The Research Boat SESTON

is used by the GEOLAB team for surveys in shallow nearshore areas of the North and the Baltic Sea. The SESTON is a modified ARVOR 25 GRP sport fishing vessel.

Forschungsboot SESTON
© K. Ricklefs

Length over all: 8.2 m; Beam: 2.92 m; Draft: 0.85 m
Engine: 220 hp 4.2 l 6 cylinder Mercruiser Diesel with ZF "trolling valve" gearbox , shaft propulsion with five blade propeller
Service speed 15 kn, max. speed 25 kn
CE category B
call sign: DBIM
MMSI: 211510670

For the usage as a mobile research platform the boat is equipped with:

Nautic:
Lowrance HDS 10 plotter; Lowrance HDS 8 plotter; Lowrance Broadband Generation 3 radar
Hemisphere DGPS Sat Compass: Magnetic compass
Garmin ClassB AIS transponder
Garmin Fishfinder 250C
Garmin GPS 152
Simrad autopilot
Lowrance DSC VHF telephone

Science:
LEICA RTK GNSS
Lowrance LBS-1 Sonar Broadband Sounder with Airmar M260 50/200 kHz high performance Transducer
Two build-in 12 V WINDOWS computer with 17'' monitors

Network:
Almost all nautical instruments as well as the ship computers are connected either via Ethernet, NMEA 2000, or NMEA0183

Comfort:
See toilette; Webasto 2000 air heating system; 80 l fresh water tank

Hull and deck:
Side Power bow thruster; electrohydraulic trim-tabs
over-the-side outrigger with electric windlass (speed 0.5 m/s) or alternatively electric cabstan (capacity 100 kg)
Electric capstan for anchor or towed equipment
lift frame for a dredge
deck washing pump
multipurpose winch at the stern
table for sediment grab
over-the-side mounting poles for side scan sonars, ADCPs and shallow seismic transducers
Dredge 0,7 m wide, mesh size 12 mm
10 kg van Veen sediment grab

Security:
5 automatic life jackets; 6 kg fire-extinguisher; first-aid kit; EPIRB; 4 persons life raft; VHF handheld

In 2010 SESTON was purchased as a used pleasure in Belgium. The boat itself as well as the additional equipment was mainly financed  by soft money. The transformation from a pleasure boat to a research boat was carried out by FTZ staff. Since her commissioning SESTON was successfully used for hydroacoustic measurements (side scan sonar, single bean echo sounder, sediment echo sounder), sampling with sediment grab, dredge or water sampler, ADCP and CTD measurements, observing and catching of wild animals, or also as a fast crew transfer boat. Main area of operation are the tidal flat waters along the German North sea coast between the Elbe estuary in the south and the Danish border in the north. However, surveys have been carried out also in the Elbe estuary as well as in the Baltic Sea. Performance and equipment allow an all-season usage of the boat (ice drift conditions excluded). 

The following video is an attempt to give an impression of how a benthos sampling is performed off SESTON.