NORWALK, Conn. – The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk needs a name for its new research vessel and is hoping school students can come up with the best idea.
The aquarium is hosting a “Name the Boat” contest that’s open to Norwalk school students in grades 3 to 12. First prize is a free outing aboard the boat for the winning student and his or her immediate family, plus a free IMAX movie screening for the winner’s entire school class.
The contest runner-up will win a guided aquarium tour for his or her school class and a free aquarium visit (plus IMAX tickets) for up to 10 family members and friends.
Another lucky student, chosen at random, will win four free tickets to the aquarium and an IMAX theater show.
“Naming a boat is something that sailors take very seriously, because the name should be a good and proper reflection on the boat itself but also on the owner and how the boat is used,” said Jennifer Herring, president of aquarium, in a statement.
The full contest rules are available on the aquarium’s website under “Fun & Learning/Cruises.” Key points in the rules include:
- The name must be available in the U.S. Coast Guard registry.
- The name has to include the word “Spirit.”
- Entries are being taken on a first-come, first-served basis. If there is more than one entry with the name that is chosen, the student who submitted it first will have their entry submitted.
- Entries must be submitted by Nov. 27.
The aquarium’s $2.7 million, 65-foot catamaran is being built at the Robert E. Derecktor Inc. shipyard in Mamaroneck, N.Y., and is expected to make its debut at the aquarium in late spring.
The research vessel will be bigger and quieter than the aquarium’s current 34-year-old trawler. The catamaran will be powered by a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system made by Northern Lights, Inc., which will reduce diesel fuel consumption by an estimated 75 percent. The new boat will have a climate-controlled indoor classroom and an outdoor research space with total capacity of 65, more than twice the current boat.
The aquarium uses its research vessel from April through October for marine life study cruises, during which crabs, mollusks and a variety of fish and other creatures are taken from Long Island Sound for examination. From December through March, the vessel is used for seal-watching programs. Students on field trips participate in these cruises during the week. On weekends, the cruises are open to the public.
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