All American Marine delivers offshore wind survey vessel

Written by Nick Blenkey
offshore wind survey

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 delivered an offshore wind survey vessel to Geodyamics, a Newport, N.C.-based subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed NV5 Global Inc.

The research and hydrographic vessel, the R/V Shackleford, will service the growing offshore wind market as well as being designed to undertake many other scientific survey missions.

With a length of 73 feet and beam of 26.7 feet, it has a semi-displacement aluminum catamaran hull that was developed by Nic de Waal of Teknicraft Design in Auckland, New Zealand, and will serve an integral role in NV5-Geodynamics’ mission of providing turnkey “single pass” offshore surveys.

Specifically customized to serve the rapidly growing U.S. East Coast offshore wind sector, it was sea-trialed on Bellingham Bay, prior to shipping via cargo ship to its homeport of Beaufort, N.C.

The vessel leverages the fundamental, and proven, design elements of two previous All American Marine deliveries, the Duke University Marine Lab’s R/V Shearwater and Blue Tide Puerto Rico’s R/V Blue Manta.

Named after Shackleford Banks, the southernmost barrier island in the Cape Lookout National Seashore chain the R/V Shackleford was constructed to USCG Subchapter T standards.

offshore survey vessel

The speed and unique stability of this twin-engine hull design is fundamental for Geodynamics’ continuing expansion of its specialized nearshore / mid-shelf hydrographic and geophysical survey operations.

To reduce survey mobilization costs, the R/V Shackleford is outfitted with fully dedicated and redundant survey systems, including a Kongsberg EM 2040 MKII Multibeam Echosounder that is deployed through the vessel’s moonpool via a retractable strut.

“To achieve the highest level of data accuracy day in and day out, our model over the last two decades is simple: we consider the boat as a precision survey instrument, purpose built for the specific survey environment and then wrapped around the ideal sensors for a specific set of missions,” said Geodynamics SVP Chris Freeman. “This holistic approach to our vessel builds has proven successful time and again but requires a builder open to an uncompromised data-centric build. We chose All American Marine based on their experience and skillset in building such highly customized research vessels, vessels that are in service throughout North America. This new best-in-class vessel will provide an unmatched platform for our continued focus performing to the most stringent offshore survey specifications in the world, whether that is for nautical charting or for subsea exploration to support offshore wind development.”

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 is proven to have both low-wake wash energy and increased fuel economy. This 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, says AAM, is the excellent fuel economy, which consumes approximately the same gallons per nautical mile throughout the cruising speed of 18-24 knots. With a large fuel capacity of 1,500 gallons, this fuel- efficient design is licensed for up to 16-day passengers and has live-aboard accommodations of up to 10 passengers.

The propulsion package includes 2x fixed pitch propellers, powered by twin EPA Tier 3 diesel engines, rated at 803 bhp @ 2100 RPM driving ZF 665V remote mounted gearboxes.

Onboard the offshore wind survey vessel, passengers and crew have comfortable quarters, large state-of-the-art lab spaces, and a full range of hydrographic and marine geophysical instrumentation with which to conduct a variety of survey 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 All American Marine president & COO Ron Wille. “We are delighted to be delivering this vessel on time and on budget, 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 wind farm industry on the East Coast and beyond.”

offshore survey vessel
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