MacGregor to deliver overboard handling systems for new California research vessel


(SINGAPORE) — MacGregor, part of Cargotec, will deliver a suite of advanced overboard handling systems for the new oceanographic research vessel David Packard, owned by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), a private, nonprofit research center based in California.

Founded in 1987 by David Packard, MBARI’s mission is to advance marine science and technology to understand a changing ocean. R/V David Packard is designed by naval architecture firm Glosten, and is currently under construction at Freire Shipyard in Vigo, Spain.

The order was booked into Cargotec’s third quarter 2021 order intake, with planned delivery of the vessel in the middle of 2023.

R/V David Packard will replace the vessel Western Flyer, and continue its work to study the depths of Monterey Bay and beyond. David Packard will be 164 feet long and 42 feet wide, with a draft of 12 feet.

MacGregor will be delivering a traction winch system and overhead crane that will constitute the ROV launch and recovery system (LARS); a deck-mounted davit and winch that will constitute the CTD LARS; a stern A-frame, and a main crane with an integrated AUV docking head. The LARS systems will include integrated control systems that will provide smooth operation between the winch and handling system, and AHC (active heave compensation) on the winches will allow for operations in higher sea states.


MacGregor worked with MBARI and Glosten during the earlier design stage of the project to provide input on equipment performance requirements, arrangement and wire routing. MacGregor will continue the detailed design efforts with Freire Shipyard.

“As MBARI’s new flagship vessel, the David Packard will enhance our research capabilities to better understand the largest living space on Earth. We’re excited to incorporate MacGregor’s technology to enable launch and recovery of MBARI’s diverse research tools,” said Michael Kelly, MBARI director of marine operations.

“Our involvement at an early stage in the project, together with the owner’s emphasis on high-quality systems and in-service support, is enabling MacGregor to provide a tailor-made solution that fully meets operational requirements, including an integrated control capability,” said Daniel Lundberg, director of fishery and research, MacGregor.

– MacGregor

By Professional Mariner Staff