R/V Yellowfin

The R/V Yellowfin is often used for university and college marine science field trips and research cruises. To view possible cruise stations and learn more about the instruments that are available for use, please visit R/V Yellowfin Cruises. If you are a professor hoping to plan a cruise for your students, please also see the Planning Your Trip page.



  • Length 76 feet
  • Beam 24 feet
  • Draft 7 feet
  • Cruising Speed 10 knots
  • Normal Range 2000 NM
  • Gross Tonnage 109
  • Fuel Capacity 4600 gallons
  • Endurance 8 – 10 Days
  • Compliment 3 – 5 crew
  • Student/Scientist 40 day/8 night
  • Freezer For sample storage
  • Engines Twin 405 HP (QSL9 Cummins) 720S.H.P.
  • Water Makes 600 gallons/day. 360 gallon storage.


The YELLOWFIN was built as a longline and bait boat and was modified for oceanographic research by the Ocean Studies Institute in 1987 . This vessel is all aluminum, transom stern, twin diesel with a semiplaning hull. The main deck has a galley and dining with seating for ten, a wet lab with computer, captain’s quarters, and deck access head. Below deck there is one head and two staterooms, with showers supplying berthing for ten crew and scientists. Aft there are two ten ton insulated holds that provide additional storage space for live animal transport, ice/gen storage as needed.

Winches and Lifting Equipment:

  • HYDROGRAPHIC WINCH starboard midship with 1,500 meters 5/16″ wire rope; lift capacity 500 lbs at mid drum. One additional spool of 330 meters of 8 conductor 3/8″ electromechanical cable.
  • ARTICULATING CRANE starboard mid ship; maximum lifting capacity 1,000 lbs.
  • MAIN DRAG WINCH aft on main deck with 5,000 meters of 7/16″ torque balanced galvanized wire rope; lift capacity of 5,000 lbs at mid drum.
  • STERN ‘A’ FRAME maximum lifting capacity 2,500 lbs.

Electrical Power:

  • Two 120/240 – VAC – 50 KW
  • 12 VDC

Navigational and Communication:

  • Cellular Phone
  • 2 VHF Transceivers
  • 1 – SSB Transceiver
  • Furuno Fathometer, 2,000 meters
  • Trimble GPS
  • Northstar 951X DGPS
  • Raytheon 64 mile plotting radar
  • R41 Raster Scan 32 mile radar
  • Wood Freemen Autopilot
  • Navtac XL / Echo XL
  • Furuno Color Sounder

Other Equipment:

  • 12 ft Avon inflatable with 15 h.p. outboard
  • 17 ft Boston Whaler with 90 h.p. outboard
  • Flow through sorting table
  • Extensive list of portable scientific equipment is also available

USCG Documentation Number:

Call Sign:

EMERGENCY Cell Phone Number:
(310) 560-9917
Do not call unless it is a real emergency. If you are not sure if you should call this number, contact the SCMI office at (310)519-3172