Bellingham, Wash., shipbuilder All American Marine has won a contract to construct a research vessel for Bluetide Puerto Rico.
The 73-foot by 26.7-foot aluminum catamaran, will be constructed to USCG Subchapter T standards for use on both near coastal and ocean routes.
Bluetide’s mission is to “influence, innovate, support and increase the eco-responsible economic impacts of a sustainable ‘Blue Economy’ in the U.S. Caribbean.”
The twin-engine vessel will be Bluetide’s first vessel for its marine research, education, innovation, and conservation work.
The vessel’s semi-displacement catamaran hull was developed by Nic de Waal of Teknicraft Design in Auckland, New Zealand, and is based on the R/V Shearwater, also designed by Teknicraft and built by All American Marine in 2020 for Duke University Marine Lab (see earlier story).
This design integrates the signature Teknicraft 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.
The advanced hull shape was custom designed using digital modeling and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis testing.
The design offers passengers and crew a smooth ride and great comfort as the hull provides a cushioned effect when encountering waves.
For the operator, the most valuable feature is the excellent fuel economy, which 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 3 knots.
With a large fuel capacity of 1.500 gallons, this fuel-efficient design will be able to hold up to 30 day-passengers (up to 8 live-aboard) including 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.
“The acquisition of this vessel will give us another perspective of the sea as an asset and a resource to educate ourselves, explore and innovate in a collaborative way, spearheading a new economy for the region,” says Guifre Tort, Bluetide’s Interim Executive Director
Onboard the vessel, passengers and crew have ample space and comfort in live-aboard quarters, wet and dry labs, as well as a range of the latest oceanographic equipment with which to conduct survey operations.