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Research role for Bob and Betty

Ship & Boat International: eNews April 2019



The Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California has taken delivery of a new coastal research vessel, purpose-built for operations offshore Southern California and around the US state’s Channel Islands. Christened R/V Bob and Betty Beyster, the 12.8m x 4.88m boat was designed and built by Armstrong Marine, Washington.


The vessel is named in honour of the late Dr J. Robert Beyster, founder of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and his wife. SAIC (now known as Leidos) was established in 1969 and would come to specialise in the fields of defence, IT and biomedical research. The boat will primarily be used to support the research efforts of scientists, engineers, students and educators. 


R/V Bob and Betty Beyster incorporates an aluminium planing catamaran hullform, with a moulded depth of 1.52m and a draught of 0.61m. Features include: a 5.87m x 3.98m rear cargo deck; an A-frame with a lifting capacity of 2.27tonnes, which will be used to raise and lower heavy oceanographic equipment; and a roof-mounted Morgan 200 knuckle boom crane. The boat is also equipped with a DP system, to enable her to maintain her heading and position against strong currents. Her spread of equipment includes a seafloor mapping system, a hand-launchable ROV and an acoustic communications transducer.


The vessel can store up to 2,271litres of fuel and is powered by twin Volvo D11 engines, each rated just over 380kW at 2,250rpm. Combined with Volvo IPS 650 outdrives and forward-facing, nibral dual propellers, the vessel is capable of a service speed of 25knots, a range of 500nm and/or an endurance of 12 hours. A separate, 9kW generator, supplied by Northern Lights, will be used to power scientific instruments, laptops and other equipment brought on board by researchers.