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Monitoring

CONSTRUCTION OF R/V MANTA

In 2004, the sanctuary began planning for the possibility of a new vessel that would be designed with the specific needs of the sanctuary in mind. In 2006, the sanctuary was allocated funding to construct this research vessel.

NOAA Corps officer, Lindsay Kurelja was the staff person tasked with heading up the design phase of this project. Lindsay visited existing vessels in the National Marine Sanctuary Program, researched equipment and technology, and talked with sanctuary staff and researchers to determine what the "ideal" research vessel for the sanctuary would look like.

Technology Associates Inc. (TAI), out of New Orleans, Louisiana, wrote the design specifications based on Lindsay's research. From there, Teknicraft Design in New Zealand completed the design of the vessel including all construction plans.

All American Marine, based in Bellingham, Washington, was tasked with actual construction of the R/V MANTA, while TAI continued to work as engineering consultants for the sanctuary during the construction phase.

Below are several images of the MANTA as she progressed from design to completion.

For more information about R/V MANTA:

Visit our Research Vessel page
View images of the MANTA Shakedown in Bellingham, WA
View images of the MANTA Dedication

Click on a picture below to see a larger, hi-resolution image. All images should be credited to Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) unless otherwise noted.

February 2008 - Sea Trials

Portside view of the R/V Manta underway during sea trials
R/V MANTA underway during sea trials in Bellingham, WA.
See more images from the Shakedown Cruise

The Manta's inflatable work boat being driven across the water by two people
The rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) MOBULA being tested.

January 15, 2008 - Launch Day!


Looking at the bow of the R/V Manta as it is suspended in the air from a crane.
R/V MANTA being moved outdoors in preparation for launch.
Photo credit: Wilkes/NOAA
Starboard side view of the R/V Manta as it hangs suspended from a large crane.
Starboard view of R/V MANTA suspended from a crane.
Photo credit: Wilkes/NOAA
Stern view of an 83-foot boat being hoisted by crane and set down on the rails that will be used to launch the boat into the water for the first time.
Stern view of R/V MANTA being lowered into position prior to launch.
A bow view of a catamaran style vessel resting on the rails that will be used to launch it into the water for the first time.
Bow view of R/V MANTA being lowered into position prior to launch.
Metal rails leading into the water at a boat ramp.  The R/V Manta is visible in the water, still setting on the rails used to move her into the water.  She is stting on top of several large box-like structures and is just starting and is not yet afloat.  The rest of the support structure is already underwater.
R/V MANTA entering the water on rails, but not quite afloat yet.
Bow view of the R/V Manta floating in the water for the first time.  Piers partially visible on either side of the photo.  Large white ship visible in background.
R/V MANTA afloat for the first time.
A view of the R/V Manta from the front as she sits next to a wooden dock.  Lines run from her bow to the dock.  A NOAA logo is visible on the front left of the boat and her shiny aluminum sides are reflecting the glare of the sun.
R/V MANTA dockside at All American Marine in Bellingham, WA.
Scenic view of the waterside where the R/V Manta was launched.  Water is visible in the foreground with the boat in the middle of the picture alongside a wooden dock.  Behind the boat is a distant hillside covered with trees and houses.
Scenic view with R/V MANTA dockside in Bellingham, WA.

January 8, 2008 - Almost Done!

Portside view of R/V Manta with NOAA log painted on the bow
Portside view of R/V MANTA with the NOAA logo prominently displayed on the bow.
Portside view of the R/V Manta with Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary lettered on the side.  A two-tone blue stripe runs down the side of the vessel below the sanctuary name.
Portside view of the vessel with the sanctuary name visible.
Stern view of the two hulls that support the super structure of the R/V Manta
Stern view of the two hulls that support the superstructure of R/V MANTA.
A view between the two hulls and underneath the main deck of this catamaran style vessel
A view beneath the main deck, looking between the two hulls of the vessel.
A platform extending off the stern of the R/V Manta that divers will use to get in and out of the water.
One of the dive platforms at the stern of R/V MANTA.
A square metal frame standing upright on the stern deck of the R/V Manta
The A-frame lift at the stern of the vessel will be used to hoist equipment to/from the water.
The kitchen area of the vessel with a stainless steel double sink, white stove and white microwave oven visible.  All of the cabinets are light blue.
The galley.
The main dining area of the vessel with two tables on pedastal legs with bench seating surrounding them.  Windows to the outside are visible behind the tables, with another window to the left that looks into another interior work space.
The mess (eating area) next to the galley. The window on the left looks into the dry lab area.
A large lab area on the vessel with blue cabinets lining the outer walls.  Access doors are located to the left and right.
R/V MANTA has a large open lab area. This photo is taken from the dry lab side looking toward the wet lab side. The galley is through the door on the left, while the main deck is outside the door on the right.
One end of the lab area showing an L-shaped counter with blue cabinets and a small refrigerator beneath them.  A small sink for working with acids is located in the countertop to the right of the fridge and just above a hazardous materials storage unit.  A window above the counter looks outside.ext to blue cabinets.  A small sink for working with acids
A view of the wet lab showing the small research fridge/freezer, acid sink, and hazardous material storage.
An L-shaped counter with blue cabinets beneath inside the wet lab.  To the right of the counter is a doorway leading to the main deck..
Another view of the wet lab area showing the doorway that leads out to the main deck.
Sleeping quarters on the R/V Manta.  Blue lockers on the left are for storage.  Two blue shelves on the right are beds without mattresses.
Sleeping quarters include storage lockers for the passengers occupying these berths.
A small metal building on the top deck of the boat that houses the ship's wheel and all of the other navigation equipment.  Window all the way around this building provide the captain with a clear view of the surroundings.
The upper deck looking at the back of the pilot house. The chase boat MOBULA is partly visible in the bottom left corner.
A small rigid hull inflatable boat with an outboard motor sitting on the upper deck of the R/V Manta.
The Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) MOBULA that will be used as a chase boat from the MANTA.

