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New research ship offers unique hull design to save fuel at higher speeds

a view of ship's hull under construction

Images: Texas A&M University at Galveston

The R/V Trident, a new $2.5 million research vessel that features a unique hull design, has joined the fleet of Texas A&M University at Galveston.

A ship in a dock

The all-aluminum 65-foot catamaran features a unique canoe hull and Z-bow configuration, which will allow it to slip through the water with ease. This will give the Trident a cruising speed of at least 15 knots with low-fuel consumption and an exhaust gas reduction of 60 percent from the current vessel.

Constructed by GEO Shipyards in New Iberia, La., the custom-built, state-of-the-art vessel offers a range of capabilities for underwater research activities, including diving, subsea remote operating vehicles, flow-through water sampling and subsea geology coring.

The Trident was designed for efficiency, durability and multi-mission capability. It will carry as many as 44 passengers within 20 miles of shore and eight scientists out to 200 miles from shore.

Texas A&M-Galveston is the maritime and marine campus of Texas A&M University.  It is a special-purpose institution offering academic programs, research and service in marine and maritime studies. The institution is home to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, the only maritime academy located on the Gulf Coast.

More at Texas A&M’s Galveston campus