Welcome to the RV James Kirby

Research Vessel James Kirby Welcome to the RV James Kirby

James Kirby - News

The RV James Kirby is a steel hulled research vessel, owned and operated by The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, at James Cook University, Townsville.

The all welded hull vessel has an overall length of 19.57m, with a cruise speed of 9 knots. The RV James Kirby operates in waters along the Great Barrier Reef, Torres Strait, Gulf of Carpentaria and the South Eastern coast of Papua New Guinea.

The James Kirby can be hired for day, overnight and long term contract research at competitive rates and is fully equipped to comfortably accommodate 6 passenger, long term and 14 passengers for day trips.

The RV James Kirby has a range of marine geophysical, bottom sampling and dive support equipment. This makes the vessel ideally suited for:

Scientific Research

Seabed Mapping

Vibra-core and sediment sampling


Teaching in a marine environment

Dive platform

James Kirby

General Vessel Details

The RV James Kirby was built based on a prawn trawler design with the main working deck aft. The deck area is large and clear of obstructions. The wheelhouse, above the deckhouse, is compact, well equipped and has excellent all round vision. The deckhouse comprises a galley and mess room forward with a dry laboratory aft. In addition, there is a stainless steel bench and sink at the forward end of the aft deck for wet work. It has a storage area is below the laboratory and a water tight hold in the aft deck. There is sleeping accommodation for eight persons - six scientists and two crew - for overnight trips. For day trips the vessel can carry fourteen passengers and two crew. All of the internal areas are air conditioned.