Silver Ships refurbishes Mississippi workboat for offshore research duty

(MOBILE, Ala.) — Silver Ships has announced the delivery of a refurbished 48-foot workboat to the University of Southern Mississippi (USM). The vessel in its original state was an Endeavor 45 built by Silver Ships in 2008 for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR).

The transformation from an Endeavor 45 constructed as a cabin patrol vessel for Mississippi DMR to an Endeavor 48 research vessel involved careful strategy, design and reconstruction. The vessel needed to be updated and refitted to serve as an offshore research vessel to support the USM School of Ocean Science and Engineering’s deep ocean underwater surveys using various uncrewed underwater vehicle systems (UUVs).

Silver Ships photo

Updates to the vessel include:
• Extension of the hull by 3 feet aft, with added tie-downs on the aft deck
• Blasted and painted all exterior surfaces and bottom of the vessel
• Installed 1,000-pound crane and 850-pound davit
• Improved the swim/dive platform
• Replaced generator, radar and multifunction display
• Installed retractable awning over aft deck
• Installed Zipwake dynamic trim control system
• Added removable railings over transom
• Repaired waterjets and aligned Cummins QSM11 inboard diesel powertrain
• Replaced life raft and updated firefighting equipment.

The new and improved vessel will conduct testing, maritime research and underwater surveys in the Gulf of Mexico for various private and governmental partners.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to breathe new life into an in-service Silver Ships-built workboat,” said Shawn Lobree, the company’s project manager for the modification. “This project was almost two years in the making and began with several meetings with USM to develop the project scope and produce an engineering plan. We conducted a stability study of the vessel to determine cargo payload and how the hull would need to be modified to support the university’s offshore mission. USM was very involved with every design and outfitting detail and the spirit of teamwork with the university has been fantastic. This refurbishment has helped to extend the life of this vessel for many more years of service.”

“USM and Silver Ships staff have enjoyed a great relationship through design and execution of the modifications and refurbishing process,” said Dr. Kelly Lucas, USM associate vice president of research, coastal operations. “We are delighted to add this vessel to our research fleet to assist us in launching and recovery for uncrewed systems while enabling scientists a platform to monitor performance and conduct testing and evaluation,”

– Silver Ships

By Professional Mariner Staff