Snow begins building hybrid cat for Northwest lab

(SEATTLE) — Construction has commenced at Snow & Company in Seattle on a 50-foot hybrid research catamaran for operation by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

The vessel, designed by Incat Crowther, is equipped with an A-frame, boom crane and movable davit in addition to access to a foldable swim platform, extracting maximum functionality from the space. Stairs offer direct access from the main deck to the upper deck and flybridge, which affords excellent all-round visibility.

The vessel can support the research of six scientists in a tailored layout containing multiple research workstations and convertible sleeping arrangements, providing PNNL a capable platform to efficiently carry out its research.

Incat Crowther photo

The vessel will be powered by an advanced parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system, consisting of two Volvo Penta D8-510 main engines, capable of producing 374 kW each, supplemented by two Danfoss Editron EM-PMI375-T200-2600 motor-generators. Power is stored using a Spear Trident battery system, allowing the vessel to operate quietly in a zero-emission electric state while engaged in a mixture of survey operational modes.

With this vessel, PNNL joins a growing list of operators taking advantage of Incat Crowther’s history of innovation in hybrid and low emissions technologies.


Length overall: 50 feet
Length waterline: 49.7 feet
Beam overall: 15.9 feet
Draft (hull): 2.8 feet
Draft (prop or max): 3.8 feet
Depth: 7.54 feet
Construction: Marine grade aluminum
Fuel oil: 600 gallons
Fresh water: 80 gallons
Sullage: 80 gallons
Crew: Two
Scientific staff: Six
Speed (service): 20 knots
Speed (max): 29 knots
Range: 400 nm
Main engines: (2) Volvo D8-510, each 374 kW at 2,850 rpm
Gearboxes: (2) Twin Disc MGX-5075 SC
Motors/generators: (2) Danfoss EM-PMI375-T200-2600
Batteries: Spear Trident 113 kWh

– Incat Crowther

By Rich Miller