RESEARCH/SURVEY - Seaspan delivers again for Canadian science; new RCRVs take shape at Gulf Island
Professional Mariner|Annual American Ship Review 2021
The promise of new orders and a couple of prominent deliveries — led by the latest addition to Canada’s oceangoing fleet — kept North American shipbuilders engaged in the research and survey sector during the past year.
Rich Miller

In the wake of the pioneering CCGS Sir John Franklin, Seaspan Shipyards delivered Canada’s second offshore fisheries science vessel (OFSV) in November under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. CCGS Capt. Jacques Cartier, named for the 16th-century French explorer, now serves the Canadian Coast Guard from its port in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

The 208-foot ship, designed in collaboration with Vard Marine, will be the primary offshore platform for Fisheries and Oceans Canada to study marine ecosystems and the impacts of climate change. Capt. Jacques Cartier also will support search and rescue operations and environmental response when needed.

At the heart of the diesel-electric propulsion system are three Caterpillar 3512C HD main engines coupled to a generator providing 1,550 ekW. The ship also is equipped with a Wartsila bow thruster. To get to the research site and stay on task once there, the OFSV has a cruising range of 6,400 nautical miles and 13 berths for crew and officers. Its cruising speed is 8 knots, with a top speed of 12.5 knots.

Like its sibling, Capt. Jacques Cartier is outfitted with advanced trawls, wet and dry labs and a deployable Selmar drop keel loaded with an array of sensors to support the ship’s endeavors. The deck cranes are from TTS, hydraulics from Hawboldt and a ballast water treatment system from Hyde. Navigation and communications equipment includes two Raytheon NautoScan radar units and a Simrad FS70 trawl sonar.

In addition to Vard Marine and Thales Canada, which were responsible for the ship’s electronics systems, more than 600 suppliers across the nation contributed to the construction of the vessel, according to Seaspan.

“The scientific work that will be undertaken on CCGS Capt. Jacques Cartier and her sister ships will undoubtedly enhance our understanding of our marine ecosystems and the impacts of climate change,” Bernadette Jordan, minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, said upon delivery of the ship. “By investing in the Coast Guard, our shipbuilding industry and Canadian science, we are moving forward to best protect our environment while supporting economic growth.”

The third OFSV in the series, CCGS John Cabot, was launched in July and underwent sea trials in August. It hit the water 97 percent complete despite additional safety protocols adopted by Seaspan’s North Vancouver shipyard due to the coronavirus, the company said. The ship will be stationed in St. John’s, Newfoundland after delivery this fall.

PUSHING FORWARD IN THE U.S.

South of the border, All American Marine of Bellingham, Wash., completed construction of the 77-foot Shearwater for the Duke University Marine Lab (DUML). The aluminum catamaran features a hydrofoil-assisted hull form by Teknicraft (see profile on page 38).

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