Elliott Bay Design Group designed the modifications for the R/V Bank of Bermuda Atlantic Explorer
; a 168-ft. research ship recently christened by the Bermuda Biological Station
for Research (BBSR).
Purchased as the R/V Seward Johnson from the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute by the non-profit BBSR, the vessel will be used in oceanographic research primarily off the coast of Bermuda; throughout the Atlantic Ocean and into the Caribbean.
EBDG provided engineering guidance during the extensive modification. Work included the relocation and refit of the existing pilot house to serve as a new aft-facing scientific operations center; as well as the design, construction and installation of a new wheelhouse atop the scientific operations center. The mast was relocated; a SOLAS rescue boat installed; and the main deck bulkheads relocated to provide a new CTD garage. In addition, EBDG has completed arrangements and structural design to support future plans to extend the central stair arrangements from the main deck to the hold deck and to provide a completely new winch deck serving the aft and side A-frames.
Modifications were completed at Lyon Shipyard in Norfolk, Va.
The R/V Atlantic Explorer has a beam of 38 ft. and a depth of 14 ft., 3 in. It draws just under 12 ft. at full load. It replaces the smaller, 115-ft. Weatherbird II.
The modified vessel offers expanded deck space to carry up to four, 20-ft. scientific vans and/or work boats simultaneously. It will allow for the launching of larger scientific mooring buoys and instruments, provide more room for multi-investigator equipment and offer larger wet and dry laboratory space as well as greater stability for carrying more delicate instruments.