All American Marine to Build Research Vessel for BLUETIDE
Bellingham, Wash. boatbuilder All American Marine announced it recently secured a contract to construct a research vessel for BLUETIDE Puerto Rico. The 73- by 26.7-foot aluminum catamaran will be constructed to USCG Subchapter T standards for use on both near coastal and ocean routes.
The twin-engine vessel will be BLUETIDE’S first for its marine research, education, innovation and conservation work based out of Puerto Rico. The mission of BLUETIDE is to "influence, innovate, support and increase the eco-responsible economic impacts of a sustainable 'blue economy' in the US Caribbean”.
The vessel's semi-displacement catamaran hull was developed by Nic de Waal of Teknicraft Design in Auckland, New Zealand, and is based on the R/V Shearwater, also designed by Teknicraft and built by All American Marine in 2020 for Duke University Marine Lab. This vessel integrates the signature Teknicraft symmetrical and asymmetrical combined hull shape, bow wave piercer and a patented hydrofoil-assisted hull design. The hull and hull components are designed to break up wave action and ensure reduced drag while enhancing passenger comfort. This design is engineered to have both low-wake wash energy and increased fuel economy. This hull shape was custom designed using digital modeling and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis testing. The vessel’s design offers all passengers and crew a smooth ride and great comfort as the hull provides a cushioned effect when encountering waves. For the operator, the most valuable feature of these vessels is the excellent fuel economy, which consumes approximately the same gallons per nautical mile throughout the estimated cruising speed of 18-24 knots, with a fuel-efficient survey operation speed of 3 knots. With a large fuel capacity of 1,500 gallons, this fuel-efficient design will be able to hold up to 30-day passengers (up to eight live-aboard) including crew. The propulsion package includes two fixed pitch propellers, powered by twin CAT C18 “D” ACERT, Tier 3 engines, rated at 803 bhp at 2,100 RPM.
"As islanders, we are conditioned to see the sea as a border that limits and isolates us, instead of viewing that resource as a territorial extension capable of providing us with food, energy, and economic sustainability. The acquisition of this vessel will give us another perspective of the sea as an asset and a resource to educate ourselves, explore and innovate in a collaborative way, spearheading a new economy for the region." Guifre Tort, Bluetide’s Interim Executive Director Onboard the vessel, passengers and crew have ample space and comfort in live-aboard quarters, wet and dry labs, as well as a range of the latest oceanographic equipment in which to conduct survey operations.