Ireland’s new state-of-the-art multipurpose marine research vessel, the RV Tom Crean, has reached a key milestone with the completion of the vessel’s hull.

Spanish shipyard Astilleros Armon Vigo SA was awarded the contract to build the new vessel in 2019, following the completion of the design by Norwegian ship design consultant Skipsteknisk AS.

This phase of the project involved upwards of 70 personnel working at some stages, which included the joining of the 32 hull units and the installation of the generator sets, electric propulsion motor, deck equipment and the vessel’s unique silent seven-bladed propeller. The wheelhouse was due to be installed last week.

The vessel hull has been painted in the familiar ‘signal green’ colour used on the Marine Institute’s two research vessels currently in operation, the RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager.

Aodhán Fitzgerald, interim director of oceans, climate and information services at the Marine Institute, and project manager of the new vessel build, said: “The construction of Ireland’s new marine research vessel is making great progress, with the RV Tom Crean on track for completion in summer 2022.

“The next stage of the build focus will move towards the outfitting of the vessel interior, including laboratories, with the vessel’s launch into the water scheduled for November 2021. The outfitting will then continue with the vessel afloat.”

The new 52.8m RV Tom Crean, which will replace the 31m RV Celtic Voyager, will carry out a wide range of marine research activities, seabed mapping and oceanography. She will provide a year-round service for expanded fisheries surveys and deepwater surveys, and support increased research in the Atlantic Ocean. The new vessel will enable 300 operational days at sea each year, and up to 3,000 scientist days per year.

The new vessel will be able to go to sea for at least 21 days at a time, and will be designed to operate in harsh sea conditions. Based in Galway, she will be used by the Marine Institute, other state agencies and universities to undertake fisheries research, oceanographic and environmental research, seabed mapping and other multidisciplinary surveys.

To follow the build process for the RV Tom Crean, visit the timeline here.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here. (Photo provided by Marine Institute)


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