Sparks are flying on the keel of the $1.9 million, 57-foot aluminum fisheries research vessel for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), at Moran Iron Works (MIW).
The project was announced in November of 2016 when the two parties met for an inaugural meeting in Onaway. Preliminary design of the vessel was performed by Seacraft Design, LLC, with MIW working to finalize the design and construction drawings.
“The official laying of keel day was January 23,” said Jason Willis, project manager at MIW. “This well-designed vessel will provide a larger, faster and more efficient work platform for biologists in lakes Michigan
and Huron for years to come. We’re proud to be a part of this project for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”
Construction will require some 11,000 man hours on the shop floor over the next 10 months, employing a crew of six. In October, 2017 the vessel will be transported by trailer to Moran’s Port Calcite location, the deep-water port in nearby Rogers City for launch to become the newest addition to the USFWS fleet.
Tune in to track construction progress via a live-stream on MIW’s website