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Once there was a little ship… the Louis-Edmond-Hamelin

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What's new for our little ship?
A new chapter has begun for the Louis-Edmond-Hamelin (L-E-H). Thanks to a new partnership between the Centre for northern studies (CEN) and Réformar, the organization behind the management of the Lampsilis and Coriolis II, the L-E-H is more accessible than ever. What does this mean for the coveted little ship? Following the management model of their other research vessels, the Louis-Edmond-Hamelin is now accessible  for research projects by scientists from all walks of life. A member of the Reformar fleet since May 2021, the accessibility of the L-E-H is a true success story. So far, it has already had over 50 days of bookings this summer.

What makes it special?
Small vessel, great versatility, the Louis-Edmond-Hamelin is a true mobile research station. This modest monohull boat made of aluminium is in fact modest in appearance only. Equipped with two 175-horsepower (135 HP) engines and capable of holding up to seven crew members, the Louis-Edmond-Hamelin can navigate up to 46 km (25 nautical miles) from shore. The L-E-H can accommodate a wide variety of scientific equipment dedicated to collecting data in coastal environments. The L-E-H also features a high freeboard that allows it to navigate in high waves, aft platform space and a protected cabin area that provides safety and comfort in difficult weather conditions and nighttime sailing.

Beyond all these characteristics that make it a prized piece of equipment, it is the ship's speciality, i.e. the study of the interface between the marine and terrestrial environment, that makes it a rare gem. Its small size makes it very malleable and allows it to venture into coastal waters where larger vessels cannot navigate. Conversely, it is large enough to deploy equipment that smaller vessels cannot. In addition, a trailer allows it to be transported wherever the road takes it. 

What is the future for the L-E-H?
CEN's objective in its partnership with Reformar is to increase the accessibility of the vessel. Since it is a publicly funded vessel, the new management model should enhance the partners' commitment to providing research facilities to a very large pool of researchers, with priority given to the academic community without excluding private research. Now moored in Rimouski, the L-E-H is also partnered with the Réseau Québec Maritime (RQM), with whom it is possible to obtain funding assistance for the rental of the boat through their "ship-time projects and federative missions". However, the objective remains the same, to invest in infrastructure and make it accessible.

CEN, Reformar and its partners are also exploring the possibility of modifying the vessel for navigation in the frazil ice during the off-season. Although this project is still in the speculative stage, the lack of specialized infrastructure to study the dynamic processes of ice formation could be an opportunity for the Louis-Edmond-Hamelin to once again make its mark.

For more information or to rent this boat, consult its Lab-O-Nord file.


About Lab-O-Nord
Lab-O-Nord is a digital platform listing all the research infrastructures available to the members of the Institut nordique du Québec. The objective of the platform is to make these infrastructures known, to promote them and to optimize their use. Each item is detailed and assigned to a person in charge who can inform users on how to use the equipment.  - Consult Lab-O-Nord

About the Centre for northern studies (CEN)
Founded in 1961, the Centre for northern studies is a strategic inter-university grouping of more than 300 researchers, students, trainees and professionals from various disciplines (biology and microbiology, geography, geology, engineering, archaeology, land use planning). Its mission is to contribute to the sustainable development of northern regions by improving our understanding of these environments and our ability to predict the changes that affect them. - Website

About Reformar
Since 1989, REFORMAR has contributed to the realisation of scientific programmes, projects and missions as well as to training in marine science and technology by providing research vessels, scientific instruments and their crews to researchers, research and training institutions and governmental and private organisations.. - Website

About the Réseau Québec Maritime and the Odyssée Saint-Laurent program
Launched in May 2016, the Québec Maritime Network (RQM) brings together more than 180 member institutions, including all of Quebec's universities, numerous college technology transfer centres, as well as various research centres and industries working in the maritime field. The RQM's mandate is to make Quebec a world leader in sustainable maritime development.

Odyssée Saint-Laurent is  RQM's ambitious research program, which is structured around three areas: "Discovery", "Applications" and "Open Innovation". The research programme aims to acquire knowledge on the St. Lawrence system, as well as to design tools, technologies and cross-sectoral practices for sustainable maritime development. Since its launch in 2017, a call for ship time is launched annually to allow the scientific community to access the Quebec research fleet. The Odyssée Saint-Laurent program is proud to have been able to support the use of the L-E-H in its first year of management at Reformar. - Website

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