The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is soliciting proposals for the construction of a new catamaran research boat for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary in southern California. The new boat will be equipped to perform various marine research projects along the Southern California coast, including oceanographic studies, rockfish studies, intertidal research, seabird surveys, and whale habitat investigations. Accommodations and equipment will include a full galley, sleeping space for up to ten people, full head with shower, wet and dry labs, a clean electrical power distribution system for sensitive research electronics, dedicated researcher work stations in the pilothouse and on the flying bridge, a scientific winch, A-frame, and diving support equipment.
The new boat will replace the 54 ft. ill-fated Ballena, which was overwhelmed and sunk by a large wave off Point Arguella on the California coast in the fall of 2000. The as yet unnamed boat will be constructed of aluminum and will be built to specifications developed by Paul A. Gow, Naval Architect of PK Marine, Moorpark, Calif.. Sarah Fangman of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary worked closely with Paul Gow over a hectic three week period to develop specifications which would ensure that the boat has the capabilities required, while giving the builder sufficient flexibility to use a proven hull as the basic platform. The boat will be operated from either an enclosed pilothouse or from a fully equipped flying bridge. Propulsion will be provided by twin diesel engines driving fixed pitch propellers
It is hoped that a construction contract can be awarded by the end of the summer.
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