HMS Gleaner (H86)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Gleaner.
HMS Gleaner (H86) in the Solent.jpg
HMS Gleaner in the Solent, 2013
Career (UK)
Name: HMSML Gleaner
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Emsworth
Launched: 18 October 1983
Sponsored by: Mrs. M. Read
Commissioned: 5 December 1983
Homeport: HMNB Devonport, Plymouth
  • Fruges consumere nati
  • Latin: "Born to reap its reward"
Status: in active service, as of 2015
Badge: HMSML Gleaner crest.jpg
General characteristics
Displacement: 22 tonnes
Length: 14.8 m
Beam: 4.7 m
Draught: 1.6 m
Propulsion: 2 × Volvo Penta TAMD 122 P-A diesel engines
Speed: 14 knots (16.1 mph; 25.9 km/h)
Complement: 9
Crew: 2 Officers, 1 Senior Rate, 6 Junior Rates
Notes: She uses multibeam and sidescan sonar to collect accurate data about the texture of the seabed. She is used in the shallowest of inshore waters.

HMSML Gleaner (H86) is the smallest commissioned vessel in the Royal Navy with a length of just under 15 metres and a ship's company of just 9 (2 officers, 1 Senior Rating and 6 Junior Ratings). She is currently based in Devonport, Plymouth. The ship prefix "HMSML" stands for Her Majesty's Survey Motor Launch.


She is the sixth ship to bear the name Gleaner and was commissioned on 5 December 1983. With a top speed of 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph), Gleaner was designed to conduct inshore surveys along the south coast of England, though she has since surveyed all around the coastline of Great Britain and visited various ports in Europe.

As an advanced survey vessel, Gleaner possesses an array of sophisicated technology, including multibeam and sidescan sonar to collect bathymetry and seabed texture data and compile an accurate and detailed picture of the seabed for later analysis. Her survey equipment also includes an Applanix POS MV system for georeferencing and motion compensation, C-NAV GPS, Kongsberg EM3002 Multibeam Echo Sounder and Kongsberg EA400 Singlebeam Echo Sounder.

Gleaner also has the unique distinction of being the only Royal Navy ship to have visited landlocked Switzerland, having travelled up the Rhine to Basle in 1988.[1]

She was also in attendance at the 2010 Portsmouth Navy Days.[2][3]


  1. ^ HMS Gleaner (archive),
  2. ^ New additions to Navy Days 2010,, 10 June 2010
  3. ^ Navy’s Smallest Vessel on View at Navy Days 2010!,, 19 April 2010

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