In early October the foreshore of Lee-on-Solent’s former Royal Naval Air Station, HMS Daedalus, witnessed the extraordinary beach landing by barge of the canoe body tooling for the Oyster 118 en route to contracted composite specialists MonsterCam for the moulding of hull and deck in their vast, former aircraft hangar.
The two 38m long canoe body mould sections, constructed by MouldCam in Poole, and too large for end access in Lee-on-Solent by road, began their journey setting a haulage record for size on a Dorset highway, before transferring to the Blade Runner barge in Southampton docks bound for Lee-on-Solent.
With military precision on the peak of spring tides, the barge edged into the shallow beach below the former naval base, now industrial estate, where the specially prepared long reach crane and adapted low loader waited to lift and trail the tooling into the construction hall, a final few hundred metres away.
Extraordinary steps and an important milestone in the journey of the Oyster 118, announced just eight months ago and set to launch in spring 2018. The beach landing can be viewed below: