Research Vessels

Our two vessels, the Plymouth Quest and PML Explorer, support PML’s research and long-term monitoring activities, including the Western Channel Observatory.

The Plymouth Quest is able to operate in coastal and offshore regions and is able to spend up to 5 days at sea. It is equipped with facilities for collecting a wide range of biological, chemical and physical measurements and boasts a suite of underway sensors for autonomous measurements.

  • Length: 21.5m, draught: 3.02m
  • Maritime and Coastguard Agency Category 2 workboat, able to operate up to 60 miles from a safe haven
  • Capacity of 12 passengers plus crew during the day or 6 overnight berths
  • Equipped with trawl and sweeping winches, an A frame, net drum, 10 tonne hydraulic crane and hydraulic stern gate


The PML Explorer, provides a perfect working platform, as well as a 'rapid response' capability to enhance our research in estuarine and coastal waters.

  • Maritime and Coastguard Agency code 3R vessel: Rigid Inflatable Boat, length: 6.8m
  • Seagoing capability of up to 20 miles offshore
  • Carrying capacity of up to 6 personnel
  • Twin 90hp Suzuki engines, with twin fuel tanks for up to 8 hours at sea
  • Navigation system with echosounder
  • 12v power supply for scientific equipment
  • Capability to deploy CTDs and a variety of messenger triggered water bottles


Key contact

Andrew Perkin

Manager/Skipper - ajpe15/01/2021


Related Information


Western Channel Observatory (WCO)

The Western Channel Observatory (WCO) is an oceanographic time-series and marine biodiversity reference site in the Western English Channel. In-situ measurements are undertaken weekly at coastal station L4 and fortnightly at open shelf station E1 using our research vessels ...


Satellite images reveal ocean acidification from space

Pioneering techniques that use satellites to monitor ocean acidification are set to revolutionise the way that marine biologists and climate scientists study the ocean. 


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