Ship specifications

Last changed: 06 February 2024

R/V Svea is one of the world's most modern research vessels that can be used for virtually all types of marine research and environmental monitoring.

Svea's main activity is ecosystem investigation with a focus on recurrent monitoring of fish stocks and water quality, by SLU and SMHI. The vessel is also used for data collection for studies and understanding of climate change effects, mapping and monitoring of marine biodiversity and eutrophication, measurements of CO2 and the resulting acidification of the oceans as well as measurements of oxygen and de-oxygenation of the oceans.

Design, construction and classification

The vessel was designed by Norwegian firm Skipsteknisk AS in Ålesund. It was constructed by Armon Shipyards in Vigo, Spain from 2017 to 2019. DNV GL is responsible for classification.

Svea has the classification DNV +1A1, E0, ICE-1B, DYNPOS-AUTS, SPS, TMON, BWM-T, COMFC(2)V(2), CLEAN, NAUT-AW, explained below 

  • DNV +1A1: DNV GL is the classification society.
  • E0: Instrumentation and automation installed to allow for unattended machinery space.
  • ICE-1BFinnish-Swedish ice class 1B. The vessel can pass through 30 to 50 cm thick ice.
  • DYNPOS-AUTS: Dynamic positioning allows the vessel to keep a position or heading using only propellers and thrusters.
  • SPS: Special Purpose Ship, a ship which, by its function, carries on board more than 12 special personnel.
  • TMON: A class notations governing the design and follow-up monitoring of water-lubricated stern tubes which waives the requirement to withdraw and inspect the tail shaft and bearing every five years.
  • BWM-T: Ballast water is treated to avoid spreading invasive species etc.
  • COMFC(2)V(2): Comfort class 2 for both noise and vibration as well as indoor climateA rating from 1 to 3 reflects “high” to “acceptable” comfort standards.
  • CLEAN: Compliance with all mandatory Marpol (International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships) requirements. In addition, the class notation contains additional requirements to prevent oil pollution. It also requires a vessel to have improved technical and management procedures to reduce discharges to sea and emissions to air.
  • NAUT-AW: Requirements within bridge design, bridge instrumentation, and workstation arrangement. Enhanced requirements targeting vessels largely operating in coastal and narrow waters.

Main characteristics

  • Length over all 69.50 m
  • Length between p.p. 64.20 m (length between perpendiculars, the length of the ship along the waterline)
  • Breadth moulded 15.80 m
  • Depth to lower deck 5.90 m
  • Depth to main deck 8.60 m
  • Design draft 5.40 m
  • Gross tonnage 3 148


Total accommodation: 32 persons in 24 single cabins and 4 double cabins.


  • Economy speed: 11 knots
  • Max speed: 13.5 knots

Main propulsion system

Diesel electric propulsion plant, make Indar

  • Two reversible AC electric motors in tandem, each 1 000 kW, 0-145 rpm.

Power generation plant, make Caterpillar

  • 2 x 1 350 bkW/1 600 rpm, diesel generator sets, model 3512C
  • 1 x 783 bkW/1 600 rpm, diesel generator set, model 3508C
  • Alternators, 690 V/ variable frequency

Propeller, make Wärtsilä

  • One fixed pitch propeller, 3 600 mm.

Side and azimuth thrusters

Maneuvering thrusters, make Brunvoll AS

  • One FU74LTA2000 tunnel thruster in bow, 600 kW
  • One AR63LNA1650 retractable azimuth thruster in bow, 860 kW
  • One FU63LTA1550 tunnel thruster in stern, 600 kW

Winches, cranes, handling equipment

Electric winches, make Ibercisa


  • Heave compensated winches with steel armoured cable for optic fiber and two conductors, ø11.5 mm
    - CTD winch, 1 500 m, SWL (Safe Working Load) 15 kN
    - Multi-purpose winch, 3 000 m, SWL 30 kN
    - Fish towing winch, 300 m, SWL 30 kN
  • Hydrographic winch, 1 500 m - ø6 mm stainless wire, SWL 15 kN
  • Multi-purpose winch, 1 500 m, ø16 mm synthetic wire, SWL 120 kN
  • Movable deck winch, 300 m, ø30 mm synthetic wire, SWL 30 kN


  • 2 x trawl winches, 2 500 m, ø26 mm, SWL 290 kN
  • 2 x net drums, 2x10,4 m3, SWL 170 kN
  • Auxiliary winch, 100 m, ø20 mm, SWL 10 kN
  • Net sounder winch, 3 500 m, ø11 mm, SWL 15 kN
  • 2 x trawl door winches, 600 m, ø28 mm, SWL 25 kN

Active Heave Compensation, make Scantrol


A number of winches have actice heave compensation, which eliminates vessel motion to be transferred to the load. The system is installed on the CTD, multi-purpose, fish towing, and hydrographic winches.

