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The construction of the Research Vessel ARQUIPÉLAGO was supported by the EEC and the Regional Government of the Azores under the POSEIMA/PESCAS program. The ship is at the service of the Department of Oceanography and Fisheries of the University of the Azores (DOP/UAç) since 1993 and has been extensively used in research programs that took place in the Northeast Atlantic (Azores, Madeira) down to the 30° N parallel.

This 25.5 m GRP ship was built by the Polyships in Vigo (Spain) and was designed by the RINAVE and the DOP/UAç, specifically for Oceanographic and Fisheries research.

The bridge equipment includes a Sonar, Echo Sounders, Plotter, Facsimile, GPS, Radio Communications, Radar, Automatic pilot, Gyro, Fire detection system, "Dead-man" Alarm, Meteorological station and an internal CCTV.

The deck equipment includes fishing hauls and winches, two oceanographic winches (one with 700 m simple steel cable and another with 2,500 m long conductor wire for rosette/CTD work), an hydraulic deck crane with a SWL of 2.5 m and 5 m outreach, a side A-frame (2.5 ton SWL) and a rear A-frame (4 ton SWL), storage compartments and a fast freezing tunnel (2 ton/day)

The ship deck is also prepared to receive either a 3,03 m lab-container or the SEASOAR winch with its 650 m of faired cable.

The dry laboratory (12 m²) can accommodate 4 simultaneous working positions, for an useful operation of data acquisition equipment and computers. These can receive real time information from bridge equipment: wind speed and direction, air and water temperature, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure, ship’s speed, course and position and depth. It also accommodates a SIMRAD EK500 Scientific Echo Sounder, the hull mounted RDI "Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler" deck unit and computer, a Systems West APT Weather Satellite Information System, as well as, the CTD and SEASOAR deck units.

Length o.a.
Length b.p.
Breadth m.l.d.
Height to main deck
25.40 m
22.46 m
6.60 m
3.47 m

Cummins KTA 19M
Variable pitch propeller
Bow trushter
370 kW @ 1,800 rpm

2 x 85 kVA 1 x 32 kVA
80 kW @ 1,500 rpm

Gross tonnage
Fresh fish storage
Frozen fish storage
Fast freezing tunnel (2 ton/day)
Water tanks
Fuel tanks
Live bait tanks
Dry laboratory
Wet laboratory
Free deck space
Container-laboratory area
149 ton
16.5 m³
13.4 m³
7.5 m³
14.2 m³
32.7 m³
5.0 m³
12.0 m²
5.0 m²
40 m²
9.0 m²

Cruising speed
Maximum speed
2,500 miles
9.5 knots
11 knots


The R/V Arquipélago is coordinated by the IMAR - Institute of Marine Research, namely the Centre of IMAR of the University of the Azores.

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