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RESEARCH VESSEL - R/V MANTA

Research vessel MANTA underway on a blue sea.

R/V MANTA has been the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary research vessel since June 2008.

This 82-foot, high-speed Teknicraft catamaran is used primarily as a research platform, conducting research and monitoring activities in the waters of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, but mostly within sanctuary boundaries. In addition, the vessel serves as a host for educational field trips and emergency response in and around the sanctuary.

Students launching a CTD carousel from R/V MANTA
Students deploying a CTD carousel

The vessel's A-frame and winch configuration are used for a variety of projects including trawls, CTD casts, sediment sampling, and towing equipment such as side-scan sonar and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). The wet and dry labs allow on-board processing of samples and data.

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Two men standing near an ROV and its coiled umbilical on the back deck of a boat.
An ROV ready to launch from the back deck of R/V MANTA

Extensive dive operations are supported by onboard facilities and equipment. Berthing, stowage, galley and safety equipment are geared towards multiple day operations with crews of up to ten scientists.

For more information about R/V MANTA, please consult the following pages:

Vessel Specifications

Welcome Aboard

Scuba Diving from R/V MANTA

Requesting Shiptime

Vessel History (construction, shakedown, dedication)

Virtual Tour (courtesy of All American Marine)

click on the > to play

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VESSEL CLASS

R/V MANTA is categorized as SRV-class (Small Research Vessel) within NOAA's fleet of vessels. This means that it is greater than 65 feet in overall length but weighs less than 300 gross tons. To date, it is the largest vessel in this class. Other sanctuary research vessels (R/V) in this class are:

Standard protocol is for SRV-class vessels to be named after seabirds, but Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary sought an exception to this as seabirds are not a notable part of the sanctuary ecosystem. Instead, our vessel is the R/V MANTA, in recognition of the popular and much more representative manta rays residing in the sanctuary.

Learn more about the National Marine Sanctuary Small Boat Program.

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Small, knobby corals in foreground; boulder of brain coral in background.  Long, fingery branches of purple sponge anchored in knobby corals and standing upright.
   
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