New Virginia research vessel features Furuno electronics

(CAMAS, Wash.) — The research vessel R/V Virginia, built by the Meridien Maritime Reparation shipyard in Matane, Quebec, has successfully completed sea trials and transited to its berth at Ampro Shipyard & Diesel in Weems, Va. Purpose-built for the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), R/V Virginia will support ongoing fisheries projects such as multi-species fisheries research, and can be used for research in a wide variety of fields, including shark monitoring and offshore energy exploration.

Furuno supplied all of the navigational marine electronics Virginia requires to carry out its mission. Installed by Vision Marine of Quebec, Virginia's helm includes multiple radars and fish finders, along with a host of vital communication equipment. Virginia's science capabilities will enhance the institute's ability to perform general oceanographic research in the Chesapeake Bay and mid-Atlantic coastal waters.

Furuno's FAR2127 IMO radar is at the forefront of Virginia's navigation package. The recent winner of the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) award for Commercial Product of Excellence, the 25kW FAR2127 radar is able to detect surface objects at up to 96 nautical miles. Alongside the FAR2127, Virginia has also been outfitted with the DRS6AX X-Class radar. The X-Class series of Furuno radars afford the navigator improved short-range detection and target separation at close range – invaluable in identifying nearby potentially hazardous targets. The DRS6AX X-Class radar is controlled from the latest generation of Furuno NavNet multi-function displays, NavNet TZtouch2. Two TZTL12F 12-inch displays and two TZTL15F 15-inch displays are installed in an onboard network, sharing raster, vector and bathymetric chartplotting, radar, depth sounding and fish finding, as well as other capabilities.

Virginia is outfitted with two fish finders. A 1-kW, 50/200 kHz frequency fish finder is standard on all TZTL15F MFDs, and the 3-kW DFF3 has also been installed, operating at 28 kHz. This configuration allows the DFF3 to see fish and bottom structure reliably at depths of well over 5,000 feet.

Virginia has a length of 93 feet, beam of 28 feet, and can carry 8,700 gallons of fuel. It has room to berth up to 12 personnel, including a crew of three to five members, for up to 10 days at sea. It has a range of up to 1,500 nautical miles and a maximum sustained speed of 11 knots. A truly purpose-built research vessel, Virginia can accommodate a science payload of 20 long tons (44,800 pounds). Ampro Shipyard features a 50-ton crane to facilitate loading and unloading of large equipment for use in Virginia's 130-square-foot wet lab and 270-square-foot dry lab. These work spaces make Virginia easily adaptable to evolving scientific research areas such as environmental impact studies, the servicing of ocean-observing systems, and offshore energy exploration and development surveys. 

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By Professional Mariner Staff