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University of Gothenburg
New Research Vessel Skagerak moored at quay.
New R/V Skagerak moored at Nya Varvet in Gothenburg.
Photo: Calle Thorén

Facts R/V Skagerak

A new modern research vessel for research and education. R/V Skagerak is 49 metres long, 11 metres wide and with a displacement of 1000 tonnes. The vessel has a crew of 5 and can accommodate 16 researchers and students. Home port is Nya Varvet in Gothenburg.

Technical specifications

Ship data

Built by: Nauta Shiprepair Yard S.A. in Gdynia, Poland 2013-2020, completed at Falkvarv in Falkenberg, Sweden 2020-2021
Named after: an arm of the North Sea
Owner: University of Gothenburg, since 2020
Management company (staffing and technical operation): Northern Offshore Services
Company (organisation responsible for duties according to ISM-code): Northern Offshore Services


Length over all (L.O.A.): 49.1 m
Width: 11.00 m
Max. draft (draught, incl. blister): 4.13 m
Gross tonnage: 916
Freeboard, working deck: 2.1 m
Main engines: 4 • Volvo-Penta D16, diesel-electric operation, propeller engine 1120 kW
Electricity: Power outlets for 400 V 125 A (for ROV), 400 V 32 A and 230 V 16 A (on deck and in hangar), 230 V 10 A in the laboratories.


Speed: Service speed 11,5 knots, max. speed approx. 14 knots
Range: Sea area A (all seas)
Time at sea: up to 3 weeks, normally 2-5 days
Fuel: 86 m3
Fresh water: 46 m3, as well as possibility to produce fresh water on board


The bridge is equipped with a pilot-copilot system, i.e. with place for two navigators. The equipment consists of, for example:

  • 2 radar systems
  • Full ECDIS, paper nautical charts are not needed

Crew and special personell

Normally 5-7 persons depending on length and purpose of expedition.


Numbers depending on length and purpose of expedition.
There are 12 cabins on board, of which 5 single cabins, 5 two-person cabins and 2 three-person cabins. They can be used as below, depending on the duration and nature of the expedition.

  • 5 crew members + 16 scientists
  • 6 crew members + 14 scientists
  • 7 crew members + 12 scientists

On day trips a larger number of special personell can be on board.
As the vessel is regarded as a cargo ship (with SPS certificate) it may bring max. 12 passengers. To bring more than 12 persons, except the crew, all these need to have a familiarity training.


The vessel is classified and certified as a Special Purpose Ship. Currently, maximum number of persons on board is 22 (incl. crew). The intention is to increase this number. The intention is also to achieve a Polar Ship Certificate, which means the vessel is allowed to operate in Arctic waters with moderate ice conditions (basically ice-free water).

Scientific equipment

Deck lifting equipment: 

  • Moveable A-frame: reach 7 metres, 8 tonnes at 7 metres
  • CTD-/hydrographic frame: LARS (launch and recovery system), 3 tonnes at 3 metres
  • Two electric general purpose winches: 2000 metres (16 mm) wire, 2 tonnes
  • Oceanographic winch: 2000 metres (12 mm) fiber-optic and electric cable, 4 tonnes
  • CTD/ROV-winch: 4000 metres (8.3 mm) fiber-optic and electric cable, 4 tonnes
  • Plankton winch: 1000 metres (6 mm) kevlar line, 2 tonnes

Instruments on board

  • CTD (Sea-Bird SBE 911) incl. turbidity, fluorescence, transmission, oxygen and PAR
  • Rosette water sampler (SBE 32, 24 bottles)
  • Ship mounted ADCP (RDI; 150/600 kHz)
  • Weather station (Aanderaa AWS 2700).
  • Hydroacoustic equipment: Multibeam echo sounder EM2040 Kongsberg

  • Subbottom profile: TOPAS Kongsberg

  • Underwater positioning system: HIPAP Kongsberg


  • Sea water laboratory, 9 m2
  • Atmospheric laboratory, 11 m2; mainly for studies of atmosphere and air
  • Dry laboratory, 13 m2; work places, fume hood
  • Main laboratory, 29 m2; fume hood, chemical storage area, work places
  • Hangar, 38 m2; deploy area for CTD etc., space for sorting of samples
  • CTD room, 9 m2; work places for control of LARS & CTD-winch

All laboratories except Atmospheric Laboratory and Dry Laboratory have access to sea water.

Free working area, aft deck: Approx. 110 m2


Communication equipment according to SOLAS-standards, completed with:

  • VSAT equipment for communication and data traffic
  • Iridium telecommunication
  • Telephone modem for data and telecommunication when the vessel operates in coastal areas

Follow R/V Skagerak

R/V Skagerak can be localized with MarineTraffic.

Building the new R/V Skagerak

The University of Gothenburg ordered the ship in 2013 from Nauta Shiprepair Yard S.A. in Gdynia, Poland. The construction was heavily delayed. The completion of the ship – propulsion system and sea tests – was done at Falkvarv in Falkenberg, and the vessel was delivered 7 July 2021.