All American delivers offshore wind survey vessel

(BELLINGHAM, Wash.) — All American Marine (AAM) and Geodynamics, an NV5 company, have announced the delivery of a research and hydrographic survey vessel that will service the growing offshore wind market as well as handling a range of other scientific missions.

R/V Shackleford is a 73-by-26-foot semi-displacement aluminum catamaran that was developed by Nic de Waal of Teknicraft Design in Auckland, New Zealand. This vessel will play an integral role in NV5-Geodynamics’ mission of providing turnkey/“single pass” offshore surveys and has been specifically customized to serve the burgeoning offshore wind sector on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.

Shackleford leverages the fundamental and proven design elements of Duke University Marine Lab’s R/V Shearwater and Blue Tide Puerto Rico’s R/V Blue Manta. Both vessels were built by All American Marine and have proven to be highly successful in their near-coastal research environments. Shackleford was sea-trialed on Bellingham Bay prior to shipping via cargo ship to its home port of Beaufort, N.C.

All American Marine photo

Named after Shackleford Banks, the southernmost barrier island in the Cape Lookout National Seashore chain and a nod to the region’s rich maritime history, the new vessel was constructed to U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter T standards. The speed and stability of the twin-engine hull design are fundamental for Geodynamics’ continuing expansion of its specialized nearshore/mid-shelf hydrographic and geophysical survey operations.

To reduce survey mobilization costs, Shackleford is outfitted with fully dedicated and redundant survey systems, including the Kongsberg EM 2040 MKII multibeam echosounder that is deployed through the vessel’s moonpool via a retractable strut. Dimensional control surveys utilizing applied metrology techniques orient Shackleford’s primary multibeam reference systems, and a network of discrete benchmarks set within the vessel’s reference frame allow accurate and repeatable lever arm calculations to all survey sensors.

“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 Chris Freeman, Geodynamics senior vice president. “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 on 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,” he added.

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 is the excellent fuel economy, with consumption approximately the same throughout the cruising speed of 18 to 24 knots.

With a fuel capacity of 1,500 gallons, this design is licensed for up to 16 day passengers and has live-aboard accommodations for up to 10 passengers. The propulsion package includes twin EPA Tier 3 diesel engines rated at 803 hp at 2,100 rpm driving fixed-pitch propellers through ZF 665V remote-mounted gearboxes.

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 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 Ron Wille, All American Marine president and chief operating officer. “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.”

– All American Marine


By Rich Miller