CREH Tracer 4

7.9m CREH Tracer 4 arrived at her new base in Wales earlier this week. She has been supplied with a Cheetah custom built triple axle trailer for transport between various coastal and inland survey sites. The new 7.9m will be working immediately on delivery and is critical for current projects in the Upper Severn Estuary, Swansea Bay and the Ribble and Flyde coastal areas.

Using the Cheetah Long Wheelhouse version of the 7.9m gave plenty of room for the extensive fit out required for a high specification survey boat. The two suspension seats on storage pods and a side bench seat behind the helm provide seating for the 3 / 4 man crew. The port side work top has stainless steel racking below, the racking supported on rubber suspension units to house the computers.

Twin Honda 135hp four stoke outboard engines supply plenty of power for fast steaming between survey sites. The economy of these engines has proved to be excellent for many Cheetah customers. Twin inbuilt fuel tanks of 180 litres give the boat an ample range to carry out the packed work programme already lined up. Stainless steel keel bands, folding roof mast gantry, gunwale capping and a full set of rails to MCA specification were all fabricated at the Cheetah Marine yard. The vessel is MCA coded for category 3.

We have experienced rapid growth in demand for the marine survey side of our activities since 2007 and, in particular, the microbial tracer investigations which provide unparalleled 'ground truth' data for the hydrodynamic modelling community. The Cheetah 7.9 provides the best platform with which to further develop this capability. The boat's unrivaled strength, safety and rough weather endurance are well established. This, combined with the option to tow the Cheetah on the road and its potential to cover our swath bathymetry needs, with the installed moon-pool, made acquisition of the Cheetah 7.9 an easy an obvious choice for CREH Ltd.

- Prof. David Kay. Leader of CREH Team

The Cheetah 7.9 is the fourth vessel added to the CREH survey capacity and she will make initial contributions in two main science areas. The first is the deployment and sampling of novel microbial tracer systems, developed by CREH Analytical Ltd. These can be released from several sources synchronously to deliver accurate time of travel and dilution information on multiple potential sources such as outfalls and riverine inputs which may potentially impact key sites such as bathing and shellfish harvesting waters. The second is the deployment of swath bathymetry which is planned for installation to CREH Tracer 4 in late 2012.

Length overall including engine pods 7.9m
Length to aft bulkheads excluding engine pods 7.2m
Moulded Beam overall 2.65m
Beam overall 2.7m
Deck size 2.7 x 2.58m
Wheelhouse size 2.1 x 2.58m
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