The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, has just announced that the christening ceremony of the H.R. Spies, their new hydrographic survey vessel, took place yesterday at Fort Mifflin.
The vessel, made by All American Marine on the West Coast, was named after the late Bob Spies who served in the Philadelphia District from 1957-1983.
“H.R. Spies will be a critical asset for the District as we finalize the Delaware River Main Channel Deepening and transition to the new challenges we face with the operation and maintenance of this project,” USACE said in its statement.
Equipped with dual frequency multibeam, sidescan sonar, sub-bottom profiler and magnetometer, the vessel incorporates the latest in hydrographic survey technology and equipment. With a cruising speed of 28+ knots, the vessel will be capable of effectively responding to the entire Philadelphia District.
Designed with a hydrofoil support and wave piercing bow, the H.R. Spies combines the latest in efficient catamaran hull design with the proven reliability of conventional propeller and rudder running gear, according to USACE.
A raised wheelhouse provides unobstructed 360 degree visibility and the main deck arrangement allows the deployable sonar strut to be located near the vessel center of mass while providing ample cabin and deck working areas.
Construction of the vessel was managed by the USACE Marine Design Center.
The Delaware River Main Channel Deepening Project involves dredging as needed within the existing 40-foot Delaware River federal navigation channel to deepen it to 45 feet from Philadelphia Harbor, Pa. and Beckett Street Terminal, Camden, N.J. along a 102.5-mile distance to deep water in the Delaware Bay.