Heavy-lift ships are pretty incredible. We had never seen them before, so we figured we’d share them with you today. Essentially these enormous ships are capable of moving insanely huge objects (i.e. other large vessels or oil rigs) for long distances with ease.
How do they do it? Magic! (Or extremely efficient engineering.) The semi-submerging type you’ll see below has a low deck in the middle, the engine in the back and a pimpin’ pilot house in the front.

It uses ballast tanks, which are flooded to lower itself into the water. Then it’s able to pick up massively huge items like oil platforms or war ships! The submerged deck of the heavy-lift ship is moved under the load and then the ballast flooded ballast tanks are emptied with bosslike pumps! The ship is so sophisticated that it is able to pump the tanks out unevenly to balance the load on the deck and lift it out of the ocean.
Now that you know enough about heavy lift ships and their ability to ship ships, you probably want to see some pictures of this ship shipping ships (and other things).
USS Cole
The USS Cole is a destroyer warship for the United States Navy. In 2000, it was viciously attacked by Al-Qaeda terrorists. 17 sailors were killed and 39 more were injured, while the ship took heavy damage and was unable to make its way back to port. This is when the heavy-lift ship Blue Marlin carried the warship back to port, where it was repaired.

A Dozen Transport Ships
Oh this? This is a light load for a bosslike heavy-lift ship. Just carrying a dozen transport ships like it ain’t no thang!

Oil Rigs
Heavy-lift ships are primarily used to transport oil rigs like these.

Drilling Rigs
Do you want to transport drilling rigs? They are heavy-as-hell, but a piece of cake for heavy-lift ships! In fact, they are able to transport three drilling rigs at once, as you can see in the second picture below.

The Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX-1) is part of the U.S. Defense Department Ballistic Missile Defense System. It’s self-propelled and floats around acting as a mobile active electronically scanned array radar station. It’s worth $900 million. It can operate in high winds and on heavy seas, but sometimes it needs a heavy-lift ship to transport it like a boss!

Now you know about the ships that were built to ship ships. You’re welcome!