Research and Work Charters

The Zephyr is available for Research Vessel and Work Charters on the Pacific Coast

Zephyr was originally a San Francisco Bar Pilot Vessel and is built to then current ABS standards for all oceans. In 2001 she was acquired by Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and converted to a full on oceanic research vessel. Since 2013 when we purchased Zephyr from MBARI, we have made a few modifications ourselves, mostly in the comfort area for guests and passengers, so she may be the most comfortable work boat around. We did remove the Brooke Ocean J frame crane from the aft deck, since its use was very limited and it was taking up considerable aft deck space, but we still have the Morgan Marine 31 Sea Crane which provides loading capabilities and over the side work, such as sounders, hydrophones and the like. For 10 years Zephyr was the go-to boat for MBARI and she has many open ocean days supporting ocean research from Baja Mexico up to B.C. Canada.

For jobs that require it, we are able to weld and mount new equipment for temporary use, the aft deck has multiple engineered 3/4" threaded mount points for padeyes and tie downs as well as plenty of welded stainless steel 1.5" diameter hand rails for tiedown of vertical equipment.

The Zephyr is a very capable boat with multiple expeditions under her waterline, including Baja Mexico, off shore Vancouver Island BC, and other Pacific locations. Currently based in Astoria, Oregon and summering with passenger charters in the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound, we can re-position as needs be pretty much anywhere.

In June of 2017 Zephyr volunteered as a communications relay and safety vessel for a segment of the Race to Alaska, a 750 mile human and wind powered race from Port Townsend to Ketchikan AK. We provided VHF radio links from Port Townsend to Victoria BC while positioned in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and stood by for emergency operations if needed with our 21' RIB.

In December of 2016 Zephyr completed a 31 day charter for the US Navy Comsubpac serving as a safety and range clearance vessel for the nuclear powered attack submarine USS Connecticut which was performing sea trials after a lengthy service interval. Zephyr's duties included maintaining a 24/7 surface watch for any vessels in the area via RADAR, AIS and visual means, communicating by VHF radio to warn them away from the established security zone. Maintaining underwater comms with the sub, exchanging positions, providing positions on the surface vessels in the area to the sub,and maintaining a continuous record of the subs position for emergency use.

In April of 2017 Zephyr mobilized from Port Angeles, WA to San Diego, CA for a 30 day research charter for DARPA working on the POSYDON undersea acoustic positioning research project. Operating as far as 500 miles offshore during this support project, Zephyr and crew were instrumental in accomplishing 100% of the project's necessary data acquisition to move forward into Phase II of the development.

June, 2017, Zephyr was again chosen to provide escort and safety services for the US Navy during sea trials for the 560' nuclear powered missile submarine the USS Nebraska. Similar to the escort for the USS Connecticut, Zephyr and crew provided bunks and board for 2 naval officers and a tech rep, while keeping the sea surface clear of vessel traffic and maintaining position and communications with the submarine on a 24 hour per day watch.

We pride ourselves on maintaining a clean, odor free, well maintained ship. Comfort for your science team is a priority from our well equipped galley and cook who can custom tailor meals to individual dietary requirements, to our quiet and darkened accommodation area with split bunk room and available curtains for privacy needs of co-ed teams, to real mattresses and memory foam toppers with individual mattress heater pads on every bunk. Your science team will be warm, well fed and rested and ready to get the job done. Our crew's "can-do" attitude will have you requesting our ship for your next deployment. Stainless steel safety railings encircle the deck providing a barrier to personnel falling overboard. We are not a commercial fishing vessel masquerading or moonlighting as a research vessel. Nor do we smell like one. Zephyr is a completely non-smoking vessel.

Our crew are all participants in a random drug testing program and we do not allow alcohol aboard during work charters.

Vessel tours are available on request.

Our clients:


Riptide AS

Maris Inc

Draper Laboratories


Oregon State Marine Board

We would be pleased to chat with you concerning your needs for an expedition, charter or research vessel on the Pacific waters.

