The 46’ x 15’ planing catamaran, dubbed Liberty National I, is currently under construction at Armstrong Marine USA’s Port Angeles, Washington facility. Completion is slated for this spring. Liberty National Golf Club selected the Armstrong Marine USA design last year. The vessel will transport passengers between North Cove Marina in New York and the private club’s dock in New Jersey.

With a USCG COI for 30 passengers + 2 crew, Liberty National I will accommodate the club’s robust membership. The vessel features twin Yamaha 425hp outboards, an aft second station, full-width walk through cabin, galley, head, Northern Lights 12kW generator, and Garmin/Furuno navigation equipment. Amenities inside the climate-controlled cabin include flip-down golf bag storage, comfortable wrap-around bench seating, and an entertainment electronics package. A bold vinyl wrap and Lumishore underwater lighting ensure a striking appearance on the water.

Armstrong Marine USA Sales & Marketing Director Charlie Crane commented on the project: “Working with Captain Ken Kreisler and General Manager Lee Smith has been a pleasure. They did their research and came to us to design a well-appointed catamaran water taxi. We were also pleased to collaborate with designer Teresa Francis to select high quality fit and finish options that will set Liberty National I apart.”


Imperial Beach, CA – Armstrong Marine USA, Port Angeles, Washington, has delivered a new 42’ x 16’ catamaran research vessel, Benthic Cat, to Orca Maritime, Inc. after successful launch and sea trials in Port Angeles Harbor. Orca Maritime selected the design after Armstrong delivered the same 4216-CTC model to UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography (R/V Bob and Betty Beyster) in 2019.

Orca Maritime will utilize the workboat in support of Department of Defense initiatives, environmental agencies, energy sectors, and commercial enterprise. Vessel operations will include the launch and recovery of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), underwater gliders, surface and underwater sensors, remotely operated vehicles (ROV), and unmanned surface vehicles (USV). Benthic Cat will also support surface-supplied/SCUBA diving operations and provide onboard data processing.

Kurt Nelson of Orca Maritime reflected on the project, “We were excited to team up with Armstrong Marine USA given their expertise in building specialized vessels to meet the exacting needs of their customers. R/V Benthic Cat has exceeded all our expectations for speed, fuel economy, range, and maneuverability. She fills the near shore multi-mission role perfectly.”

The catamaran features a full-width cabin with fly bridge, large aft working deck, hydraulic A-frame (5,000 lb. SWL), Northern Lights 9kw diesel generator, and Garmin/NMEA electronics package. The vessel is well equipped for multi-day operations along the Southern California coast with two interior work stations, a 4-person sleeping cuddy, head with shower, refrigerator/freezer, and 600-gallon fuel capacity.

Benthic Cat is powered by twin Volvo D11 510hp inboards paired with Volvo IPS 650 propulsors and Volvo electric steering. Builder sea trials indicated 32mph cruise and 37mph top speeds. The dynamic positioning system integrates GPS navigation data with propulsion controls to automatically maintain heading and position. Joystick controls at the aft docking station and flybridge station ease handling.

Deck equipment includes the A-frame with Pullmaster PL5 hydraulic winch, a Morgan Marine 200.3 crane, Kinematics hydraulic anchor winch and 5” aft deck horizontal capstan, and 28 tie-down points for securing equipment. Rigid LED flood lights illuminate the aft deck.

Inside, three Bentley’s Patriot seats accommodate captain and crew. Benches with a flip down tabletop provide additional seating and storage. Two Red Dot hydronic heaters and two Dometic AC units keep the cabin comfortable for year-round operations.

Benthic Cat will enter service immediately, beginning with a week-long operation around San Clemente Island.

A new, fast coastal research vessel will join the fleet of ships managed by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego thanks to a philanthropic initiative that raised more than $1.2 million in honor of the late Dr. J. Robert Beyster, founder of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and his widow Betty Beyster.

Research Vessel (R/V) Bob and Betty Beyster will enable scientists at Scripps Oceanography and others in the teaching community to conduct local research, technology development and ocean-based education. The vessel is expected to be available for use in San Diego later this spring.

Scientists and students at Scripps have long benefited from a fleet of research vessels to conduct oceanographic research at sea. There has been a need, however, for a vessel with a nearshore range, low daily cost, and adaptability to support advanced research with local and global impact.

