Cakewalk, America’s Largest

Cakewalk, 281'


In 2007, I went to work for Paul Derecktor in Bridgeport after closing MRI. Cakewalk was just starting to weld its first pieces together. I was hired as Planner and Scheduler, and as part of upper management, and as a boatbuilder, I became part of the Launch Committee. The boat and cradle were going to weigh 2,000 tons, 4,000,000 pounds, so our 600 ton travelift would be useless. The boat had to move 1,400′ to the bulkhead, which was eight feet (8′) above high tide. It then had to transfer over the edge onto a drydock, or something, and finally be lowered twenty feet (20′) until it floated off its cradle. Bridgeport had seven feet (7′) of tide, and of course, as the weight is transferred to the drydock it sinks down under the load, so water has to be pumped out to keep things level at all times. It would take time all while the tide is going up and down, very tricky!

Three years later, Tom Derecktor was in charge and we successfully transferred it across and launched without a scratch. I am proud of his leadership, and his inner strength. I pride myself for being an instrumental part of the team, that did what seemed to be an impossible task.