Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) of Gloucester Point has awarded a contract to Meridien Maritime Reparation of Matane, Quebec to construct a 23-meter research vessel.

JMS Naval Architects have designed the research vessel to replace VIMS’s current vessel, the R/V Bay Eagle.

The primary mission of the Institute’s fleet is to provide inshore and offshore work platforms for the support of fisheries related oceanographic research projects.

The new vessel will be capable of conducting fisheries assessments of greater capacity, in deeper waters and with a larger science complement than the Bay Eagle. In addition, the vessel should expand VIMS’s capability to perform general oceanographic research in the Chesapeake Bay and the mid-Atlantic near coastal waters.

JMS designed the vessel to operate as an uninspected research vessel with an ABS Loadline. The vessel is adaptable to evolving scientific research areas such as offshore oil & gas exploration surveys, wind energy development surveys, environmental impact studies, and the servicing of ocean observing systems.

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