All American Marine (AAM), Bellingham, Wash., has delivered a 73’x26.7’ hydrographic survey vessel together to Geodynamics (an NV5 company), Newport, N.C.

The survey vessel will service the offshore wind market perform other scientific survey missions. The 73' R/V Shackleford is a semi-displacement aluminum catamaran hull that was developed by Nic de Waal of Teknicraft Design, Auckland, New Zealand. This vessel will serve an integral role in NV5-Geodynamics’ mission of providing turnkey “single pass” offshore surveys and has been specifically customized to serve the U.S. East Coast offshore wind sector.

The Shackleford leverages the fundamental, and proven design elements of the Duke University Marine Lab’s R/V Shearwater and Blue Tide Puerto Rico’s R/V Blue Manta. Both vessels were built by All American Marine. The Shackleford was sea-trialed on Bellingham Bay, prior to shipping via cargo ship to its homeport of Beaufort, N.C.

Named after Shackleford Banks, the southernmost barrier island in the Cape Lookout National Seashore chain and a nod to the region’s rich maritime history, the Shackleford was constructed to USCG Subchapter T standards. The speed and unique stability of this twin-engine hull design is fundamental for Geodynamics’ continuing expansion of their specialized nearshore / mid-shelf hydrographic and geophysical survey operations.

To reduce survey mobilization costs, the Shackleford is outfitted with fully dedicated and redundant survey systems, including a Kongsberg EM 2040 MKII multibeam echosounder that is deployed through the vessel’s moonpool via retractable strut. Dimensional control (DimCon) surveys utilizing applied metrology techniques orient the Shackleford’s primary IMU / multibeam reference systems, and a network of discrete benchmarks set within the vessel’s reference frame allowing accurate and repeatable lever arm calculations to all survey sensors. 

"To achieve the highest level of data accuracy day in and day out, our model over the last two decades is simple. We consider the boat as a precision survey instrument, purpose built for the specific survey environment and then wrapped around the ideal sensors for a specific set of missions,” said Chris Freeman, senior vice president, Geodynamics. “This holistic approach to our vessel builds has proven successful time and again but requires a builder open to an uncompromised data-centric build. We chose All American Marine based on their experience and skillset in building such highly customized research vessels, vessels that are in service throughout North America. This new best-in-class vessel will provide an unmatched platform for our continued focus performing to the most stringent offshore survey specifications in the world, whether that is for nautical charting or for subsea exploration to support offshore wind development.”

The Shackleford integrates the signature Teknicraft Design symmetrical and asymmetrical combined hull shape, bow wave piercer, and a patented hydrofoil-assisted hull design. The hull and hull components are designed to break up wave action and ensure reduced drag while enhancing passenger comfort. This design is proven to have both low-wake wash energy and increased fuel economy.

The vessel’s design offers all passengers and crew a smooth ride and comfort, as the hull provides a cushioned effect when encountering waves. The vessel offers excellent fuel economy, consuming approximately the same gallons per nautical mile throughout the cruising speed of 18-24 knots. With a large fuel capacity of 1,500 gals., this fuel efficient design is licensed for up to 16-day passengers and with accommodations of up to 10 passengers.

The propulsion package includes two fixed pitch propellers, powered by twin EPA Tier 3 diesel engines, rated at 803 bhp at 2,100 RPM driving ZF 665V remote mounted gearboxes.

Onboard the vessel, passengers and crew have comfortable quarters, large state-of-the-art lab spaces, and a full range of hydrographic and marine geophysical instrumentation with which to conduct a variety of survey missions.

“All American Marine remains committed to being on the leading edge of manufacturing techniques and an innovator in merging the latest technology into a functional and proven vessel," Ron Wille, All American Marine president and COO, said in a statement. "The vessel will also help advance the rapidly growing windfarm industry on the East Coast and beyond.”