11fountains Sperm Whale launched by SENNEBOGEN crawler crane
A curious sight for onlookers in Harlingen, Friesland, Holland: a 17-ton sperm whale fountain being lowered into the water at Harlingen harbor by a SENNEBOGEN 1100 E.
Since the middle of the year, a life-size reproduction of a sperm whale, made from plastic and concrete, located off the Zuider pier in Harlingen harbour, has been spraying a good jet of water into the air at irregular intervals.
It is the last placed fountain of the “11Fountains” project. The old European tradition of building a fountain in the town centre, which can be traced back to Roman times, has been brought up to date for the 21st century with the “11Fountains” project. Eleven artists from around the world have designed unique fountains that have been placed close to the centre of each of the eleven Friesland towns.
This largest international art project of Leeuwarden-Friesland, Capital of Culture 2018, is supported by the province of Friesland and the six municipalities involved. The sperm whale fountain in Harlingen was designed by Cuban artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla.
De Boer & De Groot civiele werken worked on the “11Fountains” project as part of the team building the substructure for four of the fountains (Harlingen, Workum, Hindeloopen and Stavoren). After assembly, the 3-meter-high and 18-meter-long visible surface was filled with foamed concrete in order to stand up to the pressure of ice and other influences. The fountain added around 17 tons to the scale once it was complete.
The whale’s stomach lies one meter below Amsterdam sea level. When the water levels are high, the whale either “floats” or is under water. “When the tide comes in, it almost disappears under the water,” says Jennifer Allora.
Once the SENNEBOGEN crawler crane 1100 E had put the sperm whale on the quay, the crew of the crane ship “DURK” took the whale and set off for Wilhelmshaven. Watched by regional press and the curious people of Harlingen, the 17-ton heavy sperm whale was positioned on its base.
An experienced team
De Boer & De Groot’s largest crane ship, the “DURK” and the SENNEBOGEN crawler crane 1100 are used to working together: De Boer & De Groot converted a fishing boat into a working vessel and needed a crane with sufficient capacity for working on and in the water, for example, installing and dismantling sheet piles, and installing fender systems, foundations, sluice gates etc.
The SENNEBOGEN 1100 E is a compact machine which is not too heavy for the boat but has the required load capacity. Taking into account the size of the ship (9.1 m wide, 50 m long, draught 0.70 cm), the crawler crane turned out to be the ideal solution.
Furthermore, the 1100 is equipped with a quiet, efficient, and economical Tier IV diesel engine. This fits perfectly with De Boer & De Groot’s CSR philosophy, corporate social responsibility being one of the main objectives of the company’s business procedures and culture.