After a refit period of about three years the refit of the former German fishery protection vessel “SEEFALKE” to a research ship has been completed. RV “FALKOR”, now a multi-functional scientific research vessel, is going to be delivered to the owner. RV “FALKOR” is a ship of 82.9 m length, a breadth of 13.0 m, and a draft of 5.8 m, which had originally been built in 1981 in Lübeck, Germany as a fishery protection vessel, and was purchased by Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), a privately owned US foundation who wanted to convert it to a globally capable ocean research vessel.
The shipyard Peters Schiffbau in Wewelsfleth was successful against strong international and national competitors and carried out the extensive works.
These are some of the main topics covered in the refit:
the overhaul of the main and auxiliary engines, installation of a new additional generator, overhaul of the bow thruster, and renewal of shaft alignment. The fire alarm systems have been renewed, also the complete electrical and AVIT installation and the navigation and communication systems. The structure of the main deck has been completely modified, a new Heli deck has been installed, and new crane systems have been mounted. The shipyard installed all the science areas including a wet lab and a dry lab, both with numerous science research systems.
Shortly before sea trials and the delivery of the completed vessel to the owner, RV “FALKOR” received her new name on March 6th 2012 in a private ceremony at Peters Schiffbau in Wewelsfleth. Representatives of Schmidt Ocean Institute mentioned the flexibility of the shipyard and the very good relationship between the refit management and the crew, which has succeeded to refit RV “FALKOR” to one of the best science research ships in the world.
It accommodates an array of research facilities and sophisticated scientific instruments onboard, including a sonar gondola for underwater sonar scanning and oceanographic research systems, an extendable sonar for the collection of scientific data, just to name some of the scientific equipment.
Mark Dethlefs, Managing Director of Peters Schiffbau, mentioned in his speech that the order had been given in the beginning of the year 2009, when the International Economic and Financial Crisis reached a peak in the Northern European Shipyards. The shipbuilders in Wewelsfleth faced this challenge, and with a good cohesion of Design and Management with the Client’s Team the refit project developed successfully.
After delivery to the owner RV “FALKOR” will be undergoing extensive Sea Trials in 2012 to test and calibrate all embedded sonar systems and the new scientific equipment in preparation for research cruises that will start in 2013.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, April 23, 2012; Images: peters