Aegean Explorer is an oceanographic 22 meters vessel, it is equipped with an array of important scientific tools, including a multibeam sonar, structure scanner, biomass scanner, ROV, robotic camera system that can reach 300m depth, a self-contained camera system with lights that can reach depths >1500m, electronic samplers, as well as sediment and water samplers that can reach depths >2000m. It has a special crane that can facilitate the use of tools at depths exceeding 2000m. It has a modern laboratory for the analysis of water quality (drinking and seawater), capable of analyzing> 100 chemical parameters, as well as for microbiological analysis. It also has a lab for microplate pollution analysis, as well as sensors for recording oceanographic parameters that can transfer data online in real time.
Type: Motor boat Water capacity: 2.5 tonnes
Overall length: 22 metres Fuel capacity: 4 tonnes
Engine: 2* Caterpillar 350HP Crew capacity: 25 people
Generators: 2 Generators of 22 kVA and 6 kVA respectively
For the marine mammal research Archipelagos use the sailing-research boat “Naftilos”. It is a one of a kind Atlantic sailing boat of 50 feet long. It has 2 masts and its engine is 90hp. It is a special construction that enables long distance surveys in the open sea. It has a double hull with 26 isolated compartments, while its large storage capacity for fuel and water, allows Naftilos to travel for many days, covering large distances for data collection at a low cost, without requiring frequent stops for refuelling and water supply. The cabins can accommodate 8 people.
On the stern of the boat, there are 2 seats at 5m from water level for marine mammal observation. Naftilos is equipped with a Towed Hydrophone Array System.
Type: Sailing boat Water capacity: 1 tonnes
Overall length: 50 feet Fuel capacity: 1 tonnes
Engine: 90 hp Toyota Passenger capacity: 8 people
Archipelagos’ oldest boat, Pinelopi has been supporting our oceanographic research and marine conservation actions since 1999. After several years in the dry dock, all repair works are finally completed at Pinelopi and she again back in action in 2019. She is a traditional vessel of “schooner”type and is a copy of a famous sailing boat from 1811, with 2 masts, 16m length and 5m width. She is built with 10mm steel in order to withstand the harshest of weather conditions.
Builder: Perama, Athens 1979
Type: Traditional, steel dual-mast sailing boat
Overall Length: 16m
Engine: Ford Fumoko 140 hp
Passenger Capacity: 14 persons
Archipelagos’ research vessel, Okeanos, is a 12m Bertram motorboat. It supports several Archipelagos projects, including the mapping of seagrass meadows and coralligene reefs, as well as the assessment of fish biomass, through the use of a multibeam sonar, a biomass scanner, a structure scanner and an ROV. It is also used for monitoring IUU fisheries practices. The boat is fully equipped with all navigation, safety and communication requirements (including 1 generator Onan 6.5 kWA, radar, GPS, plotter, autopilot).
Overall Length: 12m
Engine: 2* Iveco 335 hp
Passenger Capacity: 12 persons
The speedboat, Asterias, is used to support various surveys of Archipelagos' research teams. It can quickly access sampling sites on islands and islets, as well as transport team members participating in different conservation actions.
Overall Length: 7.20 m
Engine: 150 hp
Archipelagos also uses a small fleet of 8 kayaks to support coastal research. Kayaks are considered to be an ideal, eco-friendly means of researching coastal habitats, while the great clarity of the Aegean waters (down to 40m down) makes it possible to survey extensive depths. The kayaks are flexible and leave zero carbon footprint, cause no environmental impact and do not produce any noise pollution.
One of the main applications of kayaks is monitoring and mapping the seagrass meadows, using a small structure scanner unit combined with an underwater camera. During parallel surveys structure scanner readings can be shared via wi-fi on tablets on other kayaks.
Kayak-based surveys are also used for sampling surface waters to study zooplankton and microplastics, monitoring seabirds and, with some luck, even marine mammals!