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Nov 6, 2015 02:04 PM

Oceanographers look to newbuilds to help assess climate change

Geo Shipyard added to its portfolio of research catamarans in 2015 with the delivery of Trident to Texas A&M University.

Courtesy Geo Shipyard

Geo Shipyard added to its portfolio of research catamarans in 2015 with the delivery of Trident to Texas A&M University.

What will climate change mean for the shipbuilding industry? Beyond the debate over the cause, the phenomenon is increasing the demand for data from the world’s oceans. That bodes well for companies producing equipment to obtain the data and to measure the effects, and for shipyards building the vessels to deploy the instruments offshore.

A case in point is Sally Ride (AGOR 28), designed by Guido Perla & Associates of Seattle and christened by the U.S. Navy last year at Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes, Wash.
The 238-foot monohull, named after the first American woman in space, follows its twin Neil Armstrong out of the shipyard. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, will operate Sally Ride under a charter-party agreement with the U.S. Office of Naval Research.

The newbuild is powered by four Cummins QSK38-DM engines. It has a cruising speed of 12 knots and an impressive range: 11,500 nm over 40 days. There are 20 berths for crewmembers and 24 for scientists, who will have access to enhanced modular onboard labs and acoustic equipment capable of mapping the deepest regions of the ocean.

The 238-foot Sally Ride, shown above at Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes, Wash., will serve the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

Courtesy Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Sally Ride is outfitted with a pair of cranes, an A-frame and three Markey winches.

Elsewhere in the Northwest, Seattle-based Kvichak Marine Industries was awarded contracts to build a pair of aluminum research boats: one for the King County (Wash.) Environmental Laboratory and the other for the California Department of Water Resources.

Jensen Maritime Consultants of Seattle is designing the 48-foot foil-assisted catamaran for King County. Propulsion will be provided by Cummins Tier 3 engines mated to Twin Disc gears and Hamilton waterjets. Science features include an A-frame, a full-service water quality lab and a 9-square-foot moon pool on the aft deck.

The vessel will be used for water sample research, dive and ROV operations, shoreline surveys, and buoy calibration, maintenance and retrieval. Delivery is scheduled for the summer of 2016.

The build process at Dakota Creek included ballast manifold fabrication.

Courtesy Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Design work for Kvichak’s 60-foot catamaran for California is being handled by Incat Crowther, with guidance and customer representation by Jensen. The boat will be powered by twin Cummins QSB6.7 Tier 3 diesels rated for 425 hp at 2,800 rpm. The engines will be fitted to Twin Disc gears.

Deck gear will include a pair of Morgan cranes, and there will be a FLIR thermal-imaging system and an onboard laboratory to assist researchers. The vessel will be used to monitor water quality and invertebrates in the San Francisco Bay estuary, San Pablo Bay estuary and the Pacific Ocean within five miles of shore. Delivery is slated for early 2016.

All American Marine of Bellingham, Wash., is also getting in on the research work, agreeing to build a vessel for the University of New Hampshire and its Joint Hydrographic Center. The 48-foot aluminum catamaran is being funded by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The design by Teknicraft of New Zealand will feature the company’s signature hull with symmetrical bow, asymmetrical tunnel and integrated wave piercer. Propulsion for the prop-driven vessel will be provided by a pair of Cummins QSB6.7 engines, with a Cummins Onan 21.5-kW generator providing auxiliary power.

Sally Ride build process: Rolling modules No. 2 and No. 4 into position.

Courtesy Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Research equipment on the deck will include an A-frame, davit, winch and a moon pool with a deployable sonar strut. Delivery is set for early 2016.

In British Columbia, Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards started construction in the summer of 2015 on CCGS Sir John Franklin, an offshore fisheries science vessel. It is the first non-combatant ship being built under Canada’s new National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS).

Franklin is one of three fisheries vessels that Seaspan is building for the Canadian Coast Guard under the terms of a $514 million contract. The ship is named for the famed British explorer who perished in the Arctic nearly 200 years ago while searching for the Northwest Passage.

Franklin is expected to be completed by the spring of 2017. Other vessels to be built by Seaspan as part of the NSPS include an offshore oceanographic science vessel and a polar icebreaker.

Kvichak Marine has been awarded a contract to build a 60-foot research catamaran for the California Department of Water Resources. Propulsion will be provided by two Cummins QSB6.7 Tier 3 diesels.

Courtesy Jensen Maritime Consultants

Along the Gulf Coast, Geo Shipyard in New Iberia, La., rolled out a survey catamaran in late 2014 and a research cat in early 2015. S/V Blake and R/V Trident were designed by Fyffe Yachts of Kemah, Texas, and feature all-aluminum hulls.

The 82-foot Blake is owned and operated by David Evans and Associates’ Marine Services Division in Gulfport, Miss. It is driven by twin Caterpillar C18 Tier 3 diesels, each producing 803 hp at 2,100 rpm. ZF 500A gears turn 36-inch-diameter, four-blade propellers. The boat has two Northern Lights 55-kW generators and a pair of Wesmar 23-hp bow thrusters for enhanced maneuverability.

Research features include the latest survey instrumentation, an A-frame, a DTI survey winch, a moon pool and a hydraulically operated survey strut that deploys through a door in the wing deck. There is also a bow crane for side-scanning in shallow water. Blake can accommodate a crew of 10 for up to 10 days offshore.

The 65-foot Trident was delivered in the summer of 2015 to Texas A&M University in Galveston, Texas. The research and training cat is powered by two Scania D113 070M 500-hp engines coupled to ZF 360 gears and ZF 32-by-44-inch propellers. It has two Westerbeke 33-kW generators and, like Blake, a pair of Wesmar 23-hp thrusters.

Another Geo Shipyard newbuild, the 82-foot S/V Blake, was delivered to David Evans and Associates in October 2014. Blake and R/V Trident were designed by Roger Fyffe of Texas-based Fyffe Yachts.

Courtesy Geo Shipyard

Trident has 12 berths and can operate 24 hours a day for up to five days between port calls. Deck equipment includes an A-frame, a Rapp Marine 2-ton knuckle-boom crane and a DT Marine Products winch.

Geo is also building a 60-foot research cat for the University of Mississippi in Ocean Springs. The Scania-powered boat is scheduled for delivery in March 2016.

Editor’s note: American Ship Review is profiling two other notable research newbuilds in this year’s issue: Spirit of the Sound from Robert E. Derecktor and Arcticus from Burger Boat Company.

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