Wednesday, May 29, 2013

FGS Planet -SWATH has Nova Scotia roots

 The arrival on May 25 of FGS Planet, a German naval research vessel -so far un-photographed by Shipfax, is one of only a few calls in Halifax of SWATH (Small Waterplane Twin Hull) craft. However one of the first was based here, and the inventor of the technology itself was a Nova Scotian. 
The principal of the SWATH craft was first developed and patented in the 1930s, but it was not until the 1960a that a full size SWATH vessel was built. A native of Mill Village, NS, one Frederick G. Creed was prolific inventor, who revolutionized telegraphy, and late in life tuned his mind to more efficient was of moving boats through water, with speed. The principal that narrow hulls go faster has long been known, but since narrow hulls require stabilization, outriggers (see South Pacific canoes) were necessary. Creed perfected this idea by using twin hulls that appear to float above the water, but which are connected by narrow fin sections to torpedo like  submerged hulls. With minimal resistance at the sea surface they can be very fast and very stable.
In 1988 The Canadian government signed a lease purchase agreement with Swath Systems Inc of the US to develop a SWATH survey vessel for the Canadian Hydrographic Service. The 62 foot long vessel was built by Swath Ocean Systems Inc in San Diego and christened Frederick G. Creed. Based initially at the BIO in Halifax, it proved itself and ownership was transferred to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in 1989.
1. The twin hulls of the SWATH give the ship great stability.
 2. Frederick G. Creed was at first painted in the white colours of the Canadian Hydrographic Service. They didn't paint the funnels buff however. The gigantic aerial is part of a sophisticated positioning and data system.

CCGS Frederick G. Creed is now based in Rimouski., QC and works out of the Maurice Lamontagne Institute in Mont-Joli , making the occasional trip to Halifax.With 2,084 bhp it is capable of 26 knots.
Interestingly the DFO has never built another SWATH.
3. Like maples in autumn, the Creed turned red, when it adopted CCG colours.

For more on Frederick G. Creed, the man see:

See Halifax Shipping News for a photo of FGS Planet:

To see the technology taken an impressive step further, see the America's Cup racer:

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