Deck cranes and frames, make Triplex

  • 6.0 t/ 12 m knuckle boom crane with net roller, SB trawl gallow
  • 2.0 t/ 13.5 m knuckle boom crane. PS trawl gallow
  • 2.0 t/ 12 m knuckle boom crane. On bow deck
  • A-frame 8 t SWL at stern
  • Telescopic boom 1.5 t SWL, SB side
  • CTD davit 1.5 t SWL, in CTD hangar


The vessel is fully equipped for demersal trawling as well as pelagic trawling with:

  • GOV-trawl (grand ouverture vertical)
  • TV-3-trawl
  • pelagic Fotö-trawl

The iSYM Autotrawl system from Scantrol gives full control of the trawls' geometry.

iSym Autotrawl on Scantrol's website


  • Fish lab
    sorting and analysis of fish
  • MIK/instrument lab
    handling of instruments and analysis of fish larvae and plankton
  • Flex lab
    handling of instrument platforms and sediment samples
  • Wet lab
    sampling of plankton, water and sediment
  • CTD lab (hangar)
    handling of water with CTD rosette
  • Chemical lab
    for analysis and management of data from water samples
  • Nutrient analysis lab
    for analysis of nutrients
  • Isotop lab
    handling of samples using radioactive substances

Scientific equipment

Underwater Acoustic Instrumentation from Kongsberg Simrad

ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler) from Teledyne Marine

ADCP:s measure currents with sound waves.

Remotely Operated Towed Vehicles from MacArtney

  • Model Triaxus is used for CTD profiling and is designed to undulate between 1 and 350 meters.
  • Model Focus 2 is used for echo sounders and can be held at a fixed depth.

Active heave compensation uses depth input from the ROTV's.

Marine Data Management system from Kongsberg Maritime

  • MDM500 is a centralized storage system for many different types of sensor onboard.

Other Scientific Equipment

    • Specially designed CTD with water sampling rosette with sensors for e.g. oxygen and fluorescence
    • Scientific work boat, Alukin C 750, 8 persons
    • Towed video camera for counting burrows of Norwegian lobster, bottom living animals and habitats 
    • Moving vessel profiler - system for automatic CTD and fluorescence profiles underway
    • Ferrybox - system for automatic water samplings and continous measurements of water parameters at a depth of about four meters
    • Weather station from Vaisala with sensors for meteorology, radiation, water surface temperature and sea colour
    • The vessel is prepared for using a Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV).

Container space

Additional laboratories, equipment etc can be taken onboard in containers.

On the work deck there is space for

  • two 20 feet containers in longitudinal placement or one 20 feet container in latitudal placement on stareboard side
  • one 20 feet container or two 10 feet containers centrally

Maximum container capacity is thus three 20 feet containers.

Bridge equipment

  • Integrated Bridge System, Furuno
  • Dynamic Positioning (DP I), Kongsberg Maritime
  • Automatic Identification System (AIS), Kongsberg Maritime
  • Engine Monitoring System, Siemens
  • ICAS, Siemens

Safety equipment

  • One MOB (Man Over Board) boat, port side with davit
  • Life raft capacity 3x16 persons each side

Anti-rolling system

The vessel is arranged with a passive controlled U-shaped anti-rolling tank system.

Tank capacities

  • Fuel oil 241 m³
  • Potable water 149 m³

Environment and noise

Systems for exhaust cleaning from DEC Marine

In order to avoid disturbing fish and other organisms in the sea, and to minimize interference with the sensitive sonars, Svea is built to minimize radiated noise from the ship in accordance with recommendations from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES 209).

The vessel is as environmentally friendly as possible with the technology that is commercially available today, for example

  • by using renewable HVO-diesel to run the diesel generation plant
  • the work boat's outdoor motor runs on diesel to minimize fire hazard and allow usage of HVO-diesel
  • the hull is painted with a silicone based paint that minimizes fouling without any toxic substances
  • black water and grey water is cleaned in an sewage treatment plant and subsequently stored in a black water holding tank. Water from laboratories will also be led there. The water in the holding tank is so clean that it can be discharged into the sea anywhere. But Svea's sewage water will be emptied into Lysekil municipal sewage system when Svea is in here home port
  • Svea's ballast water is cleaned, i.e. micro organisms will be killed, when the ballast tanks are emptied
  • heat exchangers use sea water for cooling
  • Svea is connected to district heating and shore-side electricity in the home port Lysekil
  • sustainable Elondo wood has been used on the work deck
  • specific chemicals and substances are banned
  • textiles are eco-labeled.

A requirement in the procurement process was that the shipyards had to be environmentally certified according to ISO 14001. 

Call sign and MMSI

  • Call sign: SEYB
  • MMSI: 265009000
  • IMO: 9829332
  • The scientific work boat's MMSI is 265813630

Every vessel is assigned a call sign to be used in all voice communication over radio.

MMSI stands for Maritime Mobile Service Identifier and is a number that identifies the specific ship.

The IMO number is a unique ID number that is assigned to propelled, sea-going ships of 100 GT and above, with some exceptions. The number is never changed and never reassigned to another ship.


Björn Lindell, Coordinator
Ship Management Unit, SLU
bjö, +46 (0)18 67 15 46, +46 (0)73-086 98 86

Mattias Sköld, Researcher
Department of Aquatic Resources, Institute of Marine Research, SLU
Ship Management Unit, SLU, +46 (0)10 478 40 46, +46 (0)705-37 87 74