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Brix Marine wins order for third IPS-drive cat

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The vessel will be similar to Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s R/V Bob and Betty Beyster (above) designed and built by Brix Marine in 2019.

Port Angeles, Wash.-based Brix Marine (formerly Armstrong Marine USA) has been contracted by Northrop Grumman to build a catamaran survey-research vessel, slated for fall 2021 completion.

The 44- by 16-foot vessel is Brix’s third IPS-drive catamaran; the first two were 4216-CTC models, both delivered in 2019, one to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the other to Orca Maritime, Inc., Imperial Beach, Calif.

Northrop Grumman says it will utilize the vessel for testing commercial navigation systems, undersea and aviation programs, as well as assisting the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s replenishment of local oyster populations and other community outreach and educational projects.

The 4416-CTC is powered by twin Volvo D11 510 hp engines with Volvo IPS 650 propulsors and a dynamic positioning system (DPS), which automatically maintains heading and position and provides the precise control required for scientific operations.

The vessel features a full-width cabin with flybridge, large aft working deck, open transom, two swim platforms, and a removable launch platform. Deck equipment includes a hydraulic A-frame (4.200 lb) with Pullmaster PL5 hydraulic winch, a Morgan Marine 200.3 crane, and 30 tie-down points for securing equipment.

Designed to accommodate overnight stays, the heated cabin includes a V berth in the forward cuddy, and a port side workstation with ample counter space and seating for two. A head compartment with hot water shower is housed behind the workstation on the port side. The fold out table with flip down bench seats on the starboard side maximizes the cabin’s usable space.

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