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  • 2016 May 25 11:24

    Duckworth Steel Boats contracted to build a new research vessel for Florida Institute of Oceanography

    Tarpon Springs, Florida based family-owned shipbuilding firm Duckworth Steel Boats secured a $6 million contract from the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) for building a 78-foot research vessel, local media reported.

    The new RV project will be funded by the State of Florida, the City of St. Petersburg and FIO's member institutions.

    The 78-foot RV will replace the R/V Bellows. Originally built in 1968, FIO has operated the research boat since 1979 as a floating laboratory for scientists and students studying in the waterways of Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas.

    The new ship was designed by Boksa Marine Design (Lithia, FL.) in collaboration with the FIO Ship Advisory Committee. At 23.7 meters in length and 7,3 meters at the beam, the new ship will be both longer and wider than its predecessor. The design will offer the new vessel more working space, including separated wet and dry labs, a larger work deck, separate galley and more comfortable arrangements for berthing.

    Anticipated missions for the new vessel will include a variety of over-the-side operations including water sampling, bioacoustics, sediment coring, and fisheries research.

    “We’re excited to be a part of this new project. The vessel has a rich history of scientific education and discovery and we hope the new boat will continue the institute’s ongoing mission,” said Nick Boksa, president of Boksa Marine Design.

    A keel laying ceremony is scheduled for June 2016. Completion of the boat’s construction is estimated to take between 12 and 24 months. During construction, Boksa Marine Design will provide detailed engineering and construction oversight. In 2014, BMD also provided systems and mechanical engineering services for FIO’s other research vessel, the 115’ R/V Weatherbird II.

    Boksa Marine Design, Inc. is an independent design and engineering firm specializing in naval architecture, marine engineering, production engineering and consulting. Located near Tampa Florida, we work with clients all over the world including owners, operators, builders and shipyards.

    FIO is a Florida Academic Infrastructure Support Organization, collaboratively working with 27 educational institutions and agencies from across the state to maximize marine research and education resources. The goal of the Florida Institute of Oceanography is to “provide a forum for addressing the challenges facing our oceans and develop strategies for promoting greater understanding, scientific advancement, civic engagement, natural resource management and public policy which preserves and protects ocean resources.”




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