RV Fay Slover

158 9-2-14 RV Fay Slover crp 200dpi 8x4 6

RV Fay Slover, a 55-ft. LOA, 17-ft. beam, 5 ft. draft, all-aluminum research vessel, at Old Dominion University. RV Fay Slover, named for a famous sea-lover and benefactor of the University, is a fast, stable platform operating in the Chesapeake Bay, estuaries, and for coastal research providing rapid sampling for physical, biological, chemical, and geological oceanographic projects and water quality. SLOVER's capabilities and versatility allow for exploration, hydrography, meteorological monitoring (including air quality) and instrumentation deployment.

Standard parameters that are routinely recorded underway are DGPS navigation, conductivity and salinity, temperature, fluorescence, light transmission, air temperature, relative humidity, wind vectors and depth. In addition, SLOVER is equipped with an instrumentation well that accommodates a 600 kHz ADCP to measure top-to-bottom current structure underway.

On-station sampling is accomplished with a 12-bottle rosette equipped with a CTD and sensors to measure dissolved oxygen, fluorescence, light transmission, and pH. The R/V Fay Slover is a day boat, which can sail up to 12 hours per day. She docks at marinas with nearby motel and dining facilities for overnight accommodations on multi-day trips.

R/V Fay Slover is Coast Guard inspected as a "T-boat," passenger vessel for hire, 100 Gross Tons or less. USCG also recognizes that Old Dominion University has designated Fay Slover as an "oceanographic research vessel", and as such conforms to certain additional specific Coast Guard requirements, assuring a high standard of condition and performance.

Rates for ODU and ODURF Request

Hourly Rate ($) $200 plus fuel costs at pump
Minimum Time 4 hours
Comment Weather down-days $1000/day when away from home port

Rates for Outside Users

Hourly Rate ($) $400 plus fuel costs at pump
Minimum Time 4 hours
Comment Weather down-days $1000/day when away from home port


Expenses incurred by the vessel's crew while away from home port will be added to the overall cost of the cruise. These charges include but are not limited to the following:

  • Dockage fees
  • Lodging (not to exceed governmental per diem rate for locality)
  • Meals (not to exceed governmental per diem rate for locality)
  • Vehicle rental

A cancellation fee of $750 per day will be charged, if the user cancels a scheduled cruise with less than two weeks notice.

Payments are to be arranged with the OES Departmental Staff, Patrick Curry, and may involve transfer of Old Dominion University Research Foundation account funds, procurement cards, purchase orders, or other means.

Payment methods can be any of the following:

  • Direct transfer from Old Dominion University Research Foundation accounts to the vessel account
  • By procurement card
  • Approved business checks or purchase orders

Physical Characteristics

LOA 55 Feet
Beam 17 Feet, 7 Inches
Draft 5 Feet
Cruising Speed 15 knots
Maximum Speed 18 knots
Fuel 2000 Gal
Non potable water 150 Gal


Engines Twin electronic 700 hp 3406E Caterpillar diesels Generator 32 kW Northern Lights GenSet


GPS 1 Furuno BB DGPS (integrated into Furuno Navnet) GPS 2 Furuno GP-36 DGPS Fathometer Furuno BB FFI Sounder 600W 50/200kHz (Navnet integrated) Compass Furuno PG-1000 Fluxgate Autopilot Simrad/Robertson AP20 w/remote Radar 1 Furuno 6kW (Navnet integrated) Radar 2 Nobeltec Electronic Charts Navionics charts, The Cap'n, ENCs, Nobeltec

VHF Radio

2 standard-spectrum marine VHF's SSB Radio 1 Icom IC-M700 A.I.S. ComWav Voyager x3 class A Anemometer young wind tracker

Deck Gear

A-Frame and Oceanographic Winch Markey, 7-conductor slip rings, 600 m of 1500 lb capacity conductor cable Trawl/Coring Winch

InterOcean Systems, electric, 1500 lb. line pull, 250 meters of 3000 lb load, 1/4" Plasmabraid Kevlar line

Meter Wheel BOT Brooke Ocean

Science Gear

Lab Space 25 sq. feet of wet/dry/electronics lab CTD SBE 25 CTD w/fluorometer, transmissometer, dissolved oxygen, pH Rosette Sampler SBE 32 Mini-rosette with 12 x 5-liter OTE Go-Flo bottles. SBE 33 Deck Unit Seawater System Flow-through seawater system with SBE 45 Thermosalinograph and Wetlabs Fluorometer ADCP 600 kHz RDI ADCP well-mounted, interchangeable Weather Station RM Young anemometer, temp, RH, Photosynthetically logging to Campbell Scientific CR-10X datalogger, and meterological station Acoustic Release Benthos 866A Continental Shelf acoustic release w/DS-8000 deck command unit 1 Deck Freezer 7.5 cu. ft.

