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University of Texas Institute for Geophysics Facilities

R/V Lake Itasca

UTIG owns and operates a 22’ aluminum hulled research vessel, the R/V Lake Itasca. The Itasca is a custom built hull fabricated in early 2007 by Scully Marine, Inc. of Morgan City, Louisiana. The vessel is powered by twin 115 HP Honda outboard engines equipped with hydraulic steering. Hull specifications are as follows:

Length 22’
Beam 8’6”
Bottom 7’ Wide Vee
Draft ~1ft with 1.5 ft for the engines
Maximum Speed 22-28 knots
Range 60 gallons of fuel and about 70 miles at maximum speed
Cabin Dimensions 8’ long, 7’ inside, 6’4” tall

The vessel is equipped with a 3000 watt Honda generator that generates 110 VAC and 12 VDC current. The cabin is has 13,500 BTU air conditioning and heating. Navigation is with a Furuno 1731 radar and a Garmin Chart Plotting GPS. Additional navigation is provided from the onboard multibeam bathymetry system. Communication is via a Uniden Oceanus VHF radio. The vessel is towed on a 35’ long Magic Tilt TMCV2224 trailer. A UTIG Suburban is available for towing, or it can be towed by any ¾ ton or larger truck.

The vessel is equipped with a starboard side davit (Fig. 5) that has been used to deploy a variety of water column gear including CTDs, grab samplers, gravity corers, isokinetic water samplers and niskin bottle samplers. Maximum weight on the 150’ wire is approximately 250 lbs. The winch is free-falled and has motor-driven return with a cable depth gauge attached to the winch drum.

Generally the vessel operates in survey mode with a maximum of 3-5 persons onboard. The vessel is equipped with rack mounts that contain a Reson Seabat multibeam system. Other acoustic devices that have been towed by the Itasca include the UTIG CHIRP subbottom profiler, sidescan sonars, and acoustic Doppler current profilers. The R/V Lake Itasca has been used throughout the Gulf of Mexico in rivers, estuaries and the inner shelf in calm seas. It has also been transported as far afield as British Columbia (Fraser River). The vessel can be shipped worldwide in a standard shipping container.

Contact Mead Allison for more information.

Image Gallery:



Itasca winch and davit Itasca moored behind R/V Acadiana