Silver Ships, Theodore, Ala., has recently delivered a customized Ambar series 28' RIB to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The NOAA vessel is a custom-built Ambar six-meter (AM600), designed to be operated from NOAA oceangoing ships. At just under 28' (with a hull length of 20’5’’) with an 8’10’’ beam and 22’’ draft, the RIB is powered by two Mercury SeaPro 115-hp outboards . The boat also features an 80-gal. fuel tank, a trailer, and a boat cradle for deck storage to meet NOAA's needs.

Ambar series vessels, part of the rigid hull inflatable boat (RIB) family, were originally designed to meet the demands of North Sea rescue boats. Over the past 15 years, Ambar boats have been used in many applications, from fire rescue service to patrol and research missions. The original “hybrid” air-and-foam collar has proven to be popular and gives the Ambar series "incredible" stability, making the boats virtually unsinkable, according to Silver Ships The NOAA vessel was specifically designed with a lift point located in the center of the boat to safely deploy from large ships working offshore.

This vessel is projected to be a part of summer deployments. The NOAA vessel is a key element in collecting research on specific marine life including sea turtles and whales. The customized turtle tagging platform allows for research biologists to efficiently hand tag turtles that surface the water, and the folding bow-pulpit allows researchers to get over the water, assisting in biopsy darting large whales. The observer platform plays a key role at tracking these surfaced animals, being elevated 8' in the air with a clear view of the water.

At just under 28', this vessel allows the perfect transportation to the shelf break, getting close enough to research beaked whales in their natural habitat, and collect data, the company said.

“As a Silver Ships team, we were pleased to be able to assist NOAA in expanding their research with a customized vessel built for all of their mission needs,” Shawn Lobree, Silver Ship’s federal contracts manager, said in a statement. “With the custom, unique add-ons this vessel holds, we are confident NOAA will be able to strengthen their research capabilities and leave a lasting impact on our environment.”