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The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's research vessel (R/V) is a resource available to the entire UMassD community. The R/V Lucky Lady is ideal for approved faculty and student research projects as well as other academic activities for half-day or full-day trips to local sites such as Buzzard’s Bay, the Islands, and Cape Cod Bay. The ship's highly qualified crew of two is fully trained and experienced to ensure safe operations. The R/V accommodates up to 14 persons in addition to the ship’s crew.

Usage information and policies

  • For complete information on the usage of the R/V (including costs, policies, and guidelines), please review the Lucky Lady Research Vessel Policies ‌(pdf).
  • Preference will be given to activities that can provide funding to offset the costs of operating the vessel.
  • If funding for vessel use is not available, you may still request to use the vessel and must provide a statement of justification for how the project will benefit research or academic activities in support of institutional goals and mission (e.g., student research, classroom field trips, and unfunded research).

R/V features

The the 52-foot-long, diesel-powered, coastal research vessel offers the following features:

An enclosed cabin that serves as both a wheelhouse and a laboratory

Four bunks below deck, and a hydro-wire mounted on a side davit and operated by a hydraulic winch for sampling and deploying research equipment

A radar, GPS (global positioning system), and a PDR (precision depth recording) device

Flush deck, pilothouse forward with an extended covered area aft of the pilothouse structure for equipment coverage

Classroom use

Ideal for classroom instruction (including to local sites) to examine the coastal regions that have a profound impact on local and regional economy as well as the following:

Underwater vehicle demonstrations for principles of underwater systems

Collecting larval samples as well as invertebrate and vertebrate specimens

Taking students out for half-day field program to give them experience with various instruments (CTD, ADCP, Secchi, water quality, etc.)

Demonstrating fisheries sampling techniques

Integration of class marine analytical methods development with field sample collection, preparation and measurements

Teaching state-of-the-art field methods and to deploy instruments

Observing the dynamics of human interactions/cultural dimensions with marine environments

Capturing photography of the coastline

Examining how the environment is being transformed

Conducting demonstrations of Chemical Oceanography in the field

Research needs

Ideal for your research needs (including the study of the sources, transport, distribution, bioeffects, and fate of environmental pollutants in coastal water) as well as the following: 

Deployment of very high frequency underwater acoustic sources at very low source levels (~150dB rel. micro Pa @1m)

Plankton sampling of local waters, including retrieval of water samples (and at times zooplankton) from the Buzzards Bay

Field work, such as inshore based work using SCUBA or traps

Drifter studies, physical measurements, and AUVs

Field sampling (water and grab sampling and instruments (ADCP) in open water areas

Deployment recovery of ocean gliders and associated CTD surveys

Sample collections for marine bioprospecting (searching for organisms with unique abilities and/or enzymes to perform unique bioconversions)


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