S/V Steelhead

Map of Michigan

The T. D. Vinette Company, Escanaba, Michigan designed and constructed the SV Steelhead in 1967. The SV Steelhead is classified as a commercial trawler. It was constructed for the Department of Natural Resources for the purpose of sampling fisheries and deepwater habitats of the Great Lakes. It has operated out of the Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station since 1968.

Photo of the Survey Vessel Steelhead


Length: 62.5 feet

Beam width: 16.3 feet

Draft: 6.0 feet

Displacement weight: 70 tons

Hull: Welded-steel plate (3/8 inch forward ship and 3/16 inch amidship and aft)

Deck: Steel

Superstructure: Aluminum

Engines: Twin, V-6, 380 horsepower Cummins diesel

Running speed: 10.5 knots (12mph)

The SV Steelhead typically operates from March through December, mainly on Lake Michigan although occasionally assisting with other Great Lakes projects. The SV Steelhead, is only one of the four State research vessels that use on-board crew accommodations and has five berths. The galley contains a refrigerator, stove/oven, microwave, sink with heated water, and small table. There is a small shower and electric toilet.

Computer charting systems from the SteelheadSafety equipment onboard includes fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, flares, bilge pump, alarm bells for pressure and heat in the engine room, and an engine room automatic fire suppression system. The vessel is equipped with EPIRB (an emergency locator beacon), meteorological equipment, a marine radio to determine weather conditions, and navigational aids including radar, Loran, GPS, a chart plotter, depth sounder, autopilot, and computer-aided charting systems.

The vessel was designed for fishing suspended and bottom gill nets as well as trawls. The vessel also provides an excellent platform for use of most habitat sampling gear, including sonar, cameras, and dredges. An enclosed heated laboratory/sample work-up area is located just forward of the rear net lifting area.

Photos of staff working on the Steelhead

Take a tour of the Steelhead:

Photo from the deck of the Steelhead