R/V Kirby-Smith 

R/V Kirby-Smith is a 28’ Carolina Skiff with a capacity of 18 passengers that may be employed as either an Inspected Passenger Vessel or an Oceanographic Research Vessel.  When employed as an Inspected Passenger Vessel the Kirby-Smith may carry passengers for any purpose and must be operated by a USCG Licensed Master.  When employed as an Oceanographic Research Vessel, the Kirby-Smith must be engaged solely in research or educational activities and may be operated by faculty or graduate students.  The Kirby-Smith only operates upon inshore waters and is well suited to exploring shallow water and marsh environments.

R/V Richard T. Barber

R/V Richard T. Barber may be chartered and operated by Duke faculty, faculty from other academic institutions and graduate students conducting faculty sponsored research. Funds are available to NSF Principal Investigators to cover vessel operating costs when the vessel will be employed in research related to funded NSF programs. Funds are also available for purchase of general oceanographic equipment to support NSF research. Investigators who wish to include the R/V Richard T. Barber in an NSF proposal may request a letter from Duke confirming availability of both the vessel and funds to support the research.The work day rate is $800.00/day plus fuel.  A lesser “lay day rate” of $200.00/day will be allowed when weather precludes use of the vessel in a research capacity.  The lay day rate will also be applied to days of overland transport (trailering) to remote work locations. See the R/V Barber website for details.

Details & Rates

Vessel Description Type # Passengers Rate
Richard Barber 30 ft cabin Research Only 16 persons total
Normal compliment = 6
$800/day plus fuel
Kirby-Smith 28 ft cabin Research or Transport 18 (plus operator) $85/hr


To Reserve a Vessel

Contact one of the following people:

Ruth Rolar (10 a.m. - 1 p.m.): 252-504-7526;
John T. Wilson: 252-504-7506;

To discuss vessel capabilities and equipment, contact John T. Wilson; 252-504-7506;