The following is the text of a news release from Willard Marine Inc.:
(ANAHEIM, Calif.) — Willard Marine Inc., a global leader in the manufacture of mission-proven boats, was awarded a contract by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to produce a 20-foot, 8-inch rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) for the Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) to facilitate its fisheries and marine mammal research in the Pacific region.
Willard Marine will provide a slightly modified version of its Sea Force 730, a military-grade, aluminum RHIB that is designed with a deep-V hull for maximum stability in the roughest sea conditions. The research RHIB designed for NOAA is constructed in accordance with ABYC standards and Subchapter S requirements, and is fitted with both lift fittings and a lift sling that are designed for hoisting 6,700 pounds with a 6:1 weight ratio safety factor. Twin Honda 115-hp outboard engines will propel the vessel throughout the Hawaiian islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Johnston Atoll, U.S. Pacific remote insular areas and the Samoan archipelago as NOAA conducts various scientific sampling methods, including bottom fish collection, remote sensing surveys, marine mammal population surveys and dive operations.
The collar will be closed-cell foam with a polyurethane sheathing that covers the foam. Additionally, Willard Marine will provide a complete davit for deploying and recovering scientific equipment. The davit, which will have a mount for attaching winches/pot pullers, will be removable from the mounting bracket when not in use. Eight removable scuba tank holders and an aluminum engine guard will be installed, and personnel recovery cutouts will be provided on both sides of the collar.
“Willard Marine has provided a variation of our Sea Force 730 to the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and many other government agencies for a variety of missions because it’s a really tough and reliable boat,” said Ulrich Gottschling, president and CEO of Willard Marine.
Vessel delivery is scheduled for the summer of 2016.