Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Operations
Vessels and Vehicles - R/V Western Flyer

Western Flyer

MBARI's SWATH vessel

The R/V Western Flyer is a 117-foot small water-plane area twin hull (SWATH) oceanographic research vessel designed and constructed for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). The R/V Western Flyer serves the oceanographic community as a stable platform for deploying, operating, and recovering a tethered remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Doc Ricketts to a depth of 4,000 meters, conducting hydro-casts (CTD), and other oceanographic activities with state-of-the-art equipment. General ROV operations are, however, the vessel’s primary mission.

Voyage profiles

Vessel operations will typically consist of 3 to 7-day voyages. Extended voyages of two to three months’ duration are planned once a  year. Extended voyages are made up of several legs which vary in length up to a maximum of 12 days per leg. The R/V Western Flyer is, on occasion, temporarily redeployed to a new home port for extended voyages.  Successful operations have been staged out of Honolulu, Hawaii, Newport, Oregon, Eureka, California, and La Paz, Mexico.

Crew continuity, training and role flexibility

The R/V Western Flyer has a regular crew and a shore-based support staff. The crew is trained as a team and all crew members are thoroughly familiar with the arrangement of the vessel, safety systems, operations, and equipment.

More information about the R/V Western Flyer

Virtual tour of the R/V Western Flyer


Last updated: Mar. 07, 2013