JMS Naval Architects of Connecticut in the USA has been awarded a contract from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) to provide concept through contract-level design, shipyard bid support, and owner’s rep services for VIMS’ next research vessel. The VIMS research vessel will be used for scientific research in the main stem and tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay, and capable of conducting extended science missions in coastal and offshore areas within the mid-Atlantic region.
The vessel will be constructed by Meridien Maritime Reparation of Matane, Quebec in Canada and will replace the existing 19.8-metre research vessel Bay Eagle.
The 28-metre VIMS vessel is designed for multi-disciplinary coastal-science studies including fish and invertebrate sampling; bottom geological and benthic coring; deployment and retrieval of data buoys; heavy mooring, seismic and bathymetry surveys; mid-water and trawls; CTD and other vertical water-sampling deployments. The hull, propulsion and machinery are designed for quiet operation for acoustic survey work and are equipped with an emphasis on energy efficiency.
Installed equipment includes an aft A-frame with a load limit of 3.6 tonnes and a side mounted J-frame with a load limit of 1.8 tonnes. A pair of trawl net reels and trawl winches can work with net meshes down to 200mm whilst a conductivity, temperature and depth winch, fitted with 2,000 metres of 8mm wire, can be deployed by the J-frame.
Propulsion is via single shrouded prop driven by two 490kW diesel engines. Two 99kW diesel generators provide electrical power for the vessel and the science equipment.