Syncrolift, Buenos Aires

A syncrolift or synchrolift is a system for lifting boats and ships out of the water for maintenance work or repair.[1] The vessel is maneuvered over a submerged cradle, which is then lifted by a set of synchronized hoists or winches. The vessel can be worked upon in place, or it can be moved inland so the syncrolift can be freed for other use.

The largest syncrolifts can lift vessels up to 100,000 tons.[2] Because of this capacity, syncrolifts have almost completely supplanted the older dry dock systems, most of which could handle only one vessel at a time.[3]

The Syncrolift System was invented in the mid 1950s by Raymond Pearlson when he was working as Chief Engineer for Merrill Stevens, a small Miami shipyard. In 1958 he formed Pearlson Engineering Company (PECO) to develop his invention. PECO was taken over in 1959 by the British engineering group Northern Engineering Industries (NEI) and for the next 20 years or so Pearlson travelled the world installing his product in hundreds of shipyards. PECO became NEI Syncrolift, Inc. in 1986 and in 1989 became part of Rolls-Royce plc when that company acquired NEI.

In 2002 Pearlson was awarded the Elmer A. Sperry Award for the "invention, development and worldwide implementation of a new system for lifting ships out of the water for repair and for launching new ship construction".[4]

In 2015 Nekkar ASA (previously TTS Group ASA)[5] made an agreement with Rolls-Royce to acquire the Syncrolift assets. The registered brand Syncrolift® now belongs to Syncrolift AS, part of Nekkar ASA.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ House, David (2014). "Synchro-Lift Docking Operations". Marine Emergencies: For Masters and Mates. Routledge. pp. 43–45. ISBN 9781317673163. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  2. ^ Rolls-Royce: Why choose a Syncrolift shiplift? Archived 2015-01-25 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Evans, B: "Infrastructure: A Field Guide to the Industrial Landscape", p. 471. W.W. Norton, 2005
  4. ^
  5. ^


  • Hayes, Brian Robert Michael (2005). Infrastructure: a field guide to the industrial landscape. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-05997-9.

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