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The present invention is typically embodied to exert active control of two same-shipboard cranes performing joint lifting of a payload. Sensory signals indicative of ship motion, and of luff angle and hoist line length of both cranes, are transmitted to a computer. The sensory signals are processed by the computer using a ship motion cancellation algorithm, which solves for values of the respective luff angles and hoist line lengths of both cranes, such values achieving static equilibrium (e.g., zero motion horizontally, vertically, and rotationally in the same vertical geometric plane) of the suspended payload. Inverse kinematic control signals in accordance with the mathematical (e.g., minimum norm) solutions are transmitted by the computer to respective luff angle actuators and hoist line length actuators of both cranes so that the suspended payload tends toward steadiness. Inventive control thus acts on a continual basis to significantly reduce pendulation during the two-crane lifting operation.