Other Notable Features

  • A 25 square foot wet/dry lab with 32 kW of clean, UPS-backed power is available for sample processing or electronic monitoring, remote control operations, or data recording.
  • Deck tackle includes Bruce and Danforth anchors, an A-frame aft, oceanographic winch with 8 -conductor slip rings and a 1/4", 7-conductor cable.
  • Complete lab electronic chart system providing electronic navigation and tracking. The pilothouse system, which has integrated radar, is independent from the lab.
  • WiFi available in port with Hot-spot underway.
  • Satellite TV
  • 4 Channel Camera System

    R/V Fay Slover is a 55' LOA, 17' 7'' beam, all-aluminum research vessel, fully equipped, technologically advanced, and brings a new oceanographic research capability to the Hampton Roads region. Built in 2002 at Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding in Somerset, MA, Fay Slover is designed to conduct estuarine and coastal research with 15 knot speed, capable of conducting sophisticated oceanographic research anywhere in the Chesapeake Bay or near coastal.

    Day cruises usually are most comfortably accommodated with a scientific complement of 8 or less, however, some short student cruises can accommodate up to 27 passengers. (A 3rd crew member is required for over 14 passengers.)

    The main galley has a settee with table, toilet facilities, and wet and dry lab space. One corner of the lab space is devoted to electronics and the underway recording system. Scientific personnel are welcome on deck and in the lab area. The pilothouse is available to visitors, as permitted by the Captain, when not in maneuvers or on station.

    The vessel is operated through the auspices of the Department of Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences. The onboard crew consists of a master (captain) and a mate, both licensed with the USCG. Support personnel are the Oceanographic Equipment Specialist and Marine Technician/Deckhand.


    By law, the captain of the vessel has the final responsibility for the safety and sanitation of the vessel and all persons aboard. Because of this he is also given the final responsibility over all operations and personnel, both crew and scientists, aboard. He or she may terminate an operation that he or she considers a hazard to the vessel, the vessel's equipment or embarked personnel. Though the captain's authority is absolute, he or she and the crew are there to assist in carrying out the scientific work.

    Chief Scientist

    One member of the science party will be designated as the chief scientist for each cruise and will be responsible for the coordination of the entire scientific mission of the cruise. This includes pre-cruise planning and post-cruise follow up, supervising the scientific party onboard in maters of compliance with vesselboard policies, safety, personnel, and exchange of information with the captain. When at sea, the chief scientist will consult with the captain regarding the progress of the scientific work, changes in the operational plan, assistance or any other action required to aid in the success of the scientific mission. The chief scientist will work with the captain to coordinate the activities of the marine technician. The chief scientist will review the general vesselboard safety requirements. He or she will be responsible for all hazardous materials and chemicals that the science party brings aboard the vessel, and will notify the captain in advance of plans to bring such materials and chemicals aboard.

    The chief scientist will develop the cruise plan that includes the equipment required, personnel to be involved, schedule, and station locations. He or she will discuss the operations with the captain and crew. The captain and chief scientist will jointly consider decisions affecting the safety and science. In general, they will choose a course of action together. In those situations where they do not agree, the captain's decision will take precedence. Vessel time is valuable, and it is an important part of the job to see that the allotted time is used efficiently.

    She or he will provide the captain with a scientific crew list (with emergency contact numbers, if possible) 48 hours prior to noon of the day before sailing. This will also provide NOAA Base Security the opportunity for review (see Home Port, below).

    The chief scientist will make sure that science personnel NEVER put any gear over the side without first consulting the bridge. Lab space on most cruises is cramped. The chief scientist will keep clean assigned space clean and not spread out into the crew space. He or she will keep equipment secured to the bench or deck at all times in case of unexpected foul weather or abrupt vessel maneuvers.

    Source: UNOLS

    Cobb's Marina 4524 Dunning Rd, Norfolk, VA 23518

    Parking at the Marine is limited, and carpooling is strongly encouraged.

    Requests for cruise time aboard Fay Slover begin with either direct submission of the following R/V Fay Slover Vessel Time Request and Float Plan form available under Vessel Request tab, and cruise(s) will be scheduled, if feasible, as near as possible to the requested date(s). Timely submission of the request is understandably important, and must be submitted no less than one month in advance of the cruise, if possible. Requests submitted on shorter notice will be accommodated as is feasible around previously scheduled cruises and necessary in-port maintenance days. Usually, when there are conflicting cruise requests for the same date(s), mutually agreeable adjustments are made to the satisfaction of all parties, however, as a last resort the final priority goes to the first submitted request. Cancellations are not charged unless ODU has incurred costs in the staging preparations, which are then chargeable to the science project.

    Boat Reservation Calendar:

    Research Vessel Calendar

    Small Boat Calendar

    Project equipment to be brought aboard will be approved by the captain prior to staging for the cruise. The captain will have the final word in the decision to use any specific project equipment.

    On-board project equipment will be maintained by the Oceanographic Equipment Specialist and Marine Technician.

    Staging at NOAA requires the presence of a vessel's crew member. The names of the science party needed on base for that purpose must be submitted ahead of time for base clearance. A NOAA-operated crane is available for loading equipment and gear aboard or ashore if sufficient notice is given.