claw is 3,000 short tons (2,700 t), but the claw itself weighs 1,000 short tons (910 t).[16] Initial sketches for the Claw were developed in December 2010,[17] and the Claw was first deployed in August 2011.[18]

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