University of Wisconsin-Superior selects Incat Crowther to design low-emission hybrid research vessel

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The Lake Superior Research Institute (LSRI) at the University of Wisconsin-Superior has commissioned digital shipbuilder Incat Crowther to design a low-emission battery hybrid research vessel.

Delivered in partnership with shipbuilder Midship Marine, the aluminum-hulled vessel is expected to be delivered in spring 2024. Described as a ‘floating classroom’, the 65ft USCG-certified catamaran will support the university’s on-water education and research and features parallel hybrid battery propulsion technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help meet the university’s environmental objectives.

Incat Crowther has customized the design of the vessel, which can carry 49 passengers and eight crew, specifically to the needs of the LSRI. The main deck features two large laboratories – one a dry laboratory and the other a wet laboratory – which can also be configured to a traditional classroom setup. Each laboratory is complemented with storage spaces while the main deck also features an 89m2 working deck area, two folding dive platforms and two bathrooms. The upper deck features a large classroom adjacent to the pilot house, and two survey winches with a stern ‘A’ frame for use.

Grant Pecoraro, managing director USA at Incat Crowther, said, “We are incredibly pleased the Lake Superior Research Institute chose Incat Crowther as their partner to deliver this new, innovative hybrid research vessel. The collaboration between our teams has resulted in a versatile design that will effectively serve the needs of the Lake Superior Research Institute while reducing its environmental footprint. This project demonstrates Incat Crowther’s commitment to understanding our clients’ needs and developing bespoke solutions to address unique requirements.”

Amy Eliot, associate director and project lead at LSRI, said, “This stable, quiet hybrid catamaran will enable LSRI to continue and expand freshwater research initiatives, as well as provide opportunities for students and community members to connect with Lake Superior.”

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