Patrol boat finds new use as research vessel for University of Southern Mississippi

Alabama boatbuilder Silver Ships has completed conversion work on a patrol vessel to enable it to be used for marine research activities.

Originally built by Silver Ships in 2008 for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR), the 17-metre craft will now be operated by the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) as an offshore research vessel to support the USM School of Ocean Science and Engineering’s deep ocean underwater surveys using various unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) systems.

Updates to the vessel include: extension of the aft hull by 0.9 metres; installation of a 453-kilogram crane and 385-kilogram davit; improvement of the swim/dive platform; replacement of the generator, radar, and multifunction display; installation of additional railings; and incorporation of a dynamic trim control system.

The vessel’s Cummins QSM11 inboard diesel engine and the connected waterjets have undergone repairs under the same conversion project.

Lastly, the vessel’s life raft and onboard firefighting equipment have been upgraded.

The vessel will conduct testing, maritime research, and underwater surveys in the Gulf of Mexico for various private and governmental partners.

Baird Maritime

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