R/V Mussel Point
The 42 foot research vessel Mussel Point is a unique solution to a complicated problem: how to get students and researchers up and down and off our rugged northern California coast with exceptional safety, comfort and economy. The 42-foot Mussel Point, a remarkably fast, stable and maneuverable vessel answers this need ideally.
Powered by twin turbo diesel engines and jet drives-in combination with a unique planing hull-her top speed in settled conditions approaches 30 kts. The jet drives and shallow draft permit work closer inshore than a comparably sized displacement hull. A solid foam “sponson” collar serves multiple functions: from a self- fendering system for coming alongside other vessels or moored instruments, to a lateral stabilizer to keep the boat from rocking too severely in a seaway. The sponson, though not necessary to the stability of the hull, adds 14,000 lbs of buoyancy in the event of a catastrophic event at sea.
Our boat is comprehensively equipped with state-of-the-art marine electronics and communications including a satellite phone, oceanographic instrumentation such as an ADCP and thermosalinograph, independent computer work stations in shock absorbing captain’s chairs, and a full head, galley and two berths.
The back deck is outfitted with a hydraulic A-frame and winch spooled with 600 M conducting cable, and the transom is hydraulically raised and lowered for personnel and equipment deployment and recovery. It is designed to be SCUBA diver friendly, convertible and appropriate for diverse research efforts.
Projects Using R/V Mussel Point
More than 30 UC Davis research projects and 10 graduate and undergraduate classes undertook expeditions on BML vessels from the Sacramento River to the open sea in recent years. In its first full year of service, the R/V Mussel Point proved its value and versatility as a research and education platform by logging over 400 engine hours, ranging from deep blue oceanic water beyond the continental shelf break to shallow, brackish waters in Tomales Bay. The Mussel Point’s unique design allowed the crew to safely collect water circulation data under gale force conditions. It was equally at home functioning as a barge anchored in Bodega Bay for days while plankton samples were pumped aboard. Throughout the year, the R/V MP has successfully deployed and retrieved oceanographic moorings, SCUBA divers, grabbed sediment samples, towed electrically controlled nets well below the thermocline, profiled seawater characteristics to 200 feet, and routinely gathered data on sea surface conditions.
R/V Mussel Point Specifications
- Marine Grade Aluminum
- Lateral Sponson Stabilizers
- Twin Jet Drives
- Twin Turbo Diesel Engines
- Underway Data Acquisition System
- Top Speed 30 kts