Waterfront new build floated in Marlborough Sounds

New Zealand King Salmon's new barge is launched with air bags acting as rollers.
SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF

New Zealand King Salmon's new barge is launched with air bags acting as rollers.

A stunning waterfront property, complete with mod cons, has been floated in Marlborough.

Four bedrooms, two bathrooms, lounge, kitchen, and two computer rooms.

Can carry about 240 tonnes of fish feed. Wait, what?

New Zealand King Salmon's new barge has launched in Picton.

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The 172-tonne barge was built by Blenheim engineering company Cuddon at Port Marlborough.

A tug boat prepares to tow the barge off the airbags to its berth.
SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF

A tug boat prepares to tow the barge off the airbags to its berth.

Project director Darrell Grout said it was prefabricated in the workshops in Blenheim, before the sections were transported to Picton.  

The seven sections were put together under a shelter at the port, and on Thursday the barge was launched for the first time.

Grout said it took eight months to build, with between eight and 20 people working on it at any time.

The rear of the new feeder barge as it was launched into the harbour.
SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF

The rear of the new feeder barge as it was launched into the harbour.

"It's fairly state-of-the-art."

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The barge was equipped with an automatic feeding system as well as fire sprinklers and other safety equipment.

"It's got some new technical systems."

The barge moves safely out into Picton harbour.
SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF

The barge moves safely out into Picton harbour.

Grout said the launch method was a first for the South Island.

Cuddon put large cylindrical airbags under the barge, then inflated them to lift it up.

Using machinery, workers then gently pushed the barge and the air bags acted as rollers to take it below the high tide mark.

"A little bit like the blocks for building the pyramids, only a little bit more advanced," Grout said.

When the tide came in, the air bags were deflated and pulled out, and a tugboat towed the barge to berth.

New Zealand King Salmon would use the barge to feed its fish farms.

Grout said the barge would spend another week or so at berth while it was commissioned before commencing work.

 - Stuff

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