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R/V RACHEL CARSON - University of Maryland

The R/V RACHEL CARSON is based on the “CHALLENGER / TIOGA” hull form with extensive modifications to accommodate a water jet drive. It is one of the smallest dynamic positioning vessels in the world and has proven highly successful in service. The 81-foot, aluminum-hulled vessel was built by Hike Metal, and christened in November 2008.

“UMCES selected Roger Long to design RACHEL CARSON based on the success of the three earlier CHALLENGER Class research vessels.  During the design process, Roger convinced us to use water jet propulsion and incorporate dynamic positioning into the vessel control system, both of which have proven to be wise decisions. The vessel is fast, highly maneuverable and has proven to be a very versatile and stable platform for mooring operations, fisheries studies and general survey work. After four years of successful operations, Rachel Carson has far exceeded our expectations.”     ~ Bruce Cornwall, Marine Superintendent


  • Length: 81′
  • Beam: 18′
  • Draft: 5′-6″
  • Main Propulsion: Twin MTU 10V-2000 M72 Diesels with Hamilton HM-554 Water Jets
  • HP: 2,400
  • Speed: 19 knots cruising, 1.5 knots minimum
  • Hull: Aluminum