• 04

Science deck on RSV Nuyina

It may not sound like cutting-edge science, but a large aft deck, with a matrix of attachment points, good winches and lifting equipment, and a range of power supplies and water, are key to enabling a wide range of science.

The large A-frame, winches and lifting equipment at the stern of Nuyina are used to deploy fishing nets and dredges, robotic vehicles, mooring systems, cameras and sediment corers.

The aft deck also supports fourteen 20-foot containers and six 10-foot containers, which can be positioned by overhead cranes. These containers house specialised scientific equipment, with eight of the containers having connections for containerised laboratories of the future.

The heavy lifting equipment can lift and move items up to 10 tonnes around the deck and over the stern, and pull over 30 tonnes when extracting sediment cores from the bottom of the ocean. The different attachment points on the deck mean that scientists can install their own specialised winches and other large equipment onboard, and safely secure items when not being used.

The facilities offered on the aft deck allow:

  • Scientists studying trace metals in the ocean, such as iron, to have access to the clean water they need (free from trace metal contamination associated with the ship and instruments).
  • Krill researchers to fill tanks housed in aquarium containers with seawater cooled to as low as −1.8°C, to keep collected krill in pristine condition.
  • Geoscientists to process samples, store and power specialised equipment.


The telescopic A-frame has 8 m deck clearance when fully extended.

A-frame lifting capacities:

  • Static: 30 T Safe Working Load (SWL)
  • Dynamic: 10 T SWL
  • Luffing capacity: 10 T SWL

Integral winches of A-frame:

  • 40 m x 18 mm steel wire rope; 6.4 T SWL hook/ 6.5 T SWL shackle
  • 40 m x 18 mm steel wire rope; 6.4 T SWL hook/ 6.5 T SWL shackle
  • 40 m x 24 mm steel wire rope; 12.8 T SWL hook/ 12 T SWL shackle/ 30 T SWL wire block


  • Deep sea coring winch: 8,500 m x 25 mm synthetic jacketed rope; 20 T SWL
  • Deep sea towing winch: 8,400 m x 17.35 mm Electro-Optical-Mechanical (EOM) cable; 15 T SWL
  • General purpose winch: 2,000 m x 9 mm synthetic jacketed rope; 3.1 T SWL
  • Net drum: Double/ split type with dividers for sweep lines; 2 x 15 T SWL
  • Trawl winches (x 2): 8,800 m x 22 mm wire; 30 T SWL
  • Tugger winches (x 2): 130 m x 12 mm synthetic rope; 17 T Max Breaking Load
  • Towed body winch: 4,800 m x 13.6 mm EOM cable; 8 T SWL

Side outboard deployment system

The Side Outboard Deployment System (SODS) can be configured in conjunction with the general purpose, tugger, or towed body winch, and consists of towing booms (2.5 T SWL) off port and starboard aft quarters.


The vessel can support 1, 2 and 3 wire trawl operations including surface, mid water, and demersal (benthic) trawling utilising the trawl gallows, twin net drum, tugger winches, trawl warps, deep sea towing and towed body winches and the A-frame.


The Science Deck is serviced by a 10 T SWL multi-purpose overhead crane.

Orange and white machinery on the green deck of a ship. Behind the ship is a pale blue wake.
RSV Nuyina's 30 tonne capable A-frame. Photo: Pete Harmsen
This content was last updated 2 years ago on .