All American to build survey vessel for Geodynamics

(BELLINGHAM, Wash.) — All American Marine (AAM) has been awarded the contract to build R/V Shackleford, an innovative research and hydrographic survey vessel for Geodynamics, an NV5 company.

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. It will have the fundamental and primary design elements of the Duke University Marine Lab’s R/V Shearwater and Blue Tide Puerto Rico’s R/V Blue Manta, both of which were recently commissioned and have proven to be highly successful in their near-coastal research environments.

All American Design rendering

R/V Shackleford, named after the southernmost barrier island in the Cape Lookout National Seashore chain in North Carolina, will be constructed to U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter T standards and will primarily operate off the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. The twin-engine speed and stability of this hull design is fundamental for Geodynamics’ specialized near-shore/midshelf hydrographic and geophysical survey operations, and is specifically customized to serve the burgeoning offshore wind sector.

“Our continued focus is meeting the most stringent offshore survey specifications in the world, whether that is for nautical charting or for subsea exploration to support offshore wind development,” said Chris Freeman, general manager and senior marine geologist at Geodynamics. “Our model is therefore building the boat around the ideal sensors, allowing us to achieve the most accurate and repeatable data, day in and day out. A larger, more stable and customized vessel will not only help us maintain our high standards of quality, but it will also help with our real-time data acquisition and processing transparency objectives by comfortably accommodating our client reps. This new vessel will help Geodynamics provide an unmatched platform for hydrospatial solutions that will enhance our safe navigation, coastal resilience and clean energy missions for our broad spectrum of customers.”

R/V Shackleford 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 by 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 the vessel is the excellent fuel economy. It consumes approximately the same gallons per nautical mile throughout the estimated cruising speed of 18 to 24 knots, with a fuel-efficient survey operation speed of 4 to 8 knots, fully laden. With a fuel capacity of 1,500 gallons, the vessel will be able to hold up to 16-day passengers or eight live-aboard personnel, plus three crew.

The propulsion package consists of twin Caterpillar C18 “D” ACERT Tier 3 engines, rated at 803 hp at 2,100 rpm, driving ZF 665V remote-mounted gearboxes and two fixed-pitch propellers. The vessel also features large state-of-the-art lab spaces, as well as a range of the latest oceanographic equipment.

“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’s president and chief operating officer. “We are delighted to have been chosen to build this vessel 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