SAL Heavy Lift Vessel Typ 161



Guest Article

Christina Wagner


Type 161

SAL, Schiffahrtkontor Altes Land, whose history dates back to 1838, formed SAL Heavy Lift in 2012. Since 2017, the Hamburg-based shipping company has been part of the Bremer Harren & Partner Group. Since SAL was founded in 1980, the shipping company has focused on heavy-lift and project shipping.

For this purpose, the shipping company had a series of 12 multipurpose heavy-lift vessels built at the J. J. Sietas shipyard in Hamburg between 1987 and 1996. The type 132 had a length of 107.43 m and a breadth of 19.00 m.  The first ship was fitted with two NMF cranes with a lifting capacity of 100 t each. These were increased to 150 t on the four following ships. Three more ships received 200 t cranes. On the last four ships, the lifting capacity of the cranes was increased to 250 t, so that these ships could take on loads of up to 500 t. In order to stabilise the ships when taking on cargo, a stabilising pontoon was used on these ships.

Photo Heavy Lift Vessel ROELOF, ex ANNEGRET, Typ 132
Heavy-lift vessel ROELOF, ex ANNEGRET (1992) with 2 x 150 t cranes, 2018 Kiel Canal
Photo Heavy Lift Vessel der SAL des Typs 132, REGINE
The REGINE (built 1996) belongs to type 132 with 2 NMF cranes of 250 t each. The supposed breakwater is the upright stowed stability pontoon.

Here you will find a painting of the Grietje (161) and other SAL ships.

While the last ships of the type 132 were being delivered by Sietas, the shipping company, in cooperation with the shipyard, developed the concept of the fast heavy-lift carrier. This was the birth of the type 161, on which all ships were to be based, up to the later peak, the class 183.

The ships of type 161 were not only to be larger than their predecessors, but also to be able to reach a speed of 20 knots, which was unusually high for heavy-lift ships. Since bulky cargo often obstructed the view from the bridge, the deck structure of these ships was also moved from the stern to the bow.

In 1997, the first ship of this new type, the GLORIA, was delivered. This ship, as well as the next three ships, were fitted with two NMF cranes on the port side with a lifting capacity of 275 t, which means that 550 t can be lifted. Another new feature of this type was the installation of a third 150 t crane on the starboard side.  When moving heavy loads with the cranes, the use of the stability pontoon introduced on the last Type 132 ships was retained.

With the exception of the ANNEMIEKE, which is still in service with the SAL in 2021, all other ships of this type have been scrapped in the meantime.

Photo SAL Heavy Lift Vessel LENA, Typ 161
Heavy Lift vessel LENA, type 161, was the fourth and last ship of the basic type 161. 2002 on the Elbe with a former BSG boat as deck cargo..
Photo Heavy Lift Vessel LENA
The LENA on the Elbe in 2002.

Photo SAL Heavy Lift, Vessel ANNEMIEKE
The ANNEMIEKE (2021 on the Elbe) is the last heavy-lift carrier of the basic type 161 still in service with the SAL
Photo 275 t Kran auf ANNEMIEKE
275 t NMF crane der ANNEMIEKE
Photo 150 t NMF Kran auf ANNEMIEKE
150 t NMF starboard crane at the stern of the ANNEMIEKE



TYPE 161a

After the first four ships, it was decided to increase the lifting capacity of the cranes, as was already the case with the Type 132. The next four ships, all delivered in 2000, were designated Type 161a. With a length of 151.65 m and a width of 20.40 m, they retained the size of the Type 161, but the lifting capacity of the NMF cranes was increased to 320 tonnes. This made it possible to take loads of up to 640 t. The lifting capacity of the starboard crane was also increased from 150 t to 200 t. To accommodate the larger main cranes, a substructure had to be mounted on the outside of the hull, below the cranes on the port side.

Photo from SAL Heavy Lift vessel ANNEGRET, Typ 161b
ANNEGRET Typ 161a on the Kiel Canal
Photo from Wiebke, SAL Heavy Lift Typ 161a
Stern view of the Wiebke
Foto from SAL Heavy Lift vessel Paula, Typ 161b
The PAULA on the Elbe underway
Photo from NMF 320 t crane on Annegret Typ 161a
One of the 320 t NMF cranes on the ANNEGRET
Photo from SAL Heavy Lift Vessel Wiebke, Typ 161a
Wiebke was the last ship of the type 161a to be delivered
Photo from NMF 200 t Crane on the Wiebke, Typ 161a
200 t starboard crane on the WIEBKE. In front of it the stability pontoon.



 Type 161b

The ANNETTE, the first of two type 161b ships, was delivered in 2003. Compared to the vessels of type 161a, the lifting capacity of the cranes was increased once again. The two main cranes could now lift 350 t each and 700 t coupled. The starboard crane was replaced by a 250 t crane. On these ships, the cranes can also be operated in a topped-up position, with the jibs in a vertical position. In addition, unlike the other ships of this type, the funnel was moved to the starboard side.

With the second ship of this type, the MARIA, the construction of type 161 was completed in 2004, after a total of 10 ships. These were to be followed from 2008 by the larger and considerably more powerful ships of the type 176.

Photo from SAL  Heavy Lift ANNNETTE, Typ 161b
The ANNETTE, type 161b, underway on the Kiel Canel
Photo from SAL Heavy Lift MARIA, Typ 161b
In the photo of the MARIA, you can clearly see the funnel moved to starboard.
Photo from SAL Heavy Lift  Typ 161b, ANNETTE
Stern view of the ANNETTE
Photo from 250 t crane NMF, Annette Typ 161b
The 250 t NMF Starboard crane of the ANNETTE
Photo from SAL Heavy Lift ANNETTE, Typ 161b
Die ANNETTE on the Kiel Canel
Photo from SAL Heavy Lift Vessel Maria, 350 t NMF crane
One of the two 350 t NMF cranes on the ANNETTE



In the table I have compared the data of the ships of type 161. These are general data, which may differ for individual ships.


  Typ 161 Typ 161a Typ 161b

GLORIA (1997)

WILMA (1997)


LENA (1998)

GRIETJE (2000)


PAULA (2000)

WIEBKE (2000)

ANNETTE (2003)

MARIA (2004)


J.J. Sietas Werft Hamburg Neuenfelde

J.J. Sietas Werft Hamburg Neuenfelde

J.J. Sietas Werft Hamburg Neuenfelde

Length over all

151,67 m

151,67 m

151,67 m

Breadth moulded

  20,40 m

  20,40 m

  20,40 m

Breadth over all

  20,65 m

  21,02 m

  21,02 m


    7,85 m

   7,85 m

    7,85 m






9.544 t

9.361 t

9.422 t


82,90 x 15,80 x 11,17 m

82,90 x 15,80 x 10,97 m

82,90 x 15,80 x 10,95 m

Volume hold

13.614 m³

13.604 m³

13.604 m³

Free deckspace

2.120 m²

2.120 m²

2.263 m²

Cargo gear

2 x NMF 275 t (550 t), 1 x NMF 150 t

2 x NMF 320 t (640 t). 1 x NMF 200 t

2 x 350 t (700 t), 1 x 250 t

Main Engine

MAN B&W  W9L 48/60   9.450 kW

MAN B&W 9L 48/60 9.450 kW

MAN B&W 9L 48/60 9.450 kW

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