Bibby Athena

Bibby Athena builds 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.

MV Bibby Athena is a custom built, 27.5m x 10.0m, semi-SWATH coastal survey vessel that entered service in December 2014. The vessel provides a large and exceptionally stable working platform, realised through her advanced hull design.  Her diesel electric propulsion system ensures an ultra-quiet, extremely economical operating profile.  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 people.

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 motion and delivers a stability profile similar to that of a conventional mono-hull vessel of over twice her size.

Sister vessel Bibby Tethra has proven the effectiveness of the semi SWATH design for this class of vessel, maximising stability and sea-keeping ability in challenging conditions; an overriding component in acquiring consistently high-quality data.

Bibby Athena operates 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 in excess 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), certified by BV (AM/AT Standard).

Motion referencing for both survey and DP operations is provided by a pair of iXBlue high precision motion reference units (MRU).  The very latest iXBlue QUADRANS VRU provides primary data for the DP console, whilst two independent HYDRINS Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) provide precise positioning and attitude data to the survey console and as a secondary feed to the DP system. 

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's permanently fitted survey equipment comprises a C-Nav and Hemisphere GNSS,  an integrated dual-head, dual-frequency Teledyne RESON T50 multibeam echosounder, deployed through moon pools in each hull, a Sonardyne Mini Ranger 2 USBL, hull-mounted heave-compensated GeoAcoustics pinger, and Edgetech 4200 digital side scan sonar, with dedicated high-specification electro-mechanical winch.

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


BuilderSocarenam Boulogne, France
Length (LOA)27.5m
Working Displacement145 GT
Cruising Speed12 knots
Economical Speed10 knots
ClassBureau Veritas - Special Service Oceanographic Research
DP Type/ClassSirehna EasyDP BV - AM/AT – DP Class 1
Operating CodeMCA SCV Category 1 (150 miles from safe haven)
AccomodationEight twin cabins providing accommodation for a maximum of 16 people

Spec Sheet: Bibby Athena