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Research Vessel RV Tonn

RV Tonn, Poolbeg Yacht, Boat Club & Marina, March 2015.


The RV Tonn, owned and operated by the Geological Survey of Ireland, is a 7.9m Cheetah Catamaran which has been configured for very shallow water survey operations as part of the INFOMAR program, a joint venture between the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) and the Marine Institute (MI).

The RV Tonn, is named appropriately after the Irish for wave, as it both operates on the waves and uses sound waves to investigate the depth and nature of the seabed. It is a new state of the art vessel, only 8 metres in length, but purpose built to carry out very shallow survey work. It was built by Cheetah Marine over in the Isle of Wight after an open tender process. Their design has also been used to build similar survey boats for the Port of London Authority and the British Geological Survey.

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RV Tonn
Call Sign:
EI-PT-7  (Echo India Papa Tango Seven)
MMSI Number:
Marine Survey Office P6 License
Max passenger and crew:

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Technical Specifications

Builder Cheetah marine
Model 7.9m Cheetah Catamaran
Year 2015
Length (m) 7.9
Beam (m) 2.7
Draft (m) 0.3 or 0.7 with survey equipment deployed
Main Engines Honda 2 x 135 HP (Petrol)
Generator 1 Portable petrol 2.0 kVa
Generator 2 n/a
Shorepower No
Top Speed 30 knots
Cruising Speed 20 knots
Slow Speed 2 knots
Anchors 1 x Grapnel
Dive ladder Yes

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Permanent Vessel Systems


AIS Class B
Radio ICOM model
Handheld VHF ICOM model
Chartplotter Raymarine C80
Echsounder Raymarine fishfinder
GPS Raymarine C80 GPS Chartplotter and Receiver

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Survey Systems

The RV Tonn features Cheetah Marine’s patented Hydropod system which enables high resolution surveying to be carried out at relatively fast speeds of 6 to 10 knots. The system in this case is designed to house the R2Sonic 2022. The system is lowered through a moonpool for surveying and can be raised via a hand winch for longer transits between survey sites with a blanking plate inserted.

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