RV Rachel Carson (2008)

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United States
Name: Rachel Carson
Namesake: Rachel Carson
Operator: University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Builder: Hike Metal Products, Wheatley, Ontario
Cost: USD$4.6m
Christened: November 16, 2008
In service: 2009
Homeport: Solomons, Maryland
Status: In service
General characteristics [1]
Type: Research vessel
Length: 81 ft (25 m) o/a
Beam: 18 ft (5.5 m)
Draft: 4 ft 8 in (1.42 m)
Installed power: Two MTU 10V 2000 M-72 diesel engines, 2 × 1,205 hp (899 kW)
Speed: 24 knots (44 km/h; 28 mph)
Capacity: Up to 5 persons overnight; maximum of 30 for educational cruises
Crew: 2

RV Rachel Carson is a research vessel owned and operated by the University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science, named in honor of the marine biologist and writer Rachel Carson.

The 81-foot aluminum-hulled vessel is an extended and modified Challenger class fast research vessel, designed by marine architect Roger Long.[2] It is equipped with twin 1,200 horsepower diesel engines and water jet drives which give a maximum speed of 24 knots. A dynamic positioning system automatically maintains the vessel's position.[3]

The ship was built by Hike Metal Products of Wheatley, Ontario,[3] at a cost of $4.6 million, and christened by Katie O'Malley on November 16, 2008, at Annapolis.[4]

The Rachel Carson has operated in Chesapeake Bay since early 2009, teaching estuarine sampling techniques, carrying out water quality surveys, plankton collection, box coring operations, and deploying instrument packages.[3]


  1. ^ "Rachel Carson : Specifications and Equipment". University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "Research Vessel Design". JMS Naval Architects & Salvage Engineers. 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "The R/V Rachel Carson". University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "New R/V Rachel Carson Commissioned". Chesapeake Quarterly. 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2012.