ARC Simon Bolivar – Polar Capable Research Ship

A locally constructed oceanographic research vessel has been commissioned by the Colombian Navy. Design and construction were undertaken in close collaboration with Damen Shipyards Group of The Netherlands. She is the largest vessel ever to be built in Colombia.

Built by Cotecmar Naval Shipyard, Cartagena (in collaboration with Damen Shipyards)

Owned and operated by the Colombian Navy

LOA 83m

Beam 16m

Displacement 3,200 tonnes

Propulsion: 2 x Caterpillar 1,491kW diesel engines driving 2.6-metre controllable-pitch propellers

Crew plus 60 researchers

Speed 13 knots max, 11 knots cruising

The hull of Simon Bolivar is designed to Lloyd’s Register Ice Class 1C FS notation for operation in surface ice 40 centimetres thick. She equipped for multi-disciplinary scientific operations with onboard laboratories dedicated to the fields of geology, hydrography and geophysics. The vessel’s area of operations is planned to be the Colombian coastline, the Caribbean Sea and Antarctica.

The vessel is equipped with a helicopter flight deck and a multitude of specialised equipment including an underwater acoustic positioning system, acoustic navigation sensors, a stern-mounted A-frame and stowage facilities for a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).  Being operated by the Colombian Navy, Colombian Navy, she is also capable of undertaking secondary missions, search and rescue (SAR) and marine environmental protection duties. The vessel also meets the requirements of DNV’s Silent(A) water radiated noise emission notation.

Simon Bolivar is named in honour of the military and political leader who became Colombia’s first President in 1819. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1783, he fought in a revolt against the Spanish in 1810 but was forced to flee only to later lead a successful revolution in Venezuela in 1819 and was subsequently made president of the new republic of Colombia. He went on to also liberate Peru from Spanish rule and to create the new republic of Bolivia in 1825. He died in 1830 on his estate near Santa Marta, Colombia.


Feature  Image Courtesy Cotecmar