November 23, 2007

A look at the helm of the Manta with paper images showing where each piece of equipment will be located.
A look at the helm with paper images showing where each piece of equipment will be installed.
A port side view of the Manta still in the construction bay
Port side view of the MANTA still in the construction bay at All American Marine.

October 22, 2007

Starboard dive platform being installed at the rear of the vessel
Starboard dive platform being installed.
Cabinetry and controls being installed inside the pilot house. Interior decor is blue and black.
Cabinetry and controls being installed inside the pilot house.
Lower cabin with blue walls and surfaces installed
Lower cabin starting to become recognizable.
Galley area inside main cabin. Blue cabinetry and wall surfaces have been installed.
Galley area taking shape.

September 25, 2007

Main deck space with moon pool cover visible in the center and engine room hatches along each side
Main deck space with moon pool cover visible in center and engine room hatches along each side.
Looking at the main deck house from the back deck. Stairs on the left lead to the pilot house.
Looking at the main house from the back deck. Stairs on the left lead to the pilot house.
Front view of the pilot house with windows installed
Front view of the pilot house with windows installed.
Port view of the stern of the vessel
Port view of the stern.
Port side view of the hull and superstructure
Port side view of the hull and superstructure.

August 26-27, 2007

Port side view of the bow of the boat
Port side view of the bow.
Standing amidships and looking forward toward the bow of the Manta
Amidships looking forward toward the bow of the Manta.
The superstructure of the Manta
The superstructure of the MANTA.
Front view of the pilot house before windows were installed. Window outlines visible.
Front view of the pilot house before windows are installed.
Aft side of the bridge deck. Window outlines visible.
Aft side of the bridge deck.
Outside sitting area. A bench and a table will be located here
Outside sitting area. A bench and
a table will be located here.
Interior of the main cabin with nothing but aluminum structural supports
Interior of the main cabin.
Stern view of the Manta with both hulls visible
Stern view with both hulls visible.
Starboard view of the stern showing steps that will lead down to a dive platform
Starboard view of the stern with steps that will lead to a dive platform.

August 13, 2007

Back deck view of the Manta showing bolt downs every 2 feet that will make this an interchangeable deck space
Back deck of the vessel showing the bolt downs that make this deck interchangeable.
A forward berthing area under construction inside one of the hulls
A forward berthing area inside one of the hulls.

May 14, 2007 - Laying the Hull

As is customary, the hull of the MANTA was first constructed upside down. Construction of the superstructure (pilot house, galley, berthing areas) took place simultaneously but separately. At a certain point in completion, the hull was then turned right side up and the superstructure attached on top.


Upside down construction of the vessel's hull
Construction of the MANTA's hull began upside down.
Close up view of the hull frame while during the upside down phase of construction
Close-up view of the hull frame while it was upside down.

December 2005 - Design Phase

Four sanctuary staff standing in a grassy field discussing boat layout.
G.P. Schmahl, Lindsay Kurelja, Shelley DuPuy and Doug Weaver discuss the design of the MANTA's back deck while standing in a mock-up created in a field near the Galveston office.

Three sanctuary staff considering the layout of the back deck of the Manta outlined with string and chairs in a field during the planning stages
Doug Weaver, Shelley DuPuy and G.P. Schmahl trying to picture the layout of the back deck of the vessel, using string and chairs in a field near the office, during the design phase.
Back deck of the Manta outlined with string and chairs in a field during the planning stages
Another view of the back deck mock-up constructed in a field near the office during the design phase.
Four sanctuary staff considering the layout of the back deck of the Manta outlined with string and chairs in a field during the planning stages
G.P. Schmahl, Lindsay Kurelja, Doug Weaver and Shelley DuPuy giving the mock-up of the back deck one final look.

 



weather report observations cool stuff get wet


Juvenile blue tang (fish).  Bright yellow body with irridescent blue marking around eye and at top edge of dorsal fin.
   
National Marine Sanctuary logo - a stylized whale tail above waves