Geo Shipyard Inc., New Iberia, La., recently delivered the 64’6″×21’6″×9’3″ aluminum catamaran research vessel Apalachee to the Florida State UniversityCoastal and Marine Laboratory, St. Teresa, Fla.
Designed by Fyffe Yachts with NC lofting by Advance Fabricating, both of Kemah, Texas, the 48-passenger Subchapter T-boat supports various research functions in the Gulf of Mexico.
“There’s a lot on this boat,” said David LeCompte, the yard’s vice president. “I think it came out good. The people at Florida State were easy to work with. It was a good project for us.”
The Apalachee features a dry lab with two decks for computers and a Furuno repeater screen, dedicated wireways to the wet lab, aft deck and an arch on top of the pilothouse that holds an array of scientific instruments.
Deck equipment includes a pedestal-mounted Rapp Hydra-Pro 5.5 MT knuckle boom crane and an aluminum A-frame with a 3,000-lb. capacity.
There are also outriggers both port and starboard for taking water samples. The aft deck has a seawater wash-down area that is used to keep sea mammals oxygenated while onboard. A 208V/125 amp outlet is provided for a portable diving compressor station or ROV. The upper deck has two 12-man Zodiac inflatable life rafts and space for a small inflatable dingy with tie downs. The pilothouse is also on the upper deck and contains a chart table and day bed.
Twin John Deere 6135 SFM diesel engines, producing 500 hp at 1,900 rpm each, provide the Apalachee’s main propulsion. The 6135s are connected to ZF 36″-dia. nibral KCA 36″×42″, 4-bladed wheels through Twin Disc MGX-5114 SC marine gears. The propulsion package gives the research vessel a running speed of 18 knots. During sea trials, the vessel burned 31.6 gph running the engines at 67 percent of full power. Transit range is 1,420 miles at cruising speed.
Fuel capacity is 2,600 gals., and potable water and black water, 325 gals. each.
A pair of Northern Lights 30-kW generators is fitted with split bus switchgear and Panel Tronics distribution box to supply three-phase electrical power.
The Apalachee’s structural design exceeds ABS high-speed code for exposed routes and is USCG-certified, Subchapter T, Oceans, up to 21 knots in 10′ seas. The boat was delivered in February.