First-year performance assessment of SWATH Research Ship



The first small waterplane area twin hull (SWATH) design ship in the U.S. academic research vessel fleet, the R/V Kilo Moana (Figure 1), entered service in September 2002. The ship, whose home port is in Honolulu, has been operating with diverse groups of oceanographers on board. Before the ship became operational, the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System Fleet Improvement Committee (UNOLS- FIC) decided that it was important to gather fair and representative impressions of the vessel's performance from the first scientists on board. Science mission requirements developed over the past year by UNOLS have all indicated that sea-keeping is a very high priority: oceano graphers wanted to work comfortably at higher sea states. Just about the only way to achieve this is by using the SWATH design rather than the mono-hull.