The State of Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife took
delivery of First State to replace its current Fisheries Research Vessel (FRV), a 100-year-old converted wooden sailboat. The new 62 ft. (19 m), designed by Nigel Gee & Associates
, was built by Derecktor in aluminum with a hard chine hull. The resiliently-mounted pilot house provides low noise levels. Behind the house, the ample aft deck has been fitted with swinging A-Frame and cargo boom, net reel, trawl winches, dredge roller and towing bit.
The twin Daewoo T180VIM
(641 hp @ 2,100 rpm) engines have been resiliently mounted. They drive twin fixed-pitch propellers through ZF gearboxes. The propulsion package together with the modern fishing gear makes this boat a lot more efficient and also a lot safer than the Department's former/current vessel. Fully loaded this new boat has a top speed of 22 knots. It has been designed to be operated with a crew size of nine. Planned uses of the new vessel include study and sampling of the fisheries in the Delaware River and Bay. The increased speed and sea worthiness of the vessel will allow for more consistent and extended fisheries sampling.