Damen delivers silent in operation Research Vessel ‘Simon Stevin’ to DAB Vloot, the Flemish Government fleet operator.
The RV 3609 was jointly designed by Damen Shipyards Gorinchem and VLIZ, the Flemish Institute for the Sea. While hull and hot works were built at Damen Shipyards Galati (Romania), the outfitting was done by Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam (The Netherlands).
The ‘Simon Stevin’ will be used offshore for scientific research on climate change, sustainable fishing, energy production at sea and for educational purposes.
The ship had to comply with extensive and rigorous requirements both as to its footprint and fishing gear. Therefore, the design and lay-out of the vessel is optimized to have very low underwater noise levels and be able to sail in ‘silent mode’. The silent mode complies to the ICES Standard 209 (International Council for Exploration of the Seas), a standard that limits Underwater Radiated Noise. The Damen RV 3609 is the smallest vessel in the world that complies with these strict requirements.
The ship's basic characteristics are a tilt able A-frame on the aft deck, a number of winches for hydrographical survey work, soil sampling and fishing, two laboratories, a 200 kW bow thruster, a Dynamic Positioning system, and a free deck space of 45 m² allowing space for two containers.
Underneath the vessel (and integrated in its keel) a ‘blister’ is installed, i.e. a pod containing a multi-beam echo sounder and other equipment for 3D-imaging of the sea bed.
A set of purpose-built fishing winches, uniquely installed below-deck, allow the RV 3609 to apply several fishing methods. For pelagic fishing, a Maaskant low-noise and dismountable electrical net drum has been designed and installed for the 8-metre wide beam trawler. The lay-out of the top deck enables (visual) research on and counting of birds and aquatic mammals.
The Damen RV 3609 Simon Steven is propelled by two 520 kW electric motors, which are flexibly mounted to reduce subsea noise levels. Three generator sets supply the electricity for the propulsion system, the winches and other electrical equipment. Up to 9.5 knots the Simon Stevin is able to sail in ‘silent mode’, while its maximum speed is 12 knots.