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Duke University Marine Lab Research Vessel R/V SHEARWATER Delivered

8 October 2019

Duke University Marine Lab’s new research vessel, R/V SHEARWATER, was launched on 26 September at All American Marine in Bellingham, WA. Owner acceptance trials were completed and the vessel was delivered on 6 October 2019 marking the beginning of its long journey – via heavy lift ship – to the East Coast.

JMS Naval Architects served as Owner’s Representative during the construction, outfitting, system tests, and sea trials of the 77-foot, high-speed, aluminum catamaran.

JMS provided naval architecture and consulting services to Duke University Marine Lab (DUML) to assist them in acquiring the new research vessel. JMS assisted DUML in the development of their science mission requirements and matched those requirements to the capabilities and specific oceanographic outfitting requirements that will enable the vessel to perform these science missions.

The 77 x 26.5 ft. hydrofoil-assisted catamaran is powered by twin Tier 3 CAT C18 “D” ACERT engines, rated at 803 bhp/2100 rpm. Driven by twin fixed pitch propellers, the vessel can cruise at 24 knots. It can accommodate 12 crew and scientists overnight or up to 30 on day trips. The vessel was constructed and certified under USCG Subchapter “T” regulations and maintains a designation as an Oceanographic Research Vessel. Principal oceanographic outfitting includes a stern A-Frame with a 3,000 lb. safe working load, a Toimil/ESI hydraulic knuckle boom crane, a pair of Hawboldt Model SPR – 1230/S CTD and hydrographic hydraulic winches, a rigid hull inflatable for marine mammal research and a suite of acoustic and meteorological sensors.

The vessel will be home ported at the Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC near the Outer Banks.  The state-of-the-art research vessel will allow marine scientists from DUML and other institutions to conduct research along the Atlantic seaboard in a wide range of vital fields, including marine ecology and conservation, biological oceanography and renewable ocean energy development. The vessel will also serve as a classroom for undergraduate and graduate students on high-speed daytrips to stations in the Gulf Stream as well as shallow draft operations in and out of Oregon Inlet and Pamlico Sound. It is envisioned that the vessel will conduct research, educational outreach and semester-at-sea programs from environs in the Chesapeake Bay to the Florida Keys.

Photo credit: Duke University Marine Lab