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New Research Vessel Almost Ready to Hit the Waves


The work to finish the University of Gothenburg’s new research vessel continues. The ship is almost ready to go into the water.
‘The shipyard has told us they’ll launch the new research vessel Skagerak on 31 October,’ says project manager Anders Backman.

Research vessel Skagerak with Scafolding.

Picture of the vessel, photographer: Håkan Kristiansson.

First the ship will be moved to a pontoon in the water. Once the pontoon is filled with water and sinks, the ship will float by itself.

‘Before the launching, the ship will be transferred from the construction site to a barge. In a next step, the barge will be sunk into the water deep enough to enable the ship to sail away,’ says Backman.

Approaching the end of the process

In November 2013, the University of Gothenburg ordered a new vessel for education and research. The intention was to replace the over 45-year-old ship Skagerak.

The vessel will have a crew of five and can accommodate around twenty researchers and students. The new ship will inherit the name of its predecessor.
In the autumn of 2014, the first steel plate for the vessel’s hull was cut at the Nauta Shiprepair Yard in Gdynia, Poland. Now the steelwork is almost finished. The new vessel will be 49 metres from bow to stern instead of the old ship’s 46 metres.

Inspectors on site

Three inspectors from the University of Gothenburg are monitoring the work in Poland.

‘They have their hands full, since the shipyard works in the shift ,’ says Backman.

The University of Gothenburg’s new research vessel is not only almost 50 metres long but also about 20 metres tall.

‘The stairs from the bottom of the ship to upper deck are long enough to make your legs tired,’ says Backman.

New phase

After the launching of the ship, it will be moved to a fitting-out quay at the shipyard. Once there, all systems on board the vessel will be finished and tested. The next step will be to take the ship for a delivery test drive. If successful and the delivery is approved, a Swedish crew will fly the Swedish flag and head for the ship’s home port.

‘We’re entering a new phase. Until now they’ve been doing all the steel work, but now the ship will be filled with various subcontractors. They’re there to finish whatever systems they specialise in. It’s everything from electrical and computer installations to furnishing the cabins and messes,’ says Backman.

Having all the subcontractors working together on board the ship will put the shipyard’s coordinative ability to the test.

‘The path from contract to finished vessel is long and winding. I’m happy to see we have come this far and that we’re actually starting to talk about the final delivery,’ says Backman.

Read more about the vessel here >>

Picture of the vessel, photographer: Håkan Kristiansson.
Portrait of Anders Backman