Launched in January 2015, Bibby Athena will build on the capabilities of the very successful sister vessel, Bibby Tethra, with a number of subtle changes to reflect the company’s development into a more challenging offshore market.

Launched in 2011, the sister ship, Bibby Tethra has proven the effectiveness of the semi SWATH (small waterplane area twin hull) design for this class of vessel, maximising stability and seakeeping ability in challenging conditions; an overriding component in acquiring consistently high quality data. The vessel provides a large and exceptionally stable working platform due to her advanced hull design and ultra-quiet, extremely economical operating profile due to her diesel electric propulsion system.  Bibby Athena offers a range of unique features for a vessel of this size, including Dynamic Positioning (DP1), dual propulsion systems and comfortable air conditioned accommodation for up to sixteen.

The vessel’s hull design is based upon the Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) concept where the hull’s main buoyancy is maintained well below the water line. The area of the ship’s hull, both at and immediately above the water line is significantly reduced when compared to a conventional hull form, which means that passing waves have a significantly reduced effect on lifting the hull.  This has a dramatic effect on minimising the vessel’s heave, pitch and roll motions and delivers a stability profile similar to that of a conventional mono-hull vessel over twice her size.

Although Bibby Athena is the same overall length as Bibby Tethra at 27.5m, the vessel benefits from subtle enhancements, including an enlarged bridge which houses the on-line and off-line survey rooms and improved layout of the living space. The addition of two forward Schottel pump jets, giving a total of four, and larger aft electric Schottel drive motors will provide an even more capable DP1 capacity and an increased generator size now provides over 850kVa of electrical power for on board systems.

Bibby Athena will operate under Category 1 of the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Small Commercial Vessel (SCV) code allowing her to work unrestricted out to 150 miles from a safe haven in UK waters.  The vessel is fitted with a comprehensive range of safety, life-saving and communications equipment that surpass the requirements of current legislation. This includes items such as GMDSS VHF radio, MF/HF radio, SAT C GMDSS comms, satellite broadband and satellite TV.

The vessel provides efficient 24 hour operational capacity with up to sixteen personnel onboard, having a maximum duration of ten days. The accommodation is arranged into four en-suite twin cabins on the main deck and four twin cabins on the lower deck, two in each hull, with shared bathroom facilities. All accommodation areas within the vessel are air-conditioned with the bridge and survey laboratories benefitting from a dedicated cooling plant due to the large amount of window area.

The vessel’s bridge is equipped to an exceptionally high standard with the very latest in navigation electronics, including a bespoke dynamic positioning system (DP1). Motion referencing for both survey and DP operations is provided by a pair of iXBlue high precision motion reference units (MRU).  A pair of the very latest iXBlue HYDRINS inertial navigation system provides primary data for the survey sensors and an iXBlue Quadrans MRU provides primary data to the DP processor.

The permanent survey spread features industry-standard offerings from the company's regular suppliers including Teledyne RESON, C-NAV, Edgetech and iXBlue, maintaining consistency with the remainder of the Bibby HydroMap fleet. Bibby Athena will be permanently mobilised with a dual-head Teledyne RESON 7125 SV2 multibeam system, greatly improving the productivity of bathymetric data acquisition.

Bibby Athena also hosts Bibby HydroMap's newly launched remote survey platform, d'ROP which is deployed vertically through the vessel's moonpool.

Builder Socarenam Boulogne, France
Launched 2015
Length (LOA) 27.50m
Beam 10.00m
Draft 3.50m
Working Displacement 145 GT
Cruising Speed 12 knots
Economical Speed 10 knots
Class Bureau Veritas - Special Service Oceanographic Research
DP Type / Class Sirehna EasyDP BV - AM/AT – DP Class 1
Operating Code MCA SCV Category 1 (150 miles from safe haven)
Accommodation Eight twin cabins providing accommodation for a maximum of 16 people.