Seattle-based Snow & Co. is constructing a 15m (49.7x15.9'x7.54') hybrid catamaran aluminum research vessel for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

The vessel is designed to demonstrate Incat Crowther and Snow’s expertise in designing and building low emissions vessels that deliver practical solutions for their scientific mission requirements. 

Incat Crowther’s design features a 28m2 main deck equipped with an A-Frame, boom crane and movable davit in addition to access to a foldable swim platform, extracting maximum functionality from the space. A set of stairs offer direct access from the main deck to the upper deck and flybridge, which affords all-round visibility.

The new cat will be able to support the research of six scientists in a tailored layout containing multiple research workstations and convertible sleeping arrangements, providing PNNL a capable platform to efficiently carry out their research.

"Incat Crowther is excited to have the opportunity to use our proven experience in battery-hybrid propulsion to develop an optimized design to meet the specific objectives outlined by PNNL and is grateful to be working with the highly qualified team at Snow & Company," said Grant Pecoraro, managing director, USA at Incat Crowther, Lafayette, La.

The vessel, which will have a 2.8' draft, will be powered by a parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system, consisting of two Volvo Penta D8-510 main engines, capable of producing 374 kW (501 hp) at 2,850 rpm each, supplemented by two Danfoss Editron EM-PMI375-T200-2600 motor-generators. The mains connect to wheels (manufacturer unspecified) through Twin Disc MGX-5075 SC gearboxes. The new boat will have a service speed of 20 knots, a maximum speed of 29 knots, and a range of 400nm.

Power will be stored using a 113 kW Spear Trident battery system, allowing the vessel to operate quietly in a zero-emission electric state while engaged in a mixture of survey operational modes.

Tankage will include 600 gals. of fuel and 80 gals. fresh water. The boat will also have accommodations for a two-person crew.

With this vessel, PNNL joins a growing list of operators taking advantage of Incat Crowther’s hybrid and low emissions technologies.

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.