All American building catamaran for Hawaii research

(BELLINGHAM, Wash.) — All American Marine (AAM) has been awarded a contract to build a research vessel for the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the University of Hawaii Foundation (UHF) on behalf of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB).

The research vessel, with construction already underway in AAM’s facility on Bellingham Bay, is a 68.5-by-25-foot semi-displacement aluminum catamaran that was developed by Nic de Waal of Teknicraft Design in Auckland, New Zealand. The vessel will contain proven design elements found in the recently commissioned research vessels Blue Manta and Shearwater, built for BlueTide Puerto Rico and Duke University, respectively.

All American Marine rendering

The newbuild is being constructed to U.S. Coast Guard standards for service in waters where the range to the marine refuge is 150 nautical miles or less, and it will operate as a multipurpose research vessel in Hawaiian waters and offshore on ocean routes for a crew of up to 12.

The twin-engine speed and fuel efficiency of this vessel will be fundamental to meeting the University of Hawaii’s research goals and allow it to access and study marine environments in the Hawaiian Islands. The knowledge gained from science missions on this vessel will directly support the management and conservation of Hawaii’s marine resources.

“We are incredibly excited to be able to have a custom-built vessel for our environmentally driven research missions in and around the Hawaiian Islands,” said Dr. Carl Meyer, fellow of the Institute of Biology (United Kingdom) and University of Hawaii researcher. “All American Marine understood our mission and provided a new design to meet our mission-specific needs. We are excited about the positive impacts this vessel will have for us, including a substantial increase in the abilities of our programs.”

The new research vessel 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.

Teknicraft’s hydrofoil-assisted hull design is proven to have low-wake wash energy and fuel economy. The main foil action reduces the power needed to maintain service speed; therefore, fuel consumption and running costs are reduced significantly while also further enhancing the softness of the ride, especially in choppy seas.

The hydrofoil system consists of the main foil spanning the tunnel at the keel, forward of the center of gravity position and two cantilever-type stern foils. The lift produced by the hydrofoil reduces the hull resistance while increasing speed and load-bearing capability.

This advanced hull shape was custom designed using digital modeling and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis testing. For the operator, the vessel offers excellent fuel economy while also maintaining an estimated fully laden cruise speed of 22 to 24 knots, with a fuel-efficient minimum survey speed of 3 knots. With a fuel capacity of 1,800 gallons, this design will support a science team of eight on offshore missions and 22 students/crew on shorter day excursions.

The propulsion package includes two fixed-pitch propellers driven by twin Scania DI16 082M Tier 3 engines, rated at 800 hp at 2,100 rpm. Scientists and crew will have comfortable live-aboard quarters, large wet and dry lab spaces, as well as a range of the latest oceanographic equipment in which to conduct a variety of missions.

The vessel will support a diverse portfolio of science and outreach missions including advanced studies on marine megafauna, pelagic and coastal ecosystem research, oceanographic surveys, and K-12 learning experiences for up to 20 people.

“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 and chief operating officer. “We are delighted to have been chosen to build this vessel for the University of Hawaii. This vessel will expand U of H’s environmentally focused research activities and will aid them with their conservation efforts in the Pacific.”

– All American Marine


By Rich Miller