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View of the stern end of R/V MANTA as seen by a diver in the water.
R/V MANTA features two dive platforms, an A-frame hoist,
and multiple steering stands

R/V MANTA serves the Flower Garden Banks sanctuary as part of NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary fleet. The vessel design provides enhanced capabilities for on-board scientific data collection and diving operations, plus increased stability and speed needed for research, education, enforcement, and management of the sanctuary and surrounding waters in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.

Builder: All American Marine Inc., Bellingham, WA
Design: Teknicraft Aluminum Catamaran
Registered Length: 83'
Total Length: 89.5' (includes dive platforms)
Beam: 30'
Draft: 3.5'
Freeboard: 5.5'
GRT: 77 tons
Cruising Speed: 20 knots
Maximum Speed: 30 knots
Fuel Capacity: 3400 gallons
Fuel endurance: 600 nautical miles (5 days)
Fuel consumption: 175 gallons/hour (7 gallons/nm at 25 knots)
Berthing: 14 (10 science, 4 crew)
Passengers: Maximum of 25 on day trips

Group of 14 researchers and crew members on the top deck of R/V MANTA
R/V MANTA can accommodate 10 scientists and
4 crew for multi-day research efforts

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Deck Equipment

  • Markey COM 7H oceanographic winch with 1000 meters of .322" electro-mechanical cable (on turntable) slip ring assembly
  • Trawl Kinematics science winch with 1000 meters of 7/16" galvanized cable
  • A-frame with 4500 pounds safe working load (SWL), has block with LCI-90 wire-readout
  • Morgan model knuckle-boom crane with maximum reach of 10'6"

A-frame and crane on back deck of R/V MANTA
The A-frame and crane on the back deck assist with loading and deployment of equipment

  • Polaris 15'06" "Mobula": aluminum RHIB with 40hp Yohatsu (6.5 gallons fuel)

Ryan driving a rigid hull inflatable boat
The MOBULA is a rigid hull aluminum boat (RHIB)

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  • Hydraulic connects on port and starboard sides for hydraulic tools
  • Main deck tie-downs with 2'x2' pattern (.75" stainless steel eye-bolts)

Deck tie down bolts.
The main deck was designed for flexibility,
with tie-downs every 2 feet

  • Moon pool opening approximately 2'x1.5'

Two women lowering a cable through the moon pool in a boat deck.
The moon pool is handy for taking water quality measurements

  • Pole mount brackets and pole mount available to science party
  • Observation area with fold down benches forward of the bridge

Fold down observation seats in front of the bridge
Fold down seats provide an excellent observation area

  • 220 VAC Single Phase and 208 VAC 3-Phase power hook-ups
  • Interchangeable main deck space
  • Freshwater and saltwater hoses

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Laboratory Space

ROV controls set up on countertop in R/V MANTA dry lab.
The dry lab has ample space for ROV controls and other equipment, with convenient cable access ports to the outside deck

  • HAZMAT storage locker, double stainless steel sinks (freshwater, saltwater) in wet lab
  • Acid-use-only sink (fume hood install in future)
  • Freezer and deep freeze
  • Entertainment rack system in dry lab (AV receiver, DVD player, speakers)
  • Uni-strut tie-down system

Grad student prepping a sample to view under a microscope
Tie-downs can be used to secure a variety of lab equipment

  • LCI-90 readout (payout speed and distance)
  • Trawl winch remote controller
  • Closed circuit TV with controller (4 cameras)
  • UPS power, 120V clean power

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Scientific Computer System

A series of interconnected valves, pipes and sensors mounted on a wall
The water board holds the thermosalinigraph and fluorometers, as well as a freshwater flushing reservoir

  • Installed in partnership with Texas A&M University
  • Multi-faceted sea water flow-through system with two computers dedicated to logging data from the following sensors/systems:
    • Furuno NavNet: GPS data, depth, sea temperature
    • Furuno SC30 Satellite Compass: GPS data, true heading, vessel heave/roll/pitch
    • Furuno GP32: GPS data
    • SeaBird Thermosalinograph: sea temperature, conductivity, salinity, sound velocity
    • WetLabs ECO Triplet Fluorometers: chlorophyll-a, CDOM, turbidity, backscatter
    • RM Young Meteorological Translator: wind speed, wind direction, air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, light intensity
    • Winch Display: line payout, payout rate, line tension
    • Metered A-Frame Block Display: line payout, payout rate
  • Data can be viewed real time and/or saved and extracted later
  • Three custom displays at separate locations throughout the vessel
  • Data from the SCS system is available online through the GCOOS website.

