Scripps adds Volvo Penta powered research vessel to fleet

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Vessel alongside prior to initial sea trials

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego is adding a fourth research vessel, the 42 ft Bob and Betty Beyster to its fleet for use in San Diego.

Armstrong Marine of Port Angeles, Washington, designed and built the aluminum hulled boat. Pacific Power Group, working closely with Armstrong, fitted the vessel with a Volvo Penta IPS 650 propulsion system. This is the first time PPG has mated the IPS configuration with an aluminum hulled boat.

“We took a lot of time with the Scripps team to determine exactly what they needed from the functionality of the boat,” said Doug Schwedland, PPG’s vice president of the marine division. “Those discussions and test run with boats equipped with the IPS system allowed us to fine tune the propulsion package to meet all their criteria.”

Much of the research work the newest Scripps vessel will conduct requires operating at slow speeds performing tasks like mapping the ocean floor. Its catamaran hull provides a stable platform to operate under those conditions.

The vessel’s Volvo Penta’s 6-cylinder D11, 10.8-liter engine with twin-entry turbos is matched with the IPS2 pod, twin counter-rotating propellers and anElectronic Vessel Control System, which includes a joystick control to direct the boat’s movements. The IPS system gives the operator fine motor control of the boat for delicate maneuvers.

The boat also has Volvo Penta’s Dynamic Positioning function, which utilizes GPS coordinates to hold the vessel’s position and heading. The ability to hold position is critical for researchers to take the time needed to gather data for their research.

The fast coastal research vessel has a range of 500 nautical miles, a cruising speed of 25 knots and is able to hold six scientists and the captain. The winch is capable of hoisting up to 4,000 pounds and the deck has several configuration options.

Bob and Betty Beyster
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