As warships grew in size and displacement, there was an ever increasing need to supplement dockside cranes for
heavy lifting. One option was the floating crane. The United States Navy built
Floating Crane 33 in 1918 at the
Mare Island Navy Yard by Wellman, Seaver, Morgan Company. With an all steel hull, electrically powered and a lift
capacity of 150-tons, the floating crane was very capable for its mission. In 1920 it was redesignated
YD33 for
Yard Barge non-selfpropelled. The barge had a long life and was not placed for disposal until January 1, 1975.
Navsource has some wonderful photographs of YD33, including the one above
(http://www.navsource.org/archives/14/26033.htm). Included in the photographic collection is a color photograph
from 1967 with the crane painted yellow.
Lion Roar now has a 1:700 scale model of YD33. This model is perfect for diorama builders, as it is easy to
envision tied up yo any battle damaged warship conducting repairs. The small box is packed with parts with three
resin parts, the barge hull, crane plate turntable and crane base. There are five frets of relief-etched brass frets,
which cram this small gem with detail.
Photo-etch detail is exceptional. From anti-skid grid on the floor panels to individual rivets, the detail is there.
About the only complaint that I have is that the inclined ladders have rungs rather than tread boards. Yhe four
pages of assembly instructions are clearly laid out, presenting isometric drawings of each step in the assembly
process.
The Lion Roar 1:700 Scale model of YD33 allows the diorama builder an outstanding opportunity to portray a
warship at a yard undergoing repairs or a refit. With this impressive floating crane nestled alongside, it would be a
standout presentation.
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