Damen delivers ‘silent’ Research Vessel ‘Simon Stevin’ to Flemish Government
Damen Shipyards Group has delivered the Research Vessel (RV 3609) ‘Simon Stevin’ to its Belgian client DAB Vloot, the Flemish governmental fleet operator. The RV 3609 was jointly designed by Damen Shipyards Gorinchem and VLIZ, the Flemish Institute for the Sea. While hull and hotworks were built at Damen Shipyards Galati (Romania), the outfitting was done by Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam (The Netherlands). This Damen yard installed all high-tech research and fishing equipment. The ‘Simon Stevin’ will be used offshore for scientific research on climate change, sustainable fishing, energy production at sea and for educational purposes.
The Flemish multidisciplinary research programs that are undertaken by VLIZ, Belgian universities and other scientific institutions all needed a modern research platform in the North Sea for studies in oceanography, fishing, marine biology, microbiology, chemistry and archaeology. With the Simon Stevin this platform has now been realized. Its name relates to the influential Flemish mathematician and engineer Simon Stevin (1548-1620) who designed and executed many civil works related to water technology and marine engineering.
The ship had to comply with extensive and rigorous requirements both as to its footprint and fishing gear. Therefore, the design and lay-out of the vessel is optimized to have very low underwater noise levels and be able to sail in ‘silent mode’. The silent mode complies to the ICES Standard 209 (International Council for Exploration of the Seas), a standard that limits Underwater Radiated Noise. The Damen RV 3609 is the smallest vessel in the world that complies with these strict requirements.
The scientists and researchers have both a ‘dry’ and a ‘wet’ laboratory at their disposal on the main deck. On the forecastle deck there’s a survey room (containing the servers and most computers) for data analysis. When the net drum is dismantled, the aft deck offers room for additional containerized laboratories.
Its basic characteristics are a tiltable A-frame on the aft deck, a number of winches for hydrographical survey work, soil sampling and fishing, two laboratories, a 200 kW bowthruster, a Dynamic Positioning system, and a free deck space of 45 m² allowing space for two containers. Underneath the vessel (and integrated in its keel) a ‘blister’ is installed, i.e. a pod containing a multi-beam echosounder and other equipment for 3D-imaging of the sea bed.
A set of purpose-built fishing winches, uniquely installed below-deck, allow the RV 3609 to apply several fishing methods. For pelagic fishing, a Maaskant low-noise and dismantable electrical net drum has been designed and installed for the 8-metre wide beam trawler. The lay-out of the top deck enables (visual) research on and counting of birds and aquatic mammals.
The two fishing winches, the net drum and the double anchor mooring winch are designed and built by Maaskant Stellendam. In addition, the vessel contains an auxiliary winch to support the second A-frame on starboard side and a double-drum electrical, oceanographic CTD-winch (Conductivity, Temperature, Depth). These are used for lowering research equipment, e.g. a computer-guided CTD-carousel for taking water samples.
The Simon Stevin has (sleeping) accommodation, incl. a separate messroom, for 10 crew and 10 scientists when going on multi-day missions. For day-trips the vessels can take up to 30 persons on board.
The Damen RV 3609 is propelled by two 520 kW electric motors, which are flexibly mounted to reduce subsea noise levels. Three generator sets supply the electricity for the propulsion system, the winches and other electrical equipment. Up to 9.5 knots the Simon Stevin is able to sail in ‘silent mode’; its maximum speed is 12 knots. The bowthruster, part of the vessel’s DP-arrangement, ensures good manoeuvrability in ports and when performing diving operations.
All in all, the three Damen yards, in cooperation with their client, have done their utmost to deliver a relatively small hydrographical research vessel (36 x 9 m) which is nevertheless abundantly equipped with research, analysis and fishing equipment. According to VLIZ, the RV 3609 is both its first newbuild Research Vessel and a real showpiece.
A short video is available at www.youtube.com/user/DamenShipyards
Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam
Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam, part of Damen Shipyards Group, is a ship- and repair yard originally specializing in fishing vessels of which the company has built almost all types and sizes. Furthermore, Maaskant successfully designs and constructs seagoing workboats (e.g. Buoy Laying Vessels, Offshore Support Vessels) and converts decommissioned fishing vessels into private yachts.
The yard is based in Stellendam in the south of The Netherlands, borders directly onto the North Sea and operates 3 dry docks (max. depth 6 m). Maaskant has a wide experience with repair and construction work, such as lengthening vessels, refitting wheelhouses or cabins or outfitting vessels with fish catching and processing installations. Quick service is guaranteed by the yard’s own engineering works and extensive stock of components and spare parts. Also, Maaskant is a service provider for General Diesel engines and is an official AMD Caterpillar dealer.
Maaskant manufactures its own range of winches and specializes in winch maintenance and development. The yard regularly produces custom-made winches (of its own design or according to client-specifications) for sea and coastal trawlers, dredgers, workboats and offshore applications.
Damen Shipyards Group
Damen Shipyards Group (est. 1927) operates more than 45 shipyards, repair yards and related companies worldwide. Damen employs over 6,000 people in 34 countries, has delivered over 5,000 vessels since 1969 and delivers up to 150 vessels annually. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept and short delivery times, Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.
Damen’s focus on standardisation and modular construction leads to short delivery times (Damen keeps vessels in stock), low ‘total cost of ownership’, high resale value, proven technology and reliable performance. Damen offers a wide range of products, including: tugs, workboats, patrol vessels, high speed craft, cargo vessels, dredgers, offshore support vessels, oil-spill response vessels and even frigates and super yachts. In addition to shipbuilding, Damen offers efficient customer support, customer financing and complete lifecycle service.
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Damen Shipyards Group operates 32 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 9,000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 6,000 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers some 180 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.
Damen’s focus on standardisation, modular construction and keeping vessels in stock leads to short delivery times, low ‘total cost of ownership’, high resale values and reliable performance. Furthermore, Damen vessels are based on thorough R&D and proven technology.
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