Seattle, WA â€” On April 11, 2011, Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC) held the keel laying ceremony for the Alaska Region Research Vessel (ARRV) R/V SIKULIAQ, for which Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering firm Guido Perla & Associates, Inc. (GPA) provided the design validation.
The R/V SIKULIAQ, a cold-climate, oceanographic research ship, replaces the over 40 year old and now retired R/V ALPHA HELIX. The R/V SIKULIAQ, owned by the National Science Foundation, with its initial science mission in 2014, will be one of the most advanced university research vessels in the world, and will go into unrestricted science operations after delivery to University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF). The vessel will be home ported in Seward, Alaska, at UAF’s Seward Marine Center. The vessel has an overall length of 261.5 ft, a maximum beam of 52.0 ft and a design waterline draft of 19.5 ft. The displacement at the design waterline is 4,065 long tons. In terms of speed, the R/V SIKULIAQ is designed to reach 14 knots in calm waters.
Operated by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and part of the U.S. academic research fleet, the vessel has mild ice breaking capabilities for ice of up to 2.5 ft thick. Thus, the vessel is capable of safely bringing scientists to the ice-choked waters of Alaska and the polar regions and of operating for longer periods of time than previously possible in the North Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Alaska, and the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas.
The R/V SIKULIAQ will be employed for different research missions, such as collecting sediment samples directly from the seafloor, hosting remotely operated vehicles, using a flexible suite of winches for handling of scientific equipment and conducting surveys throughout the water column and sea bottom with the use of extensive research instrumentation. Furthermore, the vessel is capable of transmitting real-time information directly to classrooms worldwide.
The vessel was designed to leave the smallest environmental footprint possible, taking into consideration underwater radiated noise for marine mammals and fisheries. Up to 26 scientists and students, including those with disabilities, can be accommodated aboard the R/V SIKULIAQ.
GPA was selected by MMC in Marinette, Wisconsin, to assist them with the Design Verification phase of their contract with UAF. GPA reviewed the design for compliance with the rules of the American Bureau of Shipping, USCG, SOLAS, stability requirements, the Owner Specifications, and various other criteria pertaining to good marine construction practices and shipyard building techniques. The final goal of the Design Verification was to turn over responsibility for the vessel design to MMC. Additionally, MMC had GPA develop several other functional design drawings for the shipyard, as well as detailed design for major foundations and key systems.
Guido Perla and Associates, Inc. was founded in 1979 and is recognized as a world leader in naval architecture and marine engineering.