Old Dominion University's Educational Foundation in Norfolk, Va. has ordered a new research vessel
from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding of Somerset. Mass. The new vessel, which will be designed by Roger Long Marine Architecture of Portland, Maine, has a modified-V aluminum hull, which measures 55 ft. (16.7 m) with a 17 ft. (5.1 m) beam. Its five ft. (1.5 m) draft allows the vessel to perform work in the shallow water near the shores of the Virginia coastline. Propelled by two diesel engines, each rated at 700 bhp, the vessel's two Hall & Stavaert five-bladed bronze propellers are turned through ZF 350A reverse-reduction gears. With a top speed of 22 knots, the engines, when operated at an 18-knot cruising speed, will burn approximately 50 gph, yielding a range of more than 600 miles. Under the vessel's raised foredeck are a small laboratory, bunks, galley and head for eight research scientists and crew. Also onboard are a variety of systems that can be used to study plankton, temperature, salinity and nutrients.