More Details on NOAA’s R/V Bay Hydro II

Written by on April 24, 2009 in Technology
NOAA R/V Bay Hydro II Running Shot -- Photo:  NOAA

NOAA R/V Bay Hydro II Running Shot -- Photo: NOAA

Commissioned last week in Baltimore, Maryland, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s new research vessel Bay Hydro II is an aluminum catamaran built by Kvichak Marine Industries in Seattle, Washington.  NOAA’s Ocean Services division and the builder have provided us with some more of the specifications on the boat.  The table below summarizes the boat’s general characteristics.

R/V Bay Hydro II

Homeport Solomons, Maryland
Crew 1 NOAA Corps Officer and 2 scientists
Accommodations Crew stateroom and galley
Overall Length 57 feet
Beam 21 feet
Maximum Speed 31.5 knots
Cruise Speed 25 knots
Range 625 nautical miles
Manufacturer Kvichak Marine Industries
Cost $2.1 million


You can read a fact sheet on the boat from the builder, Kvichak Marine Industries.

According to a NOAA spokesperson, the first mission for Bay Hydro II will be hydrographic surveys in the mid-Chesapeake Bay.  The hydrographic data (depth and contours) will help update NOAA charts of the Bay.  NOAA says there are nearly 50 charts that cover the Chesapeake Bay.  These charts are used by both recreational and commercial mariners.

Bay Hydro II‘s first skipper will be NOAA Corps LT Michael Davidson.  He and the two additional scientists in the crew have all been trained in hydrographic research.

Currently there are 10 NOAA hydro vessels: three large ships (NOAA Ships Fairweather and Rainier — West Coast; and NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson – East Coast), the Bay Hydro II, and six navigation response teams (three-man vessels that conduct emergency seafloor surveys following hurricanes or shipping accidents).  A notable recent example of the work of a navigation response team vessel was the U.S. Airways Plane Landing in New York’s Hudson River: .

Artist Conception of NOAA Ship Ferdinand Hassler -- Image Courtesy of NOAA

Artist Conception of NOAA Ship Ferdinand Hassler -- Image Courtesy of NOAA

A much larger ocean and coastal mapping vessel, the NOAA Ship Ferdinand Hassler, is currently under construction in Moss Point, Mississippi, at VT Halter Marine Shipyard.  We will have more details on this unique SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) ship in a future post here on Marine Science Today.

Copyright © 2009 by Marine Science Today, a publication of OceanLines LLC

About the Author

About the Author: Tom Tripp is the owner of OceanLines Ltd., the publisher of OceanLines and founder and Editor Emeritus of Marine Science Today. He is an award-winning marine journalist, science and aviation writer and long-time public communications specialist. His PR career and much of his writing stems from the fact that he loves to explain stuff. It all began when he and his brother Mark threw all of Mom's tomatoes at the back wall of the house. . . .


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