Orca Maritime Gets New Research Vessel

Photo: Maddie Hunt Photography / Armstrong Marine

Armstrong Marine said it has delivered a new catamaran research vessel, Benthic Cat, to Orca Maritime following launch and sea trials in the Port of Port Angeles.

Orca Maritime selected the design after Armstrong delivered the same 4216-CTC model to UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography (R/V Bob and Betty Beyster) in 2019.

Orca Maritime will utilize the workboat in support of Department of Defense initiatives, environmental agencies, energy sectors, and commercial enterprise. Vessel operations will include the launch and recovery of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), underwater gliders, surface and underwater sensors, remotely operated vehicles (ROV), and unmanned surface vehicles (USV). Benthic Cat will also support surface-supplied/SCUBA diving operations and provide onboard data processing.

Kurt Nelson of Orca Maritime said: “We were excited to team up with Armstrong Marine USA given their expertise in building specialized vessels to meet the exacting needs of their customers. R/V Benthic Cat has exceeded all our expectations for speed, fuel economy, range, and maneuverability. She fills the near shore multi-mission role perfectly.”

Benthic Cat will enter service immediately, beginning with a week-long operation around San Clemente Island.

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