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Gulf Island picks Rapp to supply key Regional Research Vessel systems

Written by Nick Blenkey
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OCTOBER 17, 2017 — Rapp Marine has been selected by Gulf Island Shipyard, LLC, as the Overboard Handling System Single Source Vendor (OHS SSV) for Oregon State University’s (OSU) 193 ft x 41 ft multi-mission Regional Class Research Vessel (RCRV).

Under the scope of the OHS SSV, Rapp Marine is responsible for integrating the systems required for science mission and cargo handling operations. The overboard handling systems will consist of the oceanographic winch and hydrographic winch systems, which will supply various tension members to the stern A-frame, main crane, and overboard handling apparatus. The portable winch will also supply the tension member used with the portable side A-frame and portable crane.

Funding for the RCRV project is provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the contract design of the RCRV was developed by Glosten. The first vessel is currently under construction at Gulf Island Shipyard in Houma, LA. The Gulf Island contract includes an option for a further two vessels/

The primary application of the oceanographic winch system will be for towing scientific devices, coring, and deploying/recovering large surface buoys or heavy packages to the seafloor. The hydrographic winch system will be for instrument handling and towing as well as CTD/rosette casts. The portable winch system will be used for lighter tows or casts. The load handling systems will employ state of the art features for smooth operation, a few of them including Electric Variable Frequency drives (VFD) and Active Heave Compensation (AHC) for all the winch systems, wireless control chest packs with CCTV display feeds, and Rapp Marine’s proprietary Pentagon PLC Control System that displays and logs all line data according to UNOLS standards during operations.

Rapp Marine’s innovative solutions for research vessels have been developed through many recent research vessel handling systems delivered all around the world in the past decade.

Notable recent Rapp Marine research vessel equipment deliveries in the U.S. are the R/V Sikuliaq, a UNOLS Global Class vessel operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and five NOAA Fishery Research Vessels (FRV), including the latest R/V Reuben Lasker, featuring all electric driven winches.

On a global level, Rapp Marine has delivered a dozen handling systems to new research vessels operating all around the world, notably in Norway, China, Australia, and South Korea.Rapp Marine is working on other high profile research vessel handling system projects at the moment, including the Antarctic Supply Research Vessel (ASRV) for Australia and the Polar Icebreaker for the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC).

“OSU is very pleased with Gulf Island Shipyard’s selection of Rapp Marine as its OHS SSV,” said Project Manager Demian Bailey. “Rapp has a reputation for delivering highly capable, dependable, and well supported products and is a great fit for our program. These handling systems and controls will be at the core of these highly capable next generation research vessels.”

“We are very proud to be a part of the team,” says Johann Sigurjonsson, President/CEO of Rapp Marine U.S., “our company has been working on landing this project for a long time, we are very delighted to see our efforts pay off.” The handling systems will be delivered in 2019, and will be installed and tested with Rapp Marine’s support for the RCRV’s delivery to OSU in fourth quarter of 2020.

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