I am currently heading up a research
group where we develop methods and algorithms to detect, classify and track cetaceans using passive acoustic monitoring, i.e., we only record
dolphin and whale sounds. We mainly work
in False bay, near the Cape of Storms/ Good Hope....
After a lot of deliberation, I settled on using a sail boat
rather than a motor boat
, mainly due to fuel
costs, and also due to engine noise
while recording sounds.
Currently, we have a 26 ft Beneteau
First. It is an awesome boat, and sails
like a dream (in my opinion). However, the Beneteau
is a bit small, with 3 people the cockpit
starts to get cramped.
I would like to upgrade to a bigger boat. Our main requirements would be:
1. Safe boat - I might be taking students with, so safety
is the biggest factor
2. Easy boat to sail short handed, must be able to be sailed with 2 persons.
3. Deploying dipping hydrophones from the boat - a single
element connected to a wire that is about 9 - 15 long, which records sounds in the sea. Works better the deeper it is suspended.
4. Deploying temporary moored sensors or floating sensors and collecting them later on
5. Deploying towed arrays and tow them behind the vessel.
6. Do extended trips of 2 - 4 days.
Unfortunately, our budget
is limited. What would your thoughts be on the following boat, regarding the points mentioned above:
1. The steel hull
do add complications, but we have welders in our workshop for which the labour would be free.
2. The high free board of the ketch
is worrying me, especially when we need to retrieve sensors. I wonder if adding a "suger scoup" at the stern would solve that problem.
3. The engine
is very small for a 10 Tonne vessel, I believe a 55HP would be better.
Your suggestions, thoughts and opinions will be greatly appreciated