All American Marine (AAM) announced in mid-October that it has been awarded the contract to build a research vessel for the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and the University of Hawai’i Foundation on behalf of the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology.
The research vessel, with construction already underway in AAM’s Bellingham Bay, Wash. facility, is a 68.5-foot by 25-foot semi-displacement aluminum catamaran hull that was developed by Nic de Waal of Teknicraft Design in Auckland, New Zealand.
The vessel reportedly will contain design elements found in the recently commissioned research vessels “Blue Manta” and “Shearwater,” built for BlueTide Puerto Rico and Duke University, respectively.
The vessel is being constructed to U.S. Coast Guard standards for service in waters where the range to the refuge is 150 nautical miles or less. It will operate as a multipurpose research vessel in Hawaiian waters and offshore on ocean routes for a crew of up to 12.
“The twin-engine speed and fuel efficiency of this vessel will be fundamental to meeting the University of Hawai’i’s research goals and allow them to access and study marine environments in the Hawaiian Islands,” All American said in a statement.
“The knowledge gained from science missions on this vessel will directly support the management and conservation of Hawai’i’s marine resources,” the company added.
“We are incredibly excited to be able to have a custom-built vessel for our environmentally driven research missions in and around the Hawaiian Islands,” University of Hawai’i researcher Carl Meyer said. “All American Marine understood our mission and provided a new design to meet our mission-specific needs. We are excited about the positive impacts this vessel will have for us, including a substantial increase in the abilities of our programs.”
The new vessel integrates the signature Teknicraft symmetrical and asymmetrical combined hull shape, bow wave piercer and a patented hydrofoil-assisted hull design.
The hull and hull components are designed to break up wave action and ensure reduced drag while enhancing passenger comfort. The design’s hull provides a cushioned effect when encountering waves.
The vessel will offer excellent fuel economy while also maintaining an estimated fully laden cruise speed of 22-24 knots, with a fuel-efficient minimum survey speed of three knots. With a large fuel capacity of 1,800 gallons, the design would support a science team of eight people on offshore missions and 22 students/crew on shorter day excursions, according to All American.
The propulsion package includes 2x fixed pitch propellers, powered by twin Scania DI16, 082M, Tier 3 engines, rated at
800 mhp @ 2100 RPM.
Onboard the vessel, scientists and crew have comfortable living quarters and large state-of-the-art wet and dry lab spaces, as well as a range of the latest oceanographic equipment in which to conduct a variety of missions, according to the contractor.
The vessel has been custom designed to support a diverse portfolio of science and outreach missions, including advanced studies on marine megafauna, pelagic and coastal ecosystem research, oceanographic surveys and K–12 learning experiences for up to 20 people.