Friday, October 23, 2015

Willard Marine Gets Research Vessel Contract

By Mark Edward Nero

Anaheim-based boat builder Willard Marine has been awarded a contract by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration to produce a 20-foot rigid hull inflatable boat for the Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center to facilitate their fisheries and marine mammal research in the Pacific region.

Willard Marine says it will provide a slightly modified version of its Sea Force 730, a military-grade, aluminum, rigid hull inflatable boat that’s designed with a deep-V hull for stability in rough sea conditions.

The research vessel designed for NOAA will be fitted with both lift fittings and a lift sling that are designed for hoisting 6,700-pounds of weight with a 6:1 weight ratio safety factor.

Twin Honda 115hp outboard engines will propel the vessel throughout the Hawaiian islands, Guam and other areas in the Pacific as NOAA conducts scientific sampling, including bottom fish collection, remote sensing survey, marine mammal population survey and dive operations.

The collar is designed to be closed-cell foam with a polyurethane sheathing that covers the foam, according to Willard Marine. Additionally, the company says it will provide a complete davit for deploying and recovering scientific equipment. The davit, which will have a mount for attaching winches/pot pullers, would be removable from the mounting bracket when not in use.

Eight removable SCUBA tank holders and an aluminum engine guard will also be installed, and personnel recovery cutouts will be provided on both sides of the collar.

Delivery of the vessel is scheduled for the summer of 2016.