(BELLINGHAM, Wash.) — All American Marine (AAM) has been awarded a contract to build another research vessel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that is slated for the Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS) off Sapelo Island, Ga.
This research vessel will be constructed inside AAM’s facility on Bellingham Bay. The vessel is a 52-by-19-foot semi-displacement aluminum catamaran that was developed by Nic de Waal of Teknicraft Design in Auckland, New Zealand. The vessel is based on the proven design elements found in the recently commissioned Storm Petrel built for NOAA’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.
The new vessel is being constructed to U.S. Coast Guard standards for service in waters where the range to refuge is 150 nautical miles or less. It will operate as a multipurpose research vessel for up to 16 passengers and two crew.
The twin-engine speed and fuel efficiency of this vessel will be fundamental to meet NOAA’s research goals and allow it to access and study this critical shoreline and marine area. The knowledge gained from science missions on this vessel will directly support the management and conservation of the marine sanctuary’s resources.
GRNMS is one of the largest near-shore “live bottom” reefs of the southeastern United States. It is just one of 15 marine protected areas that make up the National Marine Sanctuary System, governed by the National Marine Sanctuaries Act.
Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary is currently the only protected natural reef area on the continental shelf off the Georgia coast and one of only a few natural marine protected areas in the ocean between Cape Hatteras, N.C., and Cape Canaveral, Fla. The approximately 22-square-mile sanctuary (about 14,000 acres) of Gray’s Reef is just a small part of the U.S. territorial Atlantic Ocean, yet its value as a natural marine
habitat is recognized nationally and internationally.
“This larger vessel with greater range and deck space will transform scientific research and long-term monitoring capabilities at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary and across the South Atlantic Bight by providing an extremely capable, multimission platform for NOAA and our partners,” said Stan Rogers, sanctuary superintendent. “This new vessel will help achieve NOAA’s mission including mapping, characterizing, and assessing the health of marine habitats in an ever changing environment.”
The design integrates a Teknicraft hull shape and is complemented by Teknicraft’s
signature integration of a wave piercer that is positioned between the catamaran sponsons to break up wave action and ensure reduced drag while conducting research missions. For the operator, one of the most valuable features of this vessel is the excellent fuel economy delivered by twin Cummins QSC8.3 engines with twin
There is approximately 250 square feet of working space on the aft deck, with a complete complement of working gear and a grid of deck sockets. The sockets are spaced every 2 feet and 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 include both a wet laboratory for examining specimens and a dry laboratory for processing data. On board the vessel’s main deck are a fully equipped galley and comfortable dinette with settee/bunk, kitchenette and wet head.
“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. We are delighted to have been chosen to build another vessel for NOAA, especially on the East Coast. This vessel will expand Gray’s Reef environmentally focused research activities and will aid them with their conservation efforts in the southeastern United States,” said Ron Wille, All American Marine president and chief operating officer.
– All American Marine