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R.V. Calanus

RV CalanusR.V. Calanus is a 20m general purpose research vessels for inshore waters. She has a passage speed of nine knots and is suitable for trawling and benthic sampling, as well as hydrographic and acoustic surveys. She has a spacious afterdeck, a wet and dry laboratory, a scientific plot room and accommodation comprising a galley, mess and three twin cabins for overnight charters. She is filled with a Reson SeaBat 8124 multi-beam and analysis software as well as side-scan capabilities.

Calanus has a day capacity for 12 plus crew and overnight capacity for six plus crew. The crew comprise of a master, bosun, motorman and cook/deckhand. All have considerable experience in scientific work. RV Calanus has recently been modified with railing, seating and curtaining on top of the wheelhouse to enable bird and mammal observations.

She has undertaken research cruises in the northern end of the Irish Sea, Loch Ness, the Inner and Outer Hebrides and  the Shetland Isles. She is capable of working most inshore areas of the east and west coasts of Scotland, including the sea lochs.

R.V. Calanus was designed for SAMS by G.L. Watson (Naval Architects) Ltd. She was built in 1980 of West Afrikan iroko on teak frames by J. Hinks of Appledore in Devon.  She was designed as a general purpose research vessel for inshore waters.


Main laboratory (6.5m x 2m)

The benching is railed for palletisation as is the deck beneath. All benching is demountable apart from a corner sink unit. In total there is nearly 10m of continuous bench space. Stocking units up to 2m high can easily be accommodated and side rails allow easy fixing. Storage space is provided in a large walk-in locker. There is a hatch communicating with the wet lab. Electrical power is provided through four twin 13A, 240V sockets.

Wet laboratory (2m x 1.9m)

A freezer (10 ft3) is provided in this lab for scientific use. There is a large sink unit (twin sinks) with hot and cold freshwater and a direct seawater supply from the ship's sea water intake (ca 2m below the water line). Stainless steel benching (2.5m) is fitted and a demountable wooden work surface (3m) is supplied to enable the laboratory to be used as a dry laboratory.

Plot (2.5m x 3m)

This space is suitable for housing electronic equipment. There is approximately 3.5m of benching. Electrical power is provided via two twin, 13A 240V sockets. There is direct access to the upper working deck.


Accomodation is provided for six scientists in three twin cabins. Two of these are equipped with a sink and hot and cold water. Two shower and toilet compartments are shared with the officers. For day running only, Calanus has capacity for 12 extra persons, provided that adequate notice is given in advance.

A well equipped galley serves hot meals during working days. The mess also provides accommodation for relaxation, with comfortable bench settee seating, colour television and DVD player. The vessel is heated throughout by oil fired central heating.



  • Length 65' (overall); 61' (waterline)
  • Beam: 22'
  • Working draft: 10' (full fuel + water + 3 tonnes equipment)


  • Calanus has a maximum passage speed of 9 knots and an endurance of 8 days based on a normal 12 hour working day.


Working equipment
  • Hydraulic stem gantry - SWL 3 tonnes
  • Hydraulic trawl winch with 2 x 500m, 13mm wires
  • Atlas hydraulic crane - SWL 1 tonne (at 5m extention)
  • CTD winch - SWL 0.3 tonnes -  300m x 8mm dia conducting CTD cable (connected through to lab)
  • Anchoring arrangements: Forward windlass with small anchor and spare. 150 kg anchor attached to main warp for aft anchoring
  • Aft working deck (wood) 4m x 3m approx clear deck with opening gates in transom (open width of 3.3m). Working space aft of bridge (steel) 4m x 2m approx clear deck. An electric/hydraulic winch is available, which can be fitted to the after deck providing a 500m fibre/electrical cable for various underwater applications. This winch is capable of running on other ships having a 240V 50Hz 30kCA electricity supply.


Engine and power

Propulsion is provided by a Kelvin diesel engine delivering 280 s.h.p. at 1200 r.p.m. driving a variable pitch propeller. The ships electrical power is supplied by a John Deere diesel generating set producing 240V 50Hz single phase 45kVA.

Navigational and communication equipment
  • Automatic Identification System
  • Magnetic compass
  • 2 Furuno DGPS systems
  • Racal Decca 180/4 Bridgemaster Radar
  • Furuno radar
  • Simrad EL Echo Sounder Transducer frequency 38kHz
  • RMC dual frequency, colour echo sounder -  transducer frequencies 50kHz & 200kHz
  • Sailor VHF Type RT144B
  • Sailor MF/SSB Radio
  • Cellular phone
  • Euronav computer chart system
  • The bridge is also equipped with closed circuit television viewing the aft working deck
  • Communication to all working areas by Barkway talkback
Contact for quotes

Dr Keri Page SAMS

Dr Keri Wallace

Marketing Manager


T: +44 (0) 1631 559 362

Scottish Marine Institute

Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA, UK

Contact us
Scottish Marine Institute
Oban, Argyll, PA37 1QA
T: 01631 559000
F: 01631 559001