Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), a private, non-profit oceanographic research centre in Moss Landing, California, has placed an order for a state-of-the-art research vessel with Spanish shipyard Construcciones Navales P. Freire.
It is to be named R/V David Packard, in honour of MBARI’s founder, Silicon Vally pioneer David Packard, who established Hewlett-Packard, the computer and computer printing group. Funding for the new vessel comes from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
The vessel will be 50m long, 12.8m wide, with a draught of 3.7m. It will carry a crew of 12 plus 18 research personnel. The newbuilding will replace the Western Flyer, MBARI’s flagship research vessel, which will be retired in autumn 2022. Seattle-based naval architectural and marine engineering consultancy Glosten is designing the newbuilding.
The final design work will get underway this spring, with keel-laying at Freire expected by November 2021 and the vessel’s launch in September 2022. Construction should be completed in May 2023, when the vessel will depart Spain for its journey to its homeport of Moss Landing in California. Research operations are scheduled to start in autumn 2023.
David Packard will collect vital data for geological, ecological, and biogeochemical research and enable continued exploration of the deep sea in depths below 1,000m using a deep-diving remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
MBARI orders research newbuilding