About the R/V Tanner

Updated: August 12, 2016

Designed and built by Andersen Boat Works of Saugatuck, Michigan, the Research Vessel Tanner was completed in 2016 and is stationed in Alpena. She serves as the DNR's research platform for all of Lake Huron and the St. Marys River.

The R/V Tanner replaced the R/V Chinook, which operated on the Great Lakes from 1947 to 2016. The 50-foot, steel-hulled R/V Chinook, previously known as Patrol Boat #3, was first commissioned as a Department of Conservation Great Lakes Law Enforcement vessel. She gained her name in 1968 when she was transferred to the Fisheries Division's Alpena Great Lakes Station. The R/V Chinook will become a static display at the Jesse Besser Museum in Alpena highlighting her work in commercial law enforcement and fisheries research.

The R/V Tanner is named after former Fisheries Division Chief and DNR Director Dr. Howard A. Tanner and was designed by Seacraft Design of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. She is a 57-foot, aluminum-hulled vessel closely modeled after the R/V Lake Char, the DNR's Lake Superior fisheries research vessel that was launched in 2007.

Unlike the R/V Chinook, which was powered by a single engine, the R/V Tanner is powered by twin engines and has a greater cruising range and speed. Similar to the R/V Chinook, the R/V Tanner is rigged for sampling with nets and trawls, using a crew of five to six while under way. The R/V Tanner is also equipped with the latest in hydroacoustic survey equipment to expand its fisheries assessment capabilities. ROV (remote operated vehicle) and side scan sonar are used to assess and document fisheries habitat.

Below are photos of the R/V Tanner's construction and dedication:

bow section plating bullhead looking aft turning boat over bow section plating 2 bow section plating 3

Crew standing on back of R/V Tanner

R/V Tanner out on water

Dr. Howard A. Tanner driving R/V Tanner