RV Falkor

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as Seefalke in Spring 2006
as Seefalke in Spring 2006
Flag of the Cayman Islands.svgCayman Islands
  • MV Falkor
  • Seefalke (Sea Hawk) (until July 2009)
Namesake: Falkor (luckdragon)
Operator: Schmidt Ocean Institute
Port of registry:
Builder: Orenstein & Koppel AG, Lübeck, Germany
Cost: $94 million (refit/conversion)
Yard number: 760
Launched: 22 December 1980
Completed: 8 September 1981
Refit: 2010-2012
Status: in service
General characteristics
Tonnage: 2,088 GRT; 627 NRT
Displacement: 2,260 m3
Length: 82.9 metres (272 ft)
Beam: 13 metres (43 ft)
Draft: 4.8 metres (16 ft)
Depth: 6.67 metres (21.9 ft)
Speed: 12kn (cruising); 19.8kn (max)
Range: 13,000 nm
Endurance: 40 days
Capacity: 18 scientists
Crew: 19+2 technicians
Aviation facilities:
  • 12.6 m diameter helideck.
  • No storage or refuelling
Notes: [2]

RV Falkor is an oceanographic research vessel, the flagship vessel of the Schmidt Ocean Institute.


RV Falkor was originally built as Seefalke in 1981 in Lübeck, Germany as a fishery protection vessel.[2] During an extensive refit at Peters Schiffbau shipyard in Wewelsfleth, Germany,[3] from 2009 to early 2012, she was converted to an oceanographic research vessel. The conversion was funded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt with the intent of allowing researchers to use it free of charge, provided they make their findings free to the public within two months of the research.[4]

In 2012, crew from the Falkor discovered the wreck of Terra Nova whilst mapping the sea bed off Greenland.[5]

In August 2013, Canadian scientists investigated the dynamics of hypoxia in the "dead zone" of the Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island.[4][6]


Falkor has a 20,000 lb SWL A-frame over the transom, a 7,000 lb SWL f-Frame and 2 articulating cranes providing at least 2 ton weight lifting over the whole of the aft working deck. The cable of the CTD/Hydro winch can be routed to any of these.[2]

On the main deck, a dry lab includes a 28 m2 ROV / Echosounder Control Room, a 26 m2 Lab / Office Space and 17 m2 Data Lab. The wet laboratory is 32 m2.[2]

Falkor has dynamic positioning and can deploy light ROVs. There are shallow- and deep-water multibeam echosounders for acoustic research. The 6.3m aluminium hull, 350 hp jet-drive boat has a bow ramp.[2]


  1. ^ "Falkor - IMO 7928677". Ship Spotting. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "RV Falkor". Schmidt Ocean Institute. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "RV Falkor Refit". Schmidt Ocean Institute. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  4. ^ a b James A. Foley. "Google Money Funds Falkor Research Vessel for Third Mission This Year". Nature World News. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Paul Rincon (16 August 2012). "Scott's wrecked ship Terra Nova found off Greenland". BBC News. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "RV Falkor 2013 Research Cruise Plan". Schmidt Ocean Institute. Retrieved 11 August 2013.