A little larger than an ordinary family-sized sailboat, but significantly more robust, Searcher – said to be the first of its kind in the world – is especially built for research expeditions, offering as it does a generous cargo space, substantial fuel tanks, and other special equipment. A decisive factor in the boat’s construction was the material for the hull, and high-tensile steel from SSAB Swedish Steel was chosen. The result is a considerably stronger and lighter boat hull which fulfils all the necessary safety requirements by a wide margin.
Four single-curved hull plates on each side and a bottom plate, all in hot-rolled, cold-forming Domex 700 MC steel, have been cleaned with a plasma-based process and then welded together in one continuous seam. The material has a minimum yield point of 700N/mm2, which is considerably higher than for normal construction steel. By following the minimum demand for the hull’s thickness, according to the rules for classification of conventional steel construction – which is specified as 5mm – the builders have constructed a boat which is stronger than what is essentially required. The boat’s safety margins are, as a result, extremely good.
The aim in building Searcher is to make possible research projects out in the ocean, at isolated islands, and other marine environments at low cost. It can be sailed by a single sailor and is built for handling all types of situations at sea.
The boat is 18.45m long and 5.1m wide. The draught is 2.6m to 2.9m, depending on the load. It is equipped with a 250hp motor which has an adjustable propeller 1m in diameter. The load capacity of the boat is 12ton, the fuel tanks occupy 7.5m3, and there is space for a maximum of 12 people on board.