Vessel Specifications and Capabilities

Researchers on the RV Agassiz moving equipment

The RV Agassiz is powered by twin 200-horsepower Volvo Penta diesel engines, and can achieve a top speed of 30 mph with a cruising range of 250 miles. The vessel meets U.S. Coast Guard guidelines for safety and emergency equipment, and carries life jackets, an emergency radio beacon, and a 20-person life raft.

The vessel features a forward cuddy cabin with a marine head and ample storage space, a pilothouse with room for the captain and five-person vessel/scientist crew, and an aft deck for passenger seating and sampling activities.

The pilothouse features state-of-the-art Furuno NavNet navigation, with radar, GPS, electronic charting, and a depth sounder. Dual marine radios and a cell phone support on-board communication needs.

A science station is located in the aft portion of the pilothouse, with the ability to accommodate computer-supported sampling equipment. The work deck occupies more than half of the vessel’s length, and—with its 13-foot beam—can support both staging and sampling activities.

Work Deck Features

The work deck is outfitted with two winches and davits for deployment of oceanographic sampling equipment.

The port winch is used with computer-linked sampling equipment for lake analysis procedures, including the following:

  • Horizontal and vertical profiles of light
  • Temperature readings
  • Water quality analysis
    • Dissolved color
    • Dissolved oxygen
    • pH levels
    • Conductivity
    • Chlorophyll levels
    • Oxidation-reduction potential
  • Zooplankton and fish distribution mapping
  • Sediment analysis

The starboard winch is designed to handle wire cable, and will be used to deploy water bottles, plankton and fish nets, benthic dredges, and sediment-coring devices. A sturdy work platform attached to the stern will facilitate the handling of heavy equipment and diving operations. The work deck also features a 30-foot telescoping mast, which can house a sampling platform for monitoring air quality conditions.