Damen completes research vessel rebuild for OceanX

Photo: OceanX/Taj Howe

Damen Shipyards Group has completed the extensive rebuild of the research vessel OceanXplorer at Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam.

The former offshore survey vessel will serve as the new flagship of US-based OceanX. It will be used for scientific research and exploration as well as media production.

The project required Damen to rebuild the vessel in essence from the main deck upwards by stripping the existing accommodation and adding a completely new and much larger accommodation to house the new laboratories, workshops, and submarine hangar. Also, a fully integrated helicopter hangar was added to the superstructure as well as extensions on both sides of the accommodation decks to house new cabins over the increased full beam of the vessel.

Following the structural part, the work included overseeing the complete integration of all ship’s systems including specialist hydrographic and laboratory systems and an innovative IT infrastructure to facilitate the combination of state-of-the-art research facilities with the on-board cinematography and media studios.

Damen worked closely with OceanX’s specialist teams, developing the scope of the project in order to fulfil all requirements. This included responsibility for the interior and exterior of the vessel.

OceanXplorer is unique in its combining of up-to-the-minute research facilities – courtesy of Skipsteknisk – and top-of-the-line interior accommodations, designed by Christina Fallah. The vessel’s additional interiors as well as its exterior were styled by Steve Gresham.

The project also required Damen to undertake a docking scope, including removal and refurbishment of azipull and bow thrusters, blasting and coating of tanks, and complete overhaul and upgrading of crew accommodation.

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