Technical specifications | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

Technical specifications

RV Simon Stevin meets the requirements of the various marine research disciplines and is equipped with standard sampling equipment. The presence of sophisticated technology for current measurements and soil characterisation, a dynamic positioning system and a diesel-electric drive make the ship one of the most modern of its category.

Main characteristics

Maximum speed
Year of construction
Port of registry
Ostend (Belgium)
IMO number
research vessel
7 for day trips; 10 for overnight trips
Up to 12 for day trips; up to 10 for overnight trips
5 days
Working area
Southern Bight of the North Sea and eastern part of the English Channel; 200nm (or approx 370km)


Navigation & Communication

Dynamic positioning NAVIS Finland IVCS (DP0)
Speed log Dopplerlog JRC JLN 205
Echosounder JRC JFE 380/25 @50kHz
Navigational equipment DGPS JRC JLR 7800
ECDIS TRANSAS (electronic nautical chart)
NAVTEX JRC NCR 333 (automatic radiotelex system)
X-band radar 2x JRC JMA 5312-6
Communication ALPHATRON GSM system
VHF radio
SSB radio 200nm


Drive unit

Diesel generator set 3x STAMFORD HCM 534F2 600 kVA 477 ekW
3x SCANIA DI 1655 M diesel engines 550bkW @ 1800rpm 1.95 litres per cylinder
Propulsion 2x IDAR ACP-500-S electrical propulsion motors 520bkW @ 350rpm
Fuel Marine diesel EN590
Bow thruster 1x HRP 200bkW



Double cabins 9 (5 for scientists, 4 for crew)
Single cabins 2 (1 for the captain, 1 for the chief engineer)
Mess / meeting room Up to 20 persons


Scientific facilities

Wet lab 16m²
Dry lab 12m²
Computer lab Up to 6 persons


Working deck equipment

•  stern A-frame (lifting capacity: 6 tonnes, lifting height:5m);
•  two main winches, 6 tonnes of traction each;
•  hydraulic deck crane for (dis)embarking loads (minimum lifting capacity: 3.8 tonnes in the harbour);
•  space + fittings for standard 10 & 20 feet containers;
•  telescopic arm on starboard side for handling oceanographic measuring equipment;
•  A-frame on starboard side for small bottom and water quality samples (lifting capacity: 1 tonne, lifting height: 3m).

Survey equipment

Sonar technology multibeam echosounder for soil characterisation (Kongsberg EM2040 200kHz & 400kHz);
singlebeam echosounder for depth measurement
(Teledyne odom echotrac CV-300);
acoustic current meter and ADCP speed log
(Teledyne workhorse mariner 600kHz).
ROV Genesis unmanned underwater vehicle;
Cherokee ROV (IXSea GAPS system).
Sediment sampling Van Veen grab, Reineck boxcorer, Multicorer, Vibrocorer, etc.
Water sampling NISKIN bottles, GO-FLO bottles, etc.;
CTD (Seabird 19plusV2) with multiple sensors;
water sampler carrousel (6 bottles of 4 litres) (Seabird 55 ECO);
thermosalinograph (Seabird 21) and fluorimeter (CHELSEA Minitracka III).
Plankton sampling Flow cytometer, FrrF, Flow Cam, Video Plankton Recorder, several types of plankton nets, etc;
Fishing beam trawl, otter trawl, net drum winch, MIK net, etc.
Meteo meteo system on bow mast.
IT system 'Marine Information and Data Acquisition System' MIDAS;
2 Vmware servers.

A detailed list of sampling equipment, made available by VLIZ, can be found on the equipment webpage.

Lab equipment

•  MILLIPORE water filtration installation;
•  vacuum filtration set;
•  heating oven;
•  fume hood;
•  compressed air pipe;
•  cold store (5m³);
•  sorting tables.

Other features

•  dynamic positioning system DPO;
•  silent ship in accordance with the ICES 209 standard;
•  possibility to perform scientific dives;
•  crow’s nest (on top deck) for surveying seabirds and marine mammals.

Eco programme

•  low-sulphur fuel (EN590);
•  'engine international air pollution prevention certificate' in accordance with IMO;
•  energy recycling on main engines to heat the vessel;
•  anti-fouling system in accordance with IMO 'International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships', use of a 'three pack fluoropolymer foul release coating' and an active cathode anti-fouling system.