Silver Ships delivers RHIB customized for NOAA research requirements

Written by Nick Blenkey
RHIB with NOAA customizations

Silver Ships AM600 RHIB has been extensively customized to meet NOAA’s needs.

Theodore, Ala., based Silver Ships Inc. recently delivered a customized Ambar Series vessel to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The custom-built Ambar 6 meter (AM600) is designed to be operated from NOAA oceangoing ships. At just under 28 feet in length, with a hull length of 20 feet 5 inches, it has an 8 feet 10 inches beam and 22 inch draft.

Powered by two Mercury SeaPro 115 hp engines, the boat has an 80-gallon fuel tank and was delivered with a trailer and a boat cradle for deck storage. Among other customizations to meet the needs of NOAA, it was specifically designed with a lift located in the center of the boat to safely deploy from large ships working offshore.

Ambar series vessels, part of the rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) family, were originally
designed to meet North Sea demands as rescue boats. Over the past 15 years, the
Ambar boats have been used in many applications, from fire rescue service to patrol and
research missions. The original “hybrid” air-and-foam collar has proven to be popular and gives
the Ambar Series incredible stability, making the boats virtually unsinkable.

The vessel is projected to be used on two to four cruises during the upcoming summer
months. It will play a key role in collecting the needed research data on specific marine
life, including sea turtles and whales.

A customized turtle tagging platform allows for research biologists to efficiently hand tag turtles that surface the water, while a folding bow-pulpit allows researchers to get over the water, assisting in biopsy darting large whales. An observer platform is elevated 8 feet in the air to enable surfaced animals to be tracked at tracking these surfaced animals.

“As a Silver Ships team, we were overjoyed to be able to assist NOAA in expanding their
research with a customized vessel built for all the needs they were hoping for,” said Silver Ships federal contracts manager Shawn Lobree. “With the custom, unique add-ons this vessel
holds, we are confident NOAA will be able to strengthen their research and leave a lasting
impact on our environment.”

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