All American Marine books contract for innovative offshore wind survey vessel

Written by Nick Blenkey
profile view of AAM research vessel

The R/V Shackleford integrates the signature Teknicraft Design symmetrical and asymmetrical combined hull shape, bow wave piercer, and a patented hydrofoil-assisted hull design.

Bellingham, Wash., based All American Marine (AAM) has been awarded a contract to build a research and hydrographic survey vessel for Geodynamics, an NV5 geospacial group company.

The vessel, the R/V Shackleford, will have a 73 foot x 26.7 foot semi-displacement aluminum catamaran hull developed by Nic de Waal of Teknicraft Design in Auckland, New Zealand.

It will share the fundamental and primary design elements incorporated in the Duke University Marine Lab’s R/V Shearwater and Blue Tide Puerto Rico’s R/V Blue Manta previously delivered by AAM. Both have now proven to be highly successful in their near-coastal research environments.

The R/V Shackleford, named after the southernmost barrier island in the Cape Lookout National Seashore chain, will be constructed to USCG Subchapter T standards and will primarily operate off the eastern seaboard of the United States.

The twin-engine speed and the stability of this hull design is fundamental for Geodynamics’ continuing expansion of its specialized nearshore / mid-shelf hydrographic and geophysical survey operations; specifically customized to serve the burgeoning offshore wind sector.

“Our continued focus is meeting the most stringent offshore survey specifications in the world, whether that is for nautical charting or for subsea exploration to support offshore wind development. Our model is therefore building the boat around the ideal sensors, allowing us to achieve the most accurate and repeatable data, day in and day out. A larger, more stable and customized vessel will not only help us maintain our high standards of quality, but it will also help with our real-time data acquisition and processing transparency objectives by comfortably accommodating our client reps,” stated Chris Freeman, General Manager & Sr. Marine Geologist. “This new vessel will help Geodynamics provide an unmatched platform for hydrospatial solutions that will enhance our safe navigation, coastal resilience and clean energy missions for our broad spectrum of customers.”

The R/V Shackleford integrates the signature Teknicraft Design symmetrical and asymmetrical combined hull shape, bow wave piercer, and a patented hydrofoil-assisted hull design. The hull and hull components are designed to break up wave action and ensure reduced drag while enhancing passenger comfort. This design has proven to have both low-wake wash energy and increased fuel economy. The advanced hull shape was custom designed using digital modeling and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis testing.

The vessel’s design offers all passengers and crew a smooth ride and comfort, as the hull provides a cushioned effect when encountering waves. For the operator, the most valuable feature of these vessels is their excellent fuel economy. They consumes approximately the same gallons per nautical mile throughout the estimated cruising speed of 18-24 knots, with a fuel-efficient survey operation speed of 4- 8 knots, fully laden.

With a large fuel capacity of 1,500 gallons, the vessel will be able to hold up to 16-day passengers, eight live-aboard passengers plus three crew.

The propulsion package includes two fixed pitch propellers, powered by twin CAT C18 “D” ACERT, Tier 3 engines, rated at 803 bhp @ 2,100 RPM and driving through ZF 665V remote mounted gearboxes.

Onboard the vessel, passengers and crew have comfortable live-aboard quarters, large state-of-the- art lab spaces, as well as a range of the latest oceanographic equipment in which to conduct a variety of missions.

“All American Marine remains committed to being on the leading edge of manufacturing techniques and an innovator in merging the latest technology into a functional and proven vessel, said Ron Wille, All American Marine president & COO. “We are delighted to have been chosen to build this vessel as part of Geodynamics’ growing fleet. This vessel will enable Geodynamics to take their business to the next level, provide unmatched services and expand their scientific activities on the east coast significantly. The vessel will also help advance the rapidly growing windfarm industry on the East Coast and beyond.”

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