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Ship specifications


RV Southern Surveyor

Port of Registry


Research Vessel


Length Overall

66.1 metres


12.3 metres


5.3 metres

Lloyds Classification:

100A1, +LMC UMS

Gross tonnage:


Australian Register of Shipping Official Number:


IMO Number:



26 days

Cruising speed:

11 knots


5,200 nautical miles @ 11 knots


19 single cabins and 5 twin berth 

Main engine:

1 x Wartsila Vasa 6R32E 2460KW Maximum Continuous Rating @ 750 RPM

Shaft alternator:

Front of Engine  1 x Leroy-Somer Alternator Type LSA 54M8 1875 KVA, 415V ,50Hz, 3 Phase 750 RPM

Auxiliary engines:

3 x Dueutz BA 16 M 816 1500 RPM 1051 KW
3 x Stamford AMC 73 850 KVA, 415V, 50Hz, 3 Phase 1500 RPM
1 x Deutz T0226-6 Diesel driving a Stamford 110 KVA Alternator, 415V, 50Hz, 3 Phase


430 kW bow and stern Brunvoll SPX-VP thrusters


1 x Kort Nozzle

Steering Gear:

Donkin fixed stroke swash plate pump 306 cub in 11KW, 960RPM, 415V

Dynamic Positioning:

2 x Kongsberg Albatross 312

Electrical supply:

415V, 50Hz, 3 Phase and 240V, 50Hz

Emergency Generator:

1 x Deutz T0226-6 Diesel driving a Stamford 110 KVA Alternator, 415V, 50Hz, 3 Phase


Fuel oil 215 tonnes, fresh water 72 tonnes


Kongsberg EM300, Simrad TOPAS, Simrad EA500 12KHz, Simrad EK500 38/120 KHz, Sonardyne Ranger USBL System, RDI Ocean Surveyor 75 KHz, Doppler log

A Frame:

6 metres above the deck extending over the stern.  SWL 15 tonnes and associate General Purpose (GP) Winch SWL 5 tonnes

Aft deck crane:

Heila HR100 2BJ - SWL 7 tonnes at 12 metres

Forward Stores Crane:

Heila HN 10/85 – SWL 1 tonne at 8 metres

Winch types:

2 x trawl, 1 x net drum, 1 x coring, 1 x main towed body, 2 x Gilson


Navigational equipment:

Kongsberg Integrated K-Bridge

Radar equipment:

1 x Furuno F7112 - X Band, 1 x Furuno FAR 2837 – S Band


Fleet Broadband, Sat-C, MF/HF DSC, VHF,DSC, VHF, VHF portables, SART, 406 MHz EPIRB




VIDEO: Life onboard RV Southern Surveyor

[Music plays]

(Bronte Tilbrook) Hi, I’m Bronte Tilbrook. I’m an oceanographer and I work for CSIRO. I go out on this ship, the Southern Surveyor, to measure how much carbon dioxide’s in the ocean. The level of carbon dioxide in the ocean is really important because it affects our Earth’s climate and it also affects how a lot of important organisms in the ocean grow including corals. The thing I like about being a research scientist is that I get to work on really interesting problems and I also get to work out on the ocean. The Southern Surveyor is the Marine National Facility and any scientist in Australia can ask to use the ship for research, so let’s go on board and I’ll show you around.

[Music plays]

[Subtitle: Storm Step]

(Bronte Tilbrook) Watch your step here. This is a storm step and it’s what keeps the water out of the ship in rough weather. Even though the ship’s really big it only handles 14 research crew at any one time, and the walkways are really narrow and the doors are very heavy.

[Subtitle: Bow]

(Bronte Tilbrook) At the front of the ship which is called the bow there are cabins for sleeping, so let’s go and have a look.

[Subtitle: Cabins]

(Bronte Tilbrook) Most cabins on the ship have two bunks and see this piece of material up here, this is what stops us rolling out in rough seas, and over here we have the bathroom and it’s just like a bathroom you’d have at home so you’ve got a shower, a toilet and a sink. We get our fresh water from a reverse osmosis machine which turns salt water into fresh and we also have hot water just like you would at home.

(Dave) G’day, Bronte.

(Bronte) Oh, g’day, Dave.

(Dave) I’ve got top bunk this trip.

(Bronte) Yep, that’s right.  The worst thing about the top bunk is that it’s a long way to the toilet if you get seasick, and I once spent a whole week in the bunk being seasick between Hobart and Fremantle, it was awful. So let’s go for a quick tour of the ship before breakfast. I don’t know about you but I’m starving. Down the hallway from the cabins is the laundry and we have to do all our own cleaning of our cabins and we have to do our own laundry. So if you’re on the ship for a long time it’s hard to get exercise so we have a gym where we can do little workouts. So when we have some free time there’s a recreation room where we can read books and watch videos and play darts.

[Subtitle: Fridge Pantry]

(Bronte Tilbrook) This is a fridge on the ship, it has to be really big to hold a lot of food for long sea voyages and it contains things like milk and vegetables. This is the ship’s pantry. It’s where a lot of the other food’s held and it has really big, sturdy shelves so when the ship rolls the food won’t fall out.

[Music plays]

(Bronte Tilbrook) Hi, Eric.

(Eric) Hey, Bronte.

[Subtitle: Mess Room]

(Bronte Tilbrook) This is the mess room. This is where we have our meals. We have three meals a day, so for breakfast we might have bacon and eggs and French toast, and for lunch and dinner we have things like steak and pasta, and the food’s really good, and the desserts are also excellent.

(Bronte Tilbrook) Hi, Dave.

(Dave) Hi, Bronte.

(Bronte) Hi, Lee.

(Lee) Hi, Bronte.

(Bronte) Life on board the Southern Surveyor’s really comfortable and I’m just going to eat my breakfast now, so thanks for coming on board with me.

[Music plays]

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