Cummins Diesels Selected To Repower Research Vessel Calypso
The well-known Cousteau Society oceanographic research vessel Calypso recently underwent a major refurbishing at the Merrill Stevens Dry Dock Company in Miami, Fla. The vessel's engineers and mechanics installed two Cummins KTA19- M diesels, along with Twin Disc reduction gears, and new shafts, gensets, and electrical systems in preparation for a five-year journey to film a new series entitled "Rediscovery of the World." Furnished by Cummins Metropower of the Bronx, N.Y., the KTA19-Ms were selected to replace the vessel's original 1942 vintage twin diesels rated 500 bhp each, which were deemed too old to complete the five-year trip. The Cummins KTA19-M is a six-cylinder, inline, four-cycle turbocharged and aftercooled diesel rated 500 bhp at 1,800 rpm. The new engines are expected to reduce the Calypso's fuel consumption nearly 50 percent and increase cruising speed by as much as two knots. Operating at a derated 1,200 rpm, the KTA19-Ms will consume approximately 7.3 gallons per hour, significantly less than the 14.5 gph required by the old engines.
Built by Ballard Marine Railway Yards in Seattle, the Calypso was originally designated J-826, a YMS Class minesweeper. The 141-foot ship was commissioned into British service in March 1942 as a lendt lease vessel, and was operated in the Mediterranean. She was transferred back to the U.S. Navy in 1947, and in 1949 was sold and converted into a ferryboat that ran between Malta and Gozo Island. It was then that she acquired the name Calypso. In 1950 she was sold to Jacques Cousteau, then a young French Navy lieutenant commander, and was soon transformed into an oceangraphic research vessel.
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