Max # of Personnel = 8

Bunks = 8

Heads, 2 for Personnel, 1 for crew.

Crew Complement = 2-4

Fully equipped galley, 21CF refrigerator and 4CF chest freezer, stove, oven, BBQ

Cruising Speed (knots) = 10

Maximum Speed (knots) = 12

Endurance (days) = 12

Fuel capacity ~3250 gallons #2 Diesel

Gasoline storage for skiff, 50 gallons

1,000 gallons fresh water capacity

400 gallon black water tank

Range (nautical mi.) = 2500

Wetlab Area (sq feet) = 0 indoors (can be setup outdoors or tarped in)

Drylab Area (sq feet) = 100

Length =79.4' waterline 86' overall

Beam = 23.5'

Draft = 8'

Tonnage = 119T registered 122T actual displacement

Light Duty 250# max boom off of mast

Morgan Sea Crane 31 capacity 3,675# max close in, 1,365# extended max 15' 8"

Light duty tow cleat, 10,000# max towing, 600 feet of Samson quik splice 1/2" tow line.

300# Navy style anchor with 100' of 3/4" galvanized chain and 500' additional 3/4" galvanized wire rope on hydraulic drum winch

2000 PSI hydraulic system with available ports and valving

600 gallon per day reverse osmosis watermaking system

SOLAS Rated 16 passenger liferaft

All USCG required safety equipment including flares, liferings, PFD's etc.

8 Immersion suits.

Navigational lights and dayshapes configureable for Pilot, Towing, RAM, anchor etc.

21' US Marine diesel inflatable RIB with AIS, VHF, Plotter and depth sounder (inshore use only) towed behind.

15.5' Zodiac Bombard Explorer WB 50HP Yamaha outboard Inflatable RIB with Plotter, depth sounder, and VHF. Can be blocked up on deck or towed. (inshore use only)

Flag USA


Twin Caterpillar D343T with Twin Disc M514C transmissions
Twin Northern Lights 40KW 3 phase generators 120/208V Prime movers for hydraulics
3PH Main Panel Split for up to 80KW electrical use.
Northern Lights 12KW 3 phase generator for at anchor use.
Diesel or electric heat throughout
Flexible power distribution and shore power configuration
120V outlets throughout, 208V available.
2-8D gen start batteries, 2-8D 12Volt house batteries
8- AGM Telecom batteries 400AH at 24V for inverters.
12 and 24 Volt DC available for equipment

Electronics aboard:

2- Icom 25 Watt marine VHF radios
1- Icom 55 watt Multi-band VHF/UHF transceiver Aircraft or Marine frequencies as necessary
5- Handheld VHF portable marine band radios.
1- Sea 330 HF marine transceiver
1- AIS Class A Furuno FA-150
2- Furuno RADAR
1- Hailer with Fog signals
1- Furuno SC50 Satelite compass
1- Gyrotrac heading compass
1- Airmar WX220 ultrasonic wind sensor with 3 axis stabilization and backup heading sensor
1- Robertson AP9 Autopilot with remote
1- Furuno Echosounder/chartplotter
2- Lenovo PC's in pilothouse for ships navigation and systems displays.
Rose Point Coastal Explorer Navigation software suite installed on 2 ships PC's
All automatically updated navigational raster and vector charts via NOAA download
1- Ritchie Ships Compass, corrected with Deviation table.
Maretron N2K View on dedicated PC and touchscreen monitoring critical vessel systems.
NMEA 2000 and 0183 Network for navigational data
Ethernet Network for through boat communications
Verizon wireless 4G Cellular phone and data
Wave Wifi receiver for near shore use
Iridium Pilot Sat phone with internet capability
Inmarsat handheld Sat phone

Please enjoy the slideshow of our latest work charter with DARPA off San Diego, CA in April 2017