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Dive Amenities

  • Bauer 200 B-Trox nitrox membrane dive compressor (12 cfm) with 4-bottle cascade storage
  • Nitrox fill panel with O2 analyzer and 4 fill whips
  • Dive master station and extra tank racks
  • (2) 6-person dive benches with tank holders, folding tables, hanging racks

Dive benches on the main deck of R/V MANTA
Dive benches provide adequate room for
12 divers...

Dive gear lined up on R/V MANTA dive bench
...and all their gear

  • (2) 6'x8' dive platforms with 6' dive ladders

Stern of R/V MANTA as seen by diver in the water.
Two dive platforms with 6-foot dive ladders help
divers get back on board

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  • Freshwater rinse showers on transom and main deck

Diver using a shower rinse on the dive platform
Each dive platform has a freshwater shower for rinsing

  • Emergency oxygen and regulator

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Network and Computers

  • Cat 5 network drops throughout vessel, R232 drops in select locations (not wired)

Bridge Electronics

Captain at the helm of R/V MANTA
Captain Darrell at the helm of R/V MANTA

  • Furuno Navnet Plotters (Gulf of Mexico electronic charts)
  • Furuno radars and AIS

Furuno navigational display
Furuno Navnet display aboard R/V MANTA

  • (4) Steering stands--center console, starboard bridge, starboard bridge wing, aft control station

Captain at aft controls on top deck of R/V MANTA
Captain Mike operating the vessel from the aft steering station where he can see what is taking place on the back deck

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Captain standing at the starboard wing steering station to dock the boat.
Captain Darrell using the starboard bridge wing steering station as he docks the vessel in Galveston

  • Furuno autopilot
  • (2) ICOM VHF marine-band ship radios
  • (10) Hand-held VHF radios
  • Iridium 9505 satellite phone
  • Intercom system with 10 stations, talk-back capable loudhailers (exterior)
  • Internal phone system
  • Closed circuit TV (4 cameras)

Engine Machinery

  • Northern Lights Generators, 65kw
  • Caterpillar C32 Acert Main Engines, 3200 hp available
  • Propelled by Hamilton H571 Waterjets

Tank Capacity

  • Water storage of 500 gallons
  • Water maker up to 800 gallons per day
  • MSD Type II sewage treatment system (Headhunter) with 400 gallons storage
  • Food storage for 5 days

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Living Spaces

  • Sleeping quarters (lockers & hooks in all rooms)
    • Main Deck: one 4-person and two 2-person rooms
    • Below Deck: two 3-person rooms
  • Two interior heads with showers
  • One outside head
  • One outside shower
  • Mess seats 14 people with LCD TV backdrop

Students sitting around tables in mess area
The dry lab is open to the mess allowing for open
communication between the two areas.

  • Galley with stove, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, and ice maker
  • Gear storage on main deck under dive benches, in labs, and outside of bridge


Both of R/V MANTA's engine rooms are equipped with a fixed fire-fighting system, which can be activated from a remote location in the event of a fire. These fixed systems eliminate the need for crew members to enter the engine room during a fire.

Fire hose coiled up in a cabinet
One of three fire stations on board. Image: FGBNMS/Park

R/V MANTA is also equipped with three fire stations which are supplied by a fire pump run by the starboard main engine. These three 50' hoses can provide water to extinguish fires at any location on the boat. Drills are conducted regularly to ensure crew members know what to do in the event a fire does occur while underway.

Download R/V MANTA Vessel Specifications (229kb pdf)

Download Line Drawing of R/V MANTA (395kb pdf)

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Additional information about R/V MANTA is available from the following pages:

Research Vessel page

weather report observations cool stuff get wet

Small, knobby corals in foreground; boulder of brain coral in background.  Long, fingery branches of purple sponge anchored in knobby corals and standing upright.
National Marine Sanctuary logo - a stylized whale tail above waves