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Burger Boats awarded contract to build research vessel

Written by Marine Log Staff

graylingAPRIL 11, 2013—The U.S. Geological Survey, Ann Arbor, MI, recently awarded a contract to build a replacement vessel for the 38-year-old research vessel Grayling.

The new Grayling will built by Burger Boat Company, Manitowoc, WI, and operate on Lakes Huron,  Michigan, and Superior.  The preliminary design for the new survey vessel was developed by JMS Naval  Architects of Mystic, CT.

The  78 ft vessel will be stationed at USGS Great Lakes Science Center base  in Cheboygan, MI, and will incorporate modern marine standards and  state-of-the-art technology to more safely and effectively conduct fisheries  research.

Built in 1977, the 75 ft x 22 ft Grayling was used primarily to carry out annual prey fish assessments. Data on prey fish populations are especially important in evaluating management strategies such as predator stocking and harvest quotas.

“I am delighted to have achieved this important milestone  that will benefit the Great Lakes region for many decades,” says USGS GLSC  Director Russell Strach. “This investment would not have been possible without  the support from many key partners. The new research vessel will come fully  equipped with 21st century laboratories and scientific instrumentation to  support fishery science for the Great Lakes.”

The funding for this  expenditure was accrued from two prior appropriations and held in an account  that was not affected by the sequester.

The replacement vessel is  expected to be a commercial grade 78-foot vessel, and will be designed and  constructed for a 40 to 50-year service life. This vessel will be capable of  performing critical scientific and mission-related tasks, including dragging  nets along the lake bottom, catching fish, and using sound-waves to detect  fish and assess their abundance.

“The entire Burger team is very  excited to be awarded this significant contract,” says Jim Ruffolo, President  and CEO of Burger Boat Company. “The Grayling will further reinforce  Burger’s commitment to designing and constructing quality vessels that meet  each owner’s specific requirements, whether they are custom yachts or  commercial vessels.”

This new contract will create additional highly  skilled shipbuilding jobs at the Manitowoc shipyard, and the project will help  support numerous companies that supply raw materials and equipment for the  project.

For over 50 years the USGS GLSC has operated a unique and  valuable deepwater fish ecology and assessment program that is the foundation  for fisheries management throughout the Great Lakes.

Burger, at 150  years old, is one of the world’s oldest shipyards. From its facility in  Manitowoc, WI., Burger’s craftsmen have built hundreds of high quality  vessels as long as 260 feet (80 meters) that can be found in ports around the  world. Today, Burger continues its legacy of designing and building vessels to  the highest standard from its fully updated shipyard.

The USGS GLSC maintains a fleet of fishery research  vessels on each of the Great Lakes to meet the scientific research needs of  state, tribal, and federal resource managers for understanding and effectively  managing the Great Lakes fishery.

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