Pelorus is a purpose-built hydrographic survey launch, which has been fitted out for, and is capable of operating in, cold climates such as the Antarctic. It can be carried and launched from NIWA’s Research Vessel Tangaroa.

More information about RV Tangaroa

Specifications and principal features

Name RV Pelorus
Call Sign ZM 9555
Safety Management M&I Safe Ship Management as an Inshore Limits vessel.
Year of Construction 1977 (fully refitted 2000)
Length 10.5 metres
Beam 3 metres
Draft 1 metre
Gross tonnage 8.5 tonne
Engines Twin Ford 2725E diesels (90bhp each)
Cruising speed 14 knots
Construction Aluminium alloy monohull
Power Generation DC/AC Invertor /Charger 1.2 kva output Lambourdini AC Diesel Generator set 8kva

Electronic equipment

Echo sounder Furuno
Radar Furuno 24 Nm Radar
GPS Plotter Furuno

Communication facilities

Cell Phone 027 457 4424
(within range of Telecom NZ network)
Marine Radio Coden SSB
Sailor VHF

Additional equipment (mobilised as required)

Hydrographic systems Odom Echotrac 24 / 210 kHz. echo sounder
Multi beam system
Survey navigation systems HydroPro
Motion compensation TSS DMS / POS MV
Sub bottom profiler system 3.5 kHz, ORE sub-bottom profiler, Model 140,
Sound velocity calibration Digibar DB-1100, AML Svplus, XBT’s
Seabed sampling Grab sampler

The above specifications for Pelorus are correct at the date of publication. However electronics and other capabilities are being upgraded or changed continually.


Pelorus on Tangaroa deck in ice. [NIWA]