All American Marine (AAM), Bellingham, Wash., has been awarded a contract by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) covering construction a 50-foot aluminum research catamaran for the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.
The twin-engine Teknicraft Design vessel will be built to USCG Subchapter T standards. The vessel will carry up to 18 personnel on a near coastal route.
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary includes 3,188 square miles of waters off the rugged Olympic Peninsula coastline. The sanctuary extends 25 to 50 miles seaward, covering much of the continental shelf and several major submarine canyons.
The semi-displacement catamaran hull for this vessel was developed by Nic de Waal of Teknicraft Design in Auckland, New Zealand. The design integrates a Teknicraft hull shape and is complemented by Teknicraft’s signature integration of a wave piercer positioned between the catamaran sponsons to break up wave action and ensure reduced drag while conducting research missions. The catamaran is also highly stable and has outstanding seakeeping ability.
For the operator, a valuable features of the vessel is its fuel economy. Powered by twin Cummins QSC8.3 engines with twin propellers, the vessel will host a variety of research missions and visiting scientists concentrating on seafloor mapping, habitat characterization, data collection, and the monitoring of the health of ocean species and marine wildlife.
“All American Marine worked diligently with Teknicraft to design a flexible platform that could quickly and easily be reconfigured depending on the current mission. This feature was critical for NOAA’s research purposes,” said Ron Wille, All American Marine’s Business Development Manager.
The vessel provides approximately 250 square feet of working space on the aft deck, with a complete complement of working gear and an extensive grid of deck sockets. Spaced every two feet, the sockets allow equipment and gear to be secured, moved, or removed from the working deck.
There is a fly bridge with bimini top covering on the upper deck, allowing vessel operations from a higher elevation while conducting research missions. The top deck also features an Interocean conduction wire winch, hauling winch and a Morgan 300.4 crane. The main deck features an adjustable A-Frame for launching scientific equipment.
Additional features of the research vessel include both a wet laboratory for examining specimens and a dry laboratory for processing data.
On the vessel’s main deck are a fully equipped galley and dinette with settee/bunk, kitchenette and wet head.
NOAA plans to exercise all options to be included in the vessel, including an upgrade on the working deck equipment, a removable universal sonar mount where additional scientific equipment can be placed, and an HVAC upgrade.
“A larger, more stable vessel will not only expand the potential for OCNMS operations but also make it a more viable asset for our partners,” said Kevin Grant, deputy superintendent of Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. “This new vessel will help the sanctuary provide science-based solutions that address evolving environmental pressures on our ocean and coasts.”
AAM has constructed a number of previous, highly successful vessels for NOAA, including the R/V Auk, R/V Shearwater, R/V Fulmar and R/V Manta and the enforcement catamaran Peter Gladding, in addition to a number of 30-foot survey launches.