AAM to Build Innovative Research Vessel for the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa

All American Marine (AAM) has been awarded the contract to build a research vessel for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation (UHF) on behalf of the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB).

This research vessel, with construction already underway in AAM’s state-of-the-art facility on Bellingham Bay, is a 68.5’ x 25’ semi-displacement aluminum catamaran hull that was developed by Nic de Waal of Teknicraft Design in Auckland, New Zealand. The vessel will contain proven design elements found in the recently commissioned and successful research vessels “Blue Manta” and “Shearwater,” built for BlueTide Puerto Rico and Duke University, respectively.

The vessel is being constructed to USCG (US Coast Guard) standards for service in waters where the range to the refuge is 150 nautical miles or less and will operate as a multipurpose research vessel in the Hawaiian Waters and Offshore on Ocean Routes for a crew of up to 12. The twin-engine speed and fuel efficiency of this vessel will be fundamental to meeting the University of Hawai’i’s research goals and allow them to access and study marine environments in the Hawaiian Islands. The knowledge gained from science missions on this vessel will directly support the management and conservation of Hawaiʻi’s marine resources.

“We are incredibly excited to be able to have a custom-built vessel for our environmentally driven research missions in and around the Hawaiian Islands. All American Marine understood our mission and provided a new design to meet our mission-specific needs. We are excited about the positive impacts this vessel will have for us, including a substantial increase in the abilities of our programs,” stated Carl Meyer, PhD, Fellow of the Institute of Biology (UK) and University of Hawai’i Researcher.

The new research vessel integrates the signature Teknicraft Design 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. Teknicraft’s innovative dynamic hydrofoil-assisted hull design is proven to have industry-leading low-wake wash energy and fuel economy. The main foil action reduces the power needed to maintain service speed; therefore, fuel consumption and running costs are reduced significantly while also further enhancing the softness of the ride, especially in choppy seas. Our unique hydrofoil system consists of the main foil spanning the tunnel at the keel, forward of the center of gravity position and two cantilever-type stern foils. The lift produced by the hydrofoil reduces the hull resistance while increasing speed and load-bearing capability.

2 U of H Render 2 AAM

This advanced 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 comfort, as the hull provides a cushioned effect when encountering waves. For the operator, one valuable feature of this vessel is the excellent fuel economy while also maintaining an estimated fully laden cruise speed of 22-24 knots and with a fuel-efficient minimum survey speed of 3 knots. With a large fuel capacity of 1800 gallons, this design will support a science team of 8 on offshore missions and 22 students/crew on shorter day excursions. The propulsion package includes 2x fixed pitch propellers, powered by twin Scania DI16, 082M, Tier 3 engines, rated at 800 mhp @ 2100 RPM. Onboard the vessel, scientists and crew have comfortable live-aboard quarters, large state-of-the-art wet and dry lab spaces, as well as a range of the latest oceanographic equipment in which to conduct a variety of missions. The vessel has been custom designed to support a diverse portfolio of science and outreach missions including advanced studies on marine megafauna, pelagic and coastal ecosystem research, oceanographic surveys, and K–12 learning experiences for up to 20 people.

“All American Marine remains committed to being on the leading edge of manufacturing techniques and an innovator in merging the latest technology into a functional and proven vessel. We are delighted to have been chosen to build this vessel for the University of Hawaii. This vessel will expand U of H’s environmentally focused research activities and will aid them with their conservation efforts in the Pacific,” said Ron Wille, All American Marine President & COO.


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