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The JOHN MURRAY Sonar Search Vessel

The John Murray was designed as a ‘flatpack’ sonar search vessel built on the beach by our Loch Ness Project volunteers in 1981. The concept used inflatable sponsons which could be moved between the research areas at Loch Ness and Loch Morar where a variety of plywood deckings and superstructures were built for different purposes.

The John Murray version was built for day and night scanning sonar patrols along the length of Loch Ness. With this in mind, the Ford Anglia van engine was only used for the upwind run. The forward superstructure was designed to catch the wind when running downwind, thus preventing the general tendency of vessels without power to turn broadside. This characteristic was reinforced by ‘dagger boards’ lowered at the stern which gripped the water as the wind pressure on the superstructure pivoted the hull around. The open bridge gave a good downward view of the foredeck useful for following up ropes during sampler retrieval. The cabin had only small tinted windows to make the sonar screens easier to monitor in daylight. Red light was used during the hours of darkness to preserve night vision. The search and tracking sonar had a
 
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