R.V. Whale Song

Whale Song in the Hunter River, deep in the Kimberley, Western Australia

R.V Whale Song is a 28m steel hull, ice rated research vessel purposely designed by Trinity Yachts and built to conduct specialised whale research around the world. The hull and all machinery is sound-silenced to military standards which make the vessel one of few besides navy submarines to operate so silently. This makes R.V. Whale Song the perfect vessel for conducting acoustic survey as it is capable of collecting clear recordings and signatures such as whale songs and vocals whilst continuing underway. Built for comfort and purpose and classified as geographically unrestricted, R.V. Whale Song is capable of conducting research in even the most challenging of conditions.

The Whale Song will allow the Centre’s scientists to explore areas never before examined for cetaceans. The Centre aims to identify areas critical to cetacean biology in order to guide human development before these majestic animals and their habitats are lost forever through our ever expanding need for food and energy.


 Vessel Specifications

R.V. Whale Song Deck Plan

Flag: Cook Islands
Home Port: Avatiu
IMO Number: 8979908
Classification: Special Purpose Vessel – Research 
Crew: 5
Builder: Halter Marine Group Louisiana
Designer: Trinity Yachts
Length Over All: 28 m
Beam: 7.3 m
Draft: 2.4 m
Gross Tonnage: 185
Net Tonnage: 55
Hull Const: Steel hull, 16 mm hull and 9 mm decks
Launched: 22/05/2001

Power and Operations
Engine: Caterpiller 3406 DITA marine diesel  (x2)
HP Rating: 440BHP @ 2100 RPM
Generator: Kilopack 65 kW generators (x2)
Bowthruster: American Bow Thruster
Speed Max: 12 kts
Cruising: 10 kts @1600 RPM
Endurance at Cruising Speed: 3500 nm with 10% reserve (4500 nm @ 8 kts)
Maximum Fuel capacity: 38,000 litres
Operating Area: Geographically Unrestricted, Ice rated

General and Research Equipment 
Anchor Chain: 300m @ 19mm (x2)
Anchors: 140kg (x2)
Parachute Anchor: with 300 m multi-plat warp
Water Capacity: 10,000 litres
Desalinator: 8,000 litres/day
Black Water Tank: 10 day capacity full crew
Grey Water Tank: 10 day capacity full crew
Sewage Treatment Plant: to Marpol specification
Trash Compactor: sealed rubbish storage
Laundry: twin washer/dryers
Water Steriliser: Ultra violet
Gun Locker: Watertight steel locker
General Purpose Winch: 2 tonne capacity, drum or capstan operation
Boom Crane: 1.8 tonne, 3m hull overhang
Aft Davit Crane: 450 kg
Work-deck Space Fwd: 48 m2
Work-deck Space Aft: 18 m2
Wet Lab Bench Space: 3m2
Specimen Freezer: 3m3
Swim Platform: 7m x 1.2m, Dive ladder/shower
Water Profiler: Seabird CTD 600m rating with Flourometer
Biosonics Digital Echo Sounder: 38 and 120 kHz gyro stabilised

Digital Still and Video Cameras: DSLR – Nikon and Canon, Underwater housing
Day/Night Camera:  Current Corporation Night Navigator (NN3), MIL-SPEC day/night camera (x1) interfaced to ARPA radar

Hull and all Machinery: Sound Silenced to Military specifications
Naiad Stabilsers: Zero roll
Spotting Tower/Fly Bridge: Full Nav and Comms, Computer ports, Height of Eye 8 m
Computer Stations: x 8
Networks: Wireless Next G (Telstra) and Iridium Broadband (satellite) networks, with central printer/scanner
Nav Data via Network: Latitude/Longitude/Depth/Sea Surface Temperature/Course Over Ground/Vessel Speed
Phone Access: Next G and Satellite comms in each cabin with general ship intercom capacity (between cabins)
Scientist Accommodation: Adaptable 4 cabin layout with either 2 double bed cabins or 2 two  bunk cabins (changed for specific need) and two 3 bunk cabins (12 scientific personnel max). Fully air conditioned, large ensuites in each cabin
RHIB #1: 7.3m Willard centre console, 180 hp diesel
RHIB #2: 3.4m aluminium hull shore tender, 10hp outboard

Safety and Communications 
Call Sign: E5U2820
Radio SSB: ICOM  IC-M710 MF/HF Marine Transceiver (x1)
Other Radios: VHF Furuno 25 watt (x2), ICOM IC- M1V handheld VHF radios (x4), Uniden handheld UHF radios (x2)
Sat Comms: Inmarsat C,Thrane & Thrane 3022D VMS and
Sat Phone 1: Iridium Satellite System IP DATA for internet/email,
00 8816 777 13228 and 00 8816 777 13229
Sat Phone 2: Iridium Portable, 0011-881-6214-28770
Bgan:  Inmarsat Thrane & Thrane Satellite System for internet/email
Inmarsat C:  Furuno Felcom 15
Next G Mobile: 0429 922 994 (Internet Access Mobile Broadband)
AIS: Automated Identification System Cat B MMSI# 503165600 (x1)
Life Rafts: To cat. SOLAS A Pack / AMSA with EPIRB and First Aid kit, 24 persons (2 x 12)
Life Jackets: To cat. AMSA Offshore Survey (x17)
Drysuits: To USCG Offshore Survey (x14)
Safety System Audit: International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) Common Marine Inspection Document, valid until July 31, 2013.

Navigation Equipment
Navigation Software: TMQ C-Plot with Piscatus 3D navigation software
Navigation Instruments: B & G HS2000 Logged data of wind, SST, depth, vessel log and barometer (x2)
Plotter: TMQ C-plot main navigation computer (x1), Furuno GPS GP-7000 C-Map NT (x 2)
Meteorological Instrument: Barigo barograph
Day/Night Camera:  Current Corporation Night Navigator (NN3), MIL-SPEC day/night camera (x1) interfaced to ARPA radar
GPS: Furuno Satellite Compass (x1), Furuno GPS GP-7000 C-MAP NT (x2)
Radar: Furuno 21” High Resolution Colour Display 96 nm range – ARPA-enabled (x2)
Sonar : Wesmar HD800
Autopilot: Anshutz Pilotstar D (x2)
Weather Forecaster: NAVTEX (x1)