Bluetide Puerto Rico unveils 77-foot $4.6M Blue Manta catamaran
Bluetide Puerto Rico — a nonprofit organization focused on developing the blue economy on the island — inaugurated the $4.6 million Blue Manta, the only world-class aluminum 77-foot catamaran dedicated to marine research and training in professions and trades related to the maritime industry.
The vessel was designed specifically for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean and commissioned by the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration through a Supplemental Disaster Fund, as part of the Puerto Rico Economic Disaster Recovery plan.
Built to US Coast Guard Subchapter T standards, by All American Marine, Bellingham, Washington, the vessel can be used on both coastal and offshore routes, nonprofit officials said.
The twin-engine vessel is Bluetide’s first vessel for marine research, education, innovation, and Blue Economy development work based in Puerto Rico and advances the economic ECN 10, NCR 15, and NCR 25 Courses of Action.
“Although the ship has the capacity to do work at the local level, the primary objective is to bring the opportunity to export the technical and operational capacity that is being developed on the island,” said the EDA’s representative in Puerto Rico, Juan Bauzá.
The Blue Manta offers fuel economy, with an average speed of 18-24 knots that can accommodate up to 30-day passengers or eight overnight researchers, according to its description.
The propulsion package includes two propellers powered by twin engines rated at 803 bhp to 2100 RPM.
“In addition to this $4.6 million vessel, the grant to Bluetide Puerto Rico has allowed the organization to award a contract to TetraTech to develop the blue economy implementation plan for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, the development of a certification program with Disaster Recovery International Institute and create a mitigation program to address the threats and vulnerabilities of coastal economies,” said Bauzá.
Bluetide offers workshops, training courses, rental nautical equipment, and certifications through the Blue Academy, open to the public, which can be booked through its website.