A vessel with very high-capacity on-deck lift cranes and other equipment designed to be self-sustaining in the handling of extremely large and/or heavy items that cannot be transported in or on other vessels. Semi-submersible types of heavy lift vessels are designed to transport, lift, and unload very large floating objects, including damaged ships. Ro-ro heavy lift vessels also exist.
Heavy lift vessels have large cargo decks and unusual deck and pilothouse configurations to accommodate unusual types of cargo.
Heavy lift vessels carry high-value, complex cargoes such as transformers, locomotives, rockets, crushers, semi-submersible rigs, jack-ups, oil platforms, bridge spans, TLPs (tension leg platforms), SPAR buoys, etc.