Syncrolift put to good use

Leandrea Louw
On average, Namport’s syncrolift at Walvis Bay handles around 26 vessels a month.

A syncrolift is a system for lifting boats and ships out of the water for maintenance work or repairs. The vessel is manoeuvred over a submerged cradle, which is then lifted by a set of synchronized hoists or winches.

Namport manages and operates the docking and undocking of vessels to and from the lift, whereas private companies and individuals perform all the repair work. It is estimated that 80% of the work generated at the syncrolift is done by private companies - which shows the great entrepreneurial spinoff the syncrolift has.

According to recent figures released by the ports authority, repair bay occupancy increased by 12% and repair jetty occupancy increased by 29% from April 2021 to January 2022, compared to the same period the previous year.

The syncrolift has a lifting capacity of up to 2 000 tonnes displacement; a beam of 14 metres in width; and an overall length of 80m. It has five bays of which two are 47m, one is 104m and the rest are 108m long. The facility has four floating repair jetties of 105m each.

A wide range of ships, including many vessels employed in the offshore sector along the west coast of Africa, can save valuable steaming time using the port of Walvis Bay for dry-docking. Many vessels have found shelter at the syncrolift for their repairs.