Other research vessels at SLU

Last changed: 14 October 2019

SLU has a several smaller vessels for research purposes. These are managed by SLU’s Department of Aquatic Resources. One of the vessels, R/V Asterix, can be rented.

SLU Aqua Sailor

SLU Aqua Sailor is an unmanned sailing drone that is used by SLU Aqua. The two meter long vehicle, weighing 60 kilos, is controlled via satellite by researchers at the Department of Aquatic Resources in Lysekil.

The sailing drone offers a cost effective and uninterrupted data collection method for research and environmental monitoring. The vehicle is equipped with a scientific echo sounder that measures the amount of fish. Salinity and water temperature is also measured.

Basic data

  • Model: Sailbuoy
  • Length: 2 m
  • Weight: 60 kg
  • Propulsion: Wind
  • Navigable wind speed range: 3-20 m/s and over 12 m wave height (survivability in all weather conditions)
  • Speed: 1-2 knots
  • Maximum mission duration: 12 months


  • Communication: GPS, Iridium
  • Echo sounder
  • Temperature- and salinity meters

More about SLU Aqua Sailor

R/V Asterix

Used primarily in the large lakes of Sweden. R/V Asterix is equipped for scientific echo sounding, trawling and gill net fishing. The vessel can also serve as a platform for other field activities.

Basic data

  • Model: Stigfjord 40 (2002)
  • Length: 12 meters
  • Width: 4 meters
  • Keel depth: 1.5 meters
  • Engine power: 350 HP
  • Cruising speed: 10 knots


  • Trawl
  • Depth sensor
  • Temperature sensor
  • Net hauler
  • Winches
  • Scale
  • Scientific echo sounders (38 and 120 kHz)
  • Seachart plotters
  • GPS
  • Vessel echo sounder
  • Radar
  • Communication systems
  • AIS

On the boat

  • Basic kitchen (gas)
  • Toilet with shower
  • Four beds
  • Extra refrigerator and freezer for field samples
  • Security equipment for four persons

More information about R/V Asterix

R/V Hålabben

R/V Hålabben is a modern, small high-speed research vessel designed for fish surveys, as well as bottom and water sampling. The boat is equipped for trawling, fish sorting and echo integration of fish. Hålabben is also equipped with winches for smaller sampling operations over the side.

Hålabben's area of operation is inshore with a maximum distance from the outermost islands of 1 nautical mile or 4 nautical miles from the nearest safe harbor. The boat can be transported by truck to different sea areas and lakes.

Hålabben belongs to the Department of Aquatic Resources (SLU Aqua) in Lysekil.

Basic data

  • Length: 7.85 meters
  • Width: 3.00 meters
  • Depth: 0.45 meters
  • Cruising speed: 24 knots
  • Minimum height: 3.6 meters (when in transport)

Primary assignments

  • Echo integration at night (primarily Gadidae)
  • Inshore trawling
  • Exploratory lobster fishing
  • Fish surveys with traps
  • Ocean current surveys
  • Has been used to catch lobster larvae with light traps

More information about R/V Hålabben

Reseach vessel R/V Hålabben


Elritsan is an electric fishing boat, Smith Root SR 18E, with a "beard" in the prow and two long "antennas" protruding from the prow down into the water. When the electric current is switched on an area of tension is created between the "beard" (cathode) and the "antennas" (anode). The fish is stunned, floats to the surface, is caught with a dip net and placed in a water filled tank to recover, which it does in about a minute. After determining species, measuring and sampling the fishes are released back into the water alive.

The electric fishing boat works excellently to catch fish in large streams and lakes, and it provides an opportunity to examine waters and environments that would otherwise be difficult to survey.


Klabben is a shallow-draught catamaran with an inboard motor and a small cabin. Klabben is primarily used for sampling, trap fishing and scientific fish collection on the Swedish west coast.

There is a number of smaller boats at the Institute of Freshwater Research and the Institute of Coastal Research.

Page editor: johan.thorburn@slu.se