Moran Iron Works (MIW), Onaway, Mich., is building a new 56’9″x16’x6’1″ aluminum fisheries research vessel for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Green Bay, Wis. The USFWS and MIW announced the project in November.
The name of the vessel is the Stanford H. Smith and people can follow the progress of the boat’s construction on the Moran Iron Works website.
Preliminary design on the vessel was performed by Seacraft Design LLC, Sturgeon Bay, Wis., with MIW working to finalize the design and construction drawings. The official keel laying was Jan. 23. The project will require some 11,000 man hours on the shop floor over the next nine months, employing a crew of six. In October, the vessel will be transported by trailer to Moran’s Port Calcite location, the deepwater port in nearby Rogers City, Mich., for launch to become the newest addition to the USFWS fleet.
“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,” Jason Willis, project manager at MIW, said in a statement announcing the contract. “We’re proud to be a part of this project for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”
Weighing in at 63,582 lbs. and sporting a draft of 4’6″, the new boat will feature a Kennebec net lifter, Rapp winches and net reel and Kolstrand winch necessary for Fish and Wildlife personnel to do their jobs. Capacities will include 1,160 gals. of fuel oil and 75 gals. water, with a 78-gal. holding tank. The rear deck will measure 195 sq. ft. covered and 255 sq. ft. uncovered.
Main propulsion will come from twin John Deere 6135 SFM85 diesel engines, producing 500 hp at 1,900 hp each. The engines will turn 34″x32″ 5-bladed nibral Michigan Wheel props through Twin Disc MGX-5126 marine gears with 2.04:1 reduction ratios. The propulsion package will give the new research vessel a speed of 20 knots. Ship’s service power will be the responsibility of a Northern Lights M844 DW3 genset, sparking 16 kW of electrical power.