August 13, 2015—Naval architecture and marine engineering firm Boksa Marine Design, Lithia, FL, has been awarded a contract for the design and engineering of a new coastal class research vessel. The contract, awarded by an undisclosed oceanography institute, includes the complete design and engineering of the boat, the design of the shipyard bid package, development and evaluation of builder requests for proposals, and assistance in managing the construction of the vessel once a shipyard has been chosen.
The new research vessel will have a length of 78 ft, beam of 26 ft beam, and maximum draft of 6.5 ft. It will replace the institute’s current aging vessel, which has been in service as a floating laboratory in the Gulf of Mexico and Bahamas for over 35 years and is becoming increasingly expensive to maintain.
“We’re excited to be a part of this new project,” says Nick Boksa, President, Boska Marine Design. “The vessel has a rich history of scientific education and discovery and we hope the new boat will continue the institute’s ongoing mission.”
The new vessel will accommodate up to four crewmembers and 10 passengers. Additionally, it will be able to carry 6,500 gallons of fuel and 1,380 gallons of fresh water.
Larger than its predecessor, the vessel will provide more working space including separated wet and dry labs, a larger work deck, a separate galley, and more comfortable arrangements for berthing. Regular missions will include over-the-side operations such as water sampling, bioacoustics, sediment coring, and fisheries research.
While a shipyard has not yet been chosen to build the vessel, Boska believes the build contract will go to a yard in the Southeast. Moreover, the institute is currently working on getting funding for the vessel’s construction. With that said, no order schedule or construction timeline has been set.