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Customer Stories

Newest Research Boat at University of Alaska Powered by Volvo Penta Engines

The College of Fisheries and Marine Science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has added to its fleet a new research vessel, which was constructed by Armstrong Marine. The research vessel Nanuq arrived in Seward, Alaska, this summer.

Our marine team worked with Armstrong Marine of Port Angeles, Washington, during its design of the 40-foot aluminum hull boat to outfit the vessel with a pair of Volvo Penta D6 engines that each deliver 330hp. The engines are paired with Volvo Penta Aquamatic outdrives and its hydraulic power steering.

“Research vessels have very specific performance requirements and Volvo Penta propulsion systems have proven extremely capable of meeting those needs,” said Doug Schwedland, PPG’s vice president of the marine division.

Important Research

The College of Fisheries and Marine Science at the university was created in 1987 to unify statewide academic and research programs in the university system that are focused on fisheries and ocean sciences. The Seward site where the Nanuq will operate is dedicated to the study of marine fish, birds and mammals.

Propulsion System

Along with the Volvo Penta engines, the Nanuq is outfitted with side power electric bow thruster with joystick control to ensure precision maneuverability during research operations. The monohulled boat is capable of cruising at 32 knots and has a 400-gallon fuel capacity that allows the boat long-range travel capabilities in the remote waters of Alaska.

Brian Mullaly, Captain of the Nanuq, piloted the Nanuq on its 11-day maiden voyage around Prince William Sound. He told Armstrong Marine that the boat beyond the expectation of the scientists.

“Our work had us out in the Gulf of Alaska, but when the weather shifted, we were able to travel with ease and quickness to the Sound,” Mullally said. “The boat handled well in rough conditions.”

The newest research vessel replaces the R/V Little Dipper.

Plenty of Work Space

Armstrong Marine designed a customized exterior so the Nanuq crew is easily able to deploy and retrieve fishing and oceanographic sampling gear. The outdrive guard doubles as a work platform and the open transom has a rounded edge to prevent damage to any equipment being hauled over the stern. The aft also features a davit with Kinematics pinch hauler, stowable dive ladder, gunwale tide-down rails and a 8-foot-by-8-foot grid of deck tie-downs.

Creature Comforts

Inside the Nanuq, three shock-mitigating Bentley seats accommodate the captain and crew. A complete galley features a sink, microwave/ convection oven, Norcold refrigerator and So-Low freezer. The wet locker features an internal dehumidifier.

The cuddy cabin offers room to sleep four in bunks, storage and Lewmar egress hatch.

“Nanuq will be a great tool for the work of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences,” Mullaly said.