The new R/V Bob and Betty Beyster is a 42-foot scientific workboat with a range of 800 kilometers (500 nautical miles), a cruising speed better than 25 knots, and a capacity for six scientists and a boat operator. The vessel, which will be owned by Scripps, has an A-Frame for lifting up to 4,000 pounds, an adaptable deck foundation for configuring and securing technology, and a computer-controlled engine system to automatically maintain position and heading, which will be useful for the range of research and technology development anticipated onboard.

In 2017, Cindy Glancy, a member of the Scripps Director’s Council that advises Director Margaret Leinen, identified this vessel as an opportunity to memorialize the impact of SAIC and Bob and Betty Beyster.

“This vessel marked the perfect way to honor Bob and Betty’s legacy,” said Glancy. “It appealed to many people as an important project to recognize the Beysters’ impact on their lives, particularly Bob’s vision in starting an employee-owned company and Betty’s continued friendship and mentorship.”

Betty and the Beyster family embraced the project after learning more about the vessel and its potential impact. Glancy and the Beysters’ daughter, Mary Ann, who also is a member of the Scripps Director’s Council, along with Mary Ann’s brother Jim Beyster, Tom Dillon and Mindy Pawinski, then formed a committee that solicited and raised the funds. Donors included committee members and their spouses, friends and family members, former SAIC associates, Leidos Holdings and other council members. The total raised included $800,000 for the cost of the vessel, $200,000 to support additional scientific instrumentation on the workboat, and an additional $200,000 for a student endowment to support time at sea, with the goal of continuing to raise funds to support students. Scripps scientists will also install research instruments on board, which are supported by extramural grants.

“This opportunity really aligned my dad’s love for being on the water along with his and my mom’s philanthropic interests in investing in students and giving them direct access to hands-on science,” said Mary Ann Beyster. “The family was excited to support the vessel and students, and in awe by the outpouring of generosity from the donors to name this vessel in their honor.”

An additional $100,000 was raised for a floating dock for the vessel through contributions from 15 members of the Director’s Council, spearheaded by Paul C. Brooks. The dock will be installed at Scripps’ Nimitz Marine Facility in Point Loma, and features an innovative design that creates the capacity to operate mid-size scientific vessels alongside larger ships. At the Nimitz Marine Facility, the new vessel will be maintained alongside the Navy-owned and Scripps-operated research vessels Sally Ride, Roger Revelle, and Research Platform FLIP (FLoating Instrument Platform), and the University of California-owned Robert Gordon Sproul.

“The Beyster family has a long tradition of investing in students and providing opportunities for hands-on access to science,” said Margaret Leinen, vice chancellor of marine sciences at UC San Diego and director of Scripps Oceanography. “UC San Diego is incredibly thankful for this commitment, and we extend our gratitude to this group of donors that joined together to support this new vessel in honor of Bob and Betty.”

The scientific equipment provided by Scripps scientists includes a seafloor mapping system contributed by geosciences professor Neal Driscoll; a knuckle crane acquired by oceanographers Eric Terrill and Luc Lenain that will enable the vessel to deploy and recover autonomous vehicles; a mini remotely operated vehicle contributed by the directors of the Scripps Center for Marine Archaeology; and a hull-mounted transducer for underwater communications, supported by marine mammal acoustics researchers John Hildebrand and Simone Baumann-Pickering.

“Scripps operates a world-class fleet of oceangoing research vessels. This fleet is now made even more capable with the addition of R/V Bob and Betty Beyster, which fills an important niche for research and teaching opportunities close to shore on a fast, nimble platform equipped with instruments and over-the-side handling equipment appropriate for heavy coastal scientific applications,” said Scripps Associate Director Bruce Appelgate, who oversees ship operations. “This vessel enables tremendous opportunities, whether conducting experiments in the La Jolla Canyon just offshore, or expeditions throughout the Channel Islands.”

A plaque honoring donors to the vessel at the $10,000 level or above will be on display at Birch Aquarium at Scripps in 2019. The gifts for both the vessel and the dock contribute to the Campaign for UC San Diego, the university’s $2 billion comprehensive fundraising effort to empower the next generation of innovators to blaze a new path toward revolutionary ideas, unexpected answers, life-saving discoveries and planet-changing impact.

The endowment to support scientific time at sea for students will continue to raise funds to provide ongoing student access to the vessel. Additional philanthropic contributions to this endowment can be made online here, or by contacting the development office at Scripps at (858) 822-1865 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

More information on the Scripps fleet can be found here:

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