Rigid-hull inflatable builder Ribcraft recently delivered a research boat to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth, Mass.
The 21-foot, 5-inch Ribcraft 6.5 is part of the Inlet and River Mouth Dynamics research initiative, which will study and enhance the ability to predict sediment transport, waves and currents in riverine and tidal flows. The research will increase the Navy's ability to operate and navigate safely in those environments.
Equipped with a center console, two jockey-style pod seats and a reinforced antenna arch, the boat will be used to transport researchers, divers and equipment to study sites at river inlets where sea conditions can be rough. While on station, the boat will be used to deploy and maintain current meters and wave gauges.
"We operate in the waves, so we needed a boat that did well in those conditions and provided a stable work platform for our divers, and a Ribcraft does just that," said Steve Elgar, senior scientist of applied ocean physics and engineering.
Marblehead, Mass.-based Ribcraft builds RIBs for safety professionals, military agencies, yacht clubs and tour operators.