Port Security Conference

April 9, 2003


Kvichak delivers cat
The first of two foil-assist catamarans constructed by Kvichak Marine Industries, Seattle, for the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was recently delivered to the USACE's Mobile District.

The S/V IRVINGTON's mission is to conduct hydrographic surveys in support of dredging and channel maintenance operations. The second vessel, which has a summer delivery, will operate in the New York District.

The USACE's Marine Design Center in Philadelphia handled the project management and was instrumental in all design stages of the survey catamaran. It also monitored the construction details from start to finish.

"We chose a catamaran for its increased stability and for the ability to install a moveable strut between the hulls to mount multiple transducers on," said USACE's Mike Collier. "The partial foil support of the design provides the high cruising speed and cushioned ride we were looking for."

Designed and constructed by Kvichak, the 54 ft x 20 ft aluminum catamaran incorporates the Hysucatâ foil design. Kvichak says that the Hysucatâ system provides the operator with increased fuel efficiency; improved speed and low wake wash. The fully adjustable aft trim foil provides ultimate control for variable loads and sea conditions.

"The IRVINGTON is one of the most efficient vessels that Kvichak has ever built," said Scott Weiler, Kvichak's project manager. "I am very pleased with our new generation of Hysucatâ foils."

Powered by twin Caterpillar 3406E engines rated for 700 BHP at 2200 RPM, the Irvington has a top speed of around 34 knots and a cruising speed of around 28 knots.

"The distances between the channels surveyed by the IRVINGTON are significant," explained Collier. "The high cruising speed allows us to travel to a work site much quicker and spend more time surveying thereby providing a substantial increase in operational efficiency over our existing monohull vessel."

A key element of the IRVINGTON's on-deck survey package is a Reson multi-beam sonar system installed on a retractable strut located between the two hulls. The strut, designed in collaboration between Kvichak and the USACE's Marine Design Center, travels vertically on a T-track system and stows in a fixed position above the working deck. In the deployed position the strut allows an unobstructed transverse scan angle of up to 140°.

Located in front of the house is a Reson forward-looking sonar mounted on a second retractable strut. The forward-looking sonar enables the survey crew to locate submerged obstructions before the vessel is directly over them.

Inside the spacious house is a state-of-the-art survey station. The station is the platform for two PC's, four monitors, one Odom Echo Track depth recorder and a GPS control box. Next to the survey station is a 2 inch diameter stilling well that allows periodic measurement of vessel draft during survey operations.

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