What does the shutdown mean for RCRV?

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a partial government shutdown. Unfortunately for us, the National Science Foundation is in the 25% of the government that hasn’t already been funded. However, one of the advantages of the “grant” model that NSF uses to manage its major construction projects is that its awardees (i.e. OSU) can keep on going even if they can’t.  So work continues, though it did naturally slow somewhat for the holidays.  But there’s a catch, we can’t continue work beyond a 30 day closure, even if funds are available. And if we do pass that 30 day mark, that will be new territory, so let’s hope we don’t get there.  We’d likely need to issue a stop order to the shipyard. This, of course, would be costly and an absolute waste of time and money. It would also, of course, be very disruptive to Gulf Island’s employee’s as well as our team at OSU.  Let’s hope cooler heads prevail and some agreement can be met by our leaders in Washington in the next two weeks.  Otherwise… well… otherwise it’s going to be a big fat mess.

On the good news front, here’s a link to a little video from Taani’s keel laying ceremony. I should add that it looks like, assuming the shutdown concludes, we’re on track for the keel laying of the second RCRV some time in early May. University of Rhode Island’s consortium is actively working to name a sponsor and pick a name for its ship.  We’re expecting exciting news on those fronts soon.

For 2019 I resolve to try to blog more.  How’s that for wishy washy. Yoda certainly would not approve.

I’ve got some interesting posts planned for the future that will lean more technical.  Also, the countdown to the installation of our live web-cams has started.  They should be up in a couple of weeks, though why it’s taken so long I don’t know.  I installed some security cameras at my house before Christmas and it took about 15 minutes. You’ve been warned 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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7 Responses to What does the shutdown mean for RCRV?

  1. Karl G Hardesty says:

    Hoping things stay on track down there! Looking forward to following her progress.

  2. Paul Furness says:

    Happy New Year to you and the RCRV team, Demian. A Happy New Year to all sane people within the US right now. We here in the eastern longitudes of the western Pacific stand shaking our heads in bewilderment with the current US Administration. Mercifully perhaps, you’re half-way through that. Pertinent points you make about the hidden possible impacts on those such as the Gulf Island employees, etc., I must say.
    Looking forward to those technically focused blogs in the coming months. In that vein, has the RCRV team considered any of the modifications made to the AGOR-27/28 in their first major dry-dockings ? For example – replacing the roller door to the CTD hangar ?

    • Paul, thanks for the comment. We have been in contact w/ folks from the AGOR program since their Keel Laying some years back. In fact, we’ve got a couple of people doing a quick trip on Sally Ride this week to look at, among other things, their SONARs. However, we’re still working through the mods they’ve made since delivery. Nothing definitive to provide at this point. I would say that our requirements process and our ability to make changes during construction is somewhat different than that program.

    • With respect to the roll up door, our door faces aft not outboard so we don’t expect the same issues as they had on the new AGORS. We recently had a couple of our team sail on Sally Ride and we learned a bit about how it’s been going for them since delivery.

  3. Paul Furness says:

    Hi Demian, (The following should be read in a genuine very sympathetic tone.)

    Re this record partial government shutdown:

    Given that at the time of writing, you are 6 days out from the 30-day closure limit on the NSF grant funding for the continued construction of RV Taani, can I ask what the likely outcomes are, assuming that the status quo (Congressional/White House stalemate) continues and that limit is surpassed ? Will any fiscal penalties resulting from a ‘stop order’ on the first RCRV risk Congressional approval for the 3rd RCRV (Gulf coast) ? Could it risk the second (URI) ? Do we opt for crowd funding ?
    My sincere best wishes and good luck ! Your next weeks could be quite horrible. Sadly.

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