Six hundred feet (182.9 meters) of steel and aluminum that will eventually support ocean research is in the water. REV Ocean celebrated her technical launch in Romania, following 18 months of construction to get her to this point.
REV Ocean is, first and foremost, a research vessel, the flagship of the REV Ocean initiative. Established by Norwegian businessman Kjell Inge Røkke, the non-profit has multiple goals. It plans to support not just scientific expeditions, but a host of environmental solutions for sustaining the world’s oceans. These range from best fishing practices to measuring the impact of CO2 emissions, and plastics pollution prevention.
Construction has been taking place at the VARD shipyard in Tulcea, Romania. VARD is the same commercial builder behind the Kilkea conversion project proposed by Edmiston a few years ago. REV Ocean is not seeing completion in Romania, however. She’ll be making her way, via tugs, over the next month or so to another VARD facility in Norway for final outfitting. There, she’ll receive her research labs, classrooms, and related technical and scientific gear, like an ROV capableof diving to nearly 20,000 feet (6,000 meters). In addition, a moon pool will be aboard. Moon pools are common aboard marine-research vessels, serving as protected ways for submersibles and other small vessels to enter or leave the water. Furthermore, REV Ocean will have accommodations for 55 scientists and 35 crew.
Those accommodations, as well as some superyacht-like spaces for charter guests, are from the Espen Øino design studio. Specifically, 28 guests can stay aboard for private journeys. The non-profit states that charter income will further fund the research purposes. In fact, Espen Øino himself likens the vessel to “a yacht with a purpose, a noble purpose.” He continues, “I think it will be the best-equipped scientific ship on the sea. It is probably the most important project we will ever have the chance to work on.”
George Gill, the project director and owner’s representative, agrees about the significance. “To have developed and overseen REV from a blank piece of paper three and a half years ago has been a challenging, educational, rewarding experience,” he says. “The project evolved into something far more complicated and ambitious than I ever assumed, and it has been a personal career highlight.”
Rev Ocean revocean.org