Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has taken delivery of Tioga, a new coastal research vessel from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation
. Designed by Roger Long Marine Architecture, the all-aluminum vessel, replaces the Institution’s aging 46-foot vessel Asterias. The new vessel’s shallow-V planing hull measures 60 ft. overall, with a 17.7-ft. beam and 5-ft. draft. The vessel is U.S. Coast Guard-certified for up to 49-passengers.
According to Institution officials, the new vessel’s expanded capabilities and 21-knot speed will provide quick and efficient access to the near-shores of Massachusetts Bay and Nantucket Sound, and sufficient muscle to deploy a complex array of research equipment. “The need for this type of vessel has increased dramatically over the past few years as our research in the continental shelf increases,” WHOI director and president Robert Gagosian explained. “This vessel provides quick and ready access, within as little as a four-hour-weather window, to our new Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory and up to 350 miles to reach New York harbor and the Gulf of Maine, where our staff and students are either conducting or interested in pursuing research projects.”
The vessel is powered by twin MTU Series 60 engines, rated at 740 hp each. Operated at a 13-14-knot cruising speed, the engines burn 30 gph, yielding a range of 1000 nautical miles. Tioga’s two 5-bladed Bruntons propellers are turned by Twin Disc “Quick Shift” trolling gears. The combination reduces drag and allows the vessel to idle or troll at a half knot for long periods. The vessel is also equipped with hydraulically-adjustable trim tabs to compliment the vessel’s tremendous carrying capacity.
A 32kw Northern Lights generator, located in a heavily-insulated engine room, provides AC power for research equipment. The engine room insulation is covered with a lightweight material that absorbs high-frequency sounds, making the boat exceptionally quiet.
With accommodations for six scientists and crew, the vessel’s interior includes heating and air-conditioning systems, two laboratories and two ADCP transducer wells. The main cabin also houses crew and scientists’ quarters, head with shower, and a fully-equipped galley.
The vessel’s decks have a UNOLS standard pattern of threaded deck fittings. The flat aft deck is equipped with a hydraulic A-frame, with 5,000 lbs. working load and 18 foot clear height, a Markey COM-7 variable-speed hydrographic winch, and a dive platform. Two 750-lb swinging davits are installed on the side of the pilothouse for deploying the tender and life-raft or scientific gear.
Designer Roger Long and Gladding-Hearn have also teamed to build similar small, fast and versatile research vessels for the University of New Hampshire and Old Dominion University.