Assembled at Sun Ship, the SUN 800, a floating derrick is capable of lifting 800 tons and staffed by a 6-man crew. When not involved in shipyard construction programs, the SUN 800 provides outside customers with a complete, mobile heavy lift service for use in a wide range of applications including construction, marine salvage and cargo handling. The SUN 800 made its biggest lift in 1978 when it placed a 788-ton drawspan in position on the Benjamin Harrison Bridge in Hopewell, VA.
The SUN 800 places the gimbal on the Hughes Glomar Explorer. The lift, amounting to 630 tons, was the heaviest in the entire construction process of the ship and was the primary reason that the crane was built..
Sun Ship brouchure, 1977
The SUN 800 places the last unit for the Sugar Barge that was being built for Sun at Bath Iron Works. Photo taken in Jan, 1982 courtesy of Rich Janney
Transfer to Donjon Marine
The PENN 1000was transferred to Donjon Marine as part of the closing of Penn Ship and renamed the CHESAPEAKE 1000. c:1998
Note: Click on each of the three thumbnails above to view a larger display
Barge and Derrick (As originally constructed)
The SUN 800 barge was built by Kelso Marine at the Galveston yard and was launched on June 23, 1972 and christened by Mrs. Edward LaCross. The derrick was built by American Hoist and Derrick. The derrick consisted of a tubular shear-leg boom and a diesel driven four drum hoist, see sketch below. The 230-foot long main boom had, at construction, a main tackle capacity of 800 short tons at a reach radius of 100-feet. The 25-foot long jib boom has an auxiliary hook capacity of 50 short tons at a reach radius of 225-feet.
The derrick was mounted on a barge hull 190-feet long, 100-feet wide and 20-feet deep. The barge will have four mooring winches, three tugger winches, and three gypsies. Power is supplied by a 350 kw diesel electric set. The unit was acquired primarily for the handling of the mammoth lifts connected with the Hughes Glomar Explorer (Hull 661). However, the SUN 800 found many uses for heavy-lift tasks by Sun Ship's Industrial Products, new ship construction and Ship Repair Divisions and elsewhere on the Delaware River and East Coast.
The Sun 800 Crew
A new era began during October, 1972, at Sun Ship when the Derrick Barge Crane-Sun 800-came to life. This crane has made possible the construction of the Hughes Glomar Explorer and has lent itself to many other unique shipbuilding possibilities during its career at Sun Ship.
Jim Dawson 28-10, Gary Stonge 28-11, Bob Stackhouse 28-13, Jim Brooks 28-15
Herb Artwell 28-12, Frank Anthony 28.14 and Larry Carter 28-17.
Note: Dick Bible is in the back row, second from left.
Note: Personnel not in order as shown.
Start of the SUN 800
Based on correspondence between Gene Schorsch (Chief Naval Architect) and Merv Willis (Naval Architect) dated March 16, 1972 we can see there is a great need to have a heavy-lift crane available for the construction of the Hughes Glomar Explorer (Sun Hull 661):
"Accordingly, a crash program is necessary to produce a different heavy lift rig here within five months. That rig is to be able to turn around in our basin. Hence, a length of about 195-feet is indicated."
Source: SSHS: 709_315_010_006
Photo of crew from Sun Ship Advertisement dated
November 19, 1981SSHS: 709_315_010_007d
1st Row L/R: Jim Dawson, Bill Fortune and Frank Anthony
2nd Row L/R: Herb Artwell, T. Wachter and Larry Carter
Benjamin Harrison Bridge, Hopewell, VA
Damage to bridge when rammed by a tanker in February, 1977.
Courtesy of: Jan Karlsen
Lifting the mid-ship house that was built on-shore and then placed in position on Sun Ship's Fortaleza (Hull 663)
Courtesy of: Jan Karlsen
SUN 800 lifting Industrial Products Division Refinery Cracking Tower.
Courtesy of: Hagley Museum and Library
Transfer to Penn Ship
The SUN 800was transferred to Penn Ship as part of the sale of the Yard and renamed the PENN 800. Listed as: "Presently owned by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sun Ship"
Source: Yard Sale Book
Chesapeake 1000 in Donjon Marine Colors
Courtesy Donjon Marine's internet posting on November 19, 2011
As always, if you have any additional information, suggestions or corrections, please let me know by contacting the email address posted on the website's cover page for Dave Kavanagh
PENN 800 Upgrade to 1000 Tons
The PENN 800 Shear-leg boom sustained storm damage while off the East Coast. Repairs were made and she was upgraded to 1,000 tons and renamed the PENN 1000.
Source: Communications with Gene Schorsch by Dave Kavanagh