Section 3: Vessel Layout Description

Vessel Layout Description 
This section is intended as an abbreviated tour of important spaces and equipment, in conjunction with ship arrangement diagrams. Most spaces and equipment of interest to scientists have fuller descriptions in Sections IV - VI.

03 DECK (Bridge)

BRIDGE OR PILOTHOUSE - This is the nerve center of a ship. From this area the ship is navigated, conned, maneuvered and otherwise operated in such a manner as to accomplish the goals of the cruise safely and effectively. Additionally, operational aspects of the engineering department and the scientific party are monitored by the bridge watch officer. The watch officer maintains a log which records the date, time, and position of all scientific events. A copy of this log is given to chief scientists and others who request it at the end of the cruise. Visitors to the bridge are generally . There will be times, though, such as when entering or leaving a harbor, when visitors are not permitted; check with the officer of the watch. Equipment, controls, and instruments on the bridge are operated only by the crew. Communication with the bridge is by ship's interior communication boxes and sound-power telephones.

CHART/RADIO ROOM - The chart room is located aft of the pilot house. The progress of the ship is plotted on charts in this room. It is also where the ship's inventory of charts and navigational publications are stowed and maintained. Some important texts on navigation, seamanship, meteorology and nautical information in general are stowed here, in addition to user manuals for most of the ship's installed equipment. Check with the mate on watch before borrowing any of these items. The 02 lab is used for manual plotting and map handling by the scientific party. (See also Laboratory Spaces on Main Deck)


CHIEF SCIENTIST'S STATEROOM - Two berths are available in the chief scientist's stateroom, one is the permanent bunk, and the other is a comfortable sofa which converts to a bed.

CAPTAIN'S STATEROOM - Adjacent to the chief scientist's room is the captain's room. This is where the captain has an office.

SCIENTIFIC CHART ROOM - You will find a chart table, chart drawers, storage cabinets, and one filing cabinet. The area is approximately 440 sq ft and does contain bolt downs on the deck.

HYDRO WINCH CONTROL HOUSE - (See Winch Control Room)

RESCUE BOAT / LIFEBOAT - On the port side there is a 28 person lifeboat and starboard side a 37 person lifeboat. There are life rafts in the following areas: 3 starboard, 3 port, 20 persons each. 

DECK ACCESS TO CARGO TRUNK - There is an approximately 5' x 5' access via a flush deck hatch. (Note: This hatch has been re-hinged on the starboard side to allow it to open fully.)


RADIO ROOM - Most communications with shoreside facilities take place in this area. Melville is capable of voice, data, and fax communications through various modes.  Persons wishing to use the Inmarsat system must be aware that this is a commercial system and that they are responsible for charges incurred. Presently, all facsimiles must be sent via either Inmarsat or cellular. 

INCINERATOR ROOM - The ship normally burns plastic trash once a day.

LIBRARY - This area is designated as a quiet space on the ship for reading or studying. It does contain the ship's only copy machine.

STATEROOMS - The chief mate's, radio officer's, and chief engineer's staterooms are berthed on this deck, as are three scientific staterooms. These staterooms are two person rooms each containing private heads. (See Section IX for specifics.)

CRANES - Two cranes are located on the 01 deck. Forward on starboard side is a 60' boom Pettibone crane. This crane is capable of lifting 3,540 lbs maximum reach at sea. An Allied crane is located near the centerline aft serving the main deck area. This crane has a 65' knuckle boom capable of lifting 12,000 lbs near the base and 5,000 lbs at maximum reach (rated at 5,000 lbs SWL at sea). These two cranes are operated by the resident technician or qualified crew members only.

A portable crane (either a Daybrook or Alaska crane) can be carried on the fantail where necessary, and can be operated by the scientific party. These cranes are rated for a capacity of 1,500 lbs and 2,000 lbs respectively. 

UPPER LAB - This lab, known as the computer lab, is approximately 488 sq ft. The forward area of the lab is reserved for the computer engineer and hardware/ electronics engineer. The remainder of the lab is configured as a general use computer lab and contains terminals, PCs, printers, plotters, and a light table on a semipermanent basis. Space is also provided so oncoming scientists can set up their own PCs or other electronic equipment. A soft patch on the after bulkhead allows for access to portable lab vans on the 01 deck utilizing a flexible coupling. An approximately 3' x 5' vertical access hatch to the hoist trunk is located in the after part of the lab.

WINCH CONTROL ROOM - When the ship is on station and over-the-side work is in progress, the CTD and traction winches are controlled from this room. The location of this room permits the officer on watch to observe the proceedings on the fantail or at the hydro station and still control the ship in the required manner. The aft control room also houses the controls for the hydraulic system and winches. The hydro, CTD, and trawl winches and starboard J-frame are operated from this room. A member of the ship's crew will operate the winches.


ANALYTICAL LAB - This lab is located port side forward of the main lab and is approximately 220 sq ft. This lab usually contains a chart table, chart drawers, and a portable light table.

BOATSWAIN LOCKER - The ship's boatswain locker is located all the way forward on the main deck. Located adjacent to the boatswain locker are the paint locker and the flammable liquid storerooms. The access to the bow dome is located in the boatswain locker.

LOUNGE - Located forward on the main deck is the crew and scientific lounge. This space contains a TV, VCR, PC, and video games. Access to the bow thruster machinery room is through this space. Smoking is allowed in this area.

STATEROOMS - Six crew staterooms berthing 7 personnel are on the main deck. One scientific stateroom located next to the analytical lab contains accommodations for 2 persons with a private head.

DARKROOM / LAB - The darkroom is located on the starboard side forward of the hangar. This space contains no installed photographic facilities. Photographic supplies and equipment are the responsibility of the scientific party. A sink with fresh or salt water is installed.

DC LOCKER - This locker contains all the emergency and fire fighting equipment. This equipment is for emergency use only and should never be removed.

DECK - There is approximately 3,772 sq ft of open deck space, with various other openings in the main deck. There is a soft patch access to the internal instrument well, and a soft patch access to the trawl winch room. There are flush deck hatches accessing the motor room and the upper science hold. There is a vertical 3' x 5' hatch accessing the lower science hold via the cargo trunk. Various types of equipment are normally carried on the main deck. There is an A-frame on the stern, a side A-frame (slightly aft of amidships), and a J-frame (amidships) located along the starboard rail. All decks are fitted with a standard 2' x 2', 1" bolt down pattern.

ELECTRICAL SHOP - Forward on the main deck is the electrical shop. This is the workshop/ready storeroom for the ship's electrician.

FORWARD & AFT HANGARS - The forward hangar is approximately 240 sq ft. It contains a stainless steel deep sink with hot, cold, and salt water. The aft hangar contains fresh and salt water and is approximately 276 sq ft. Compressed air and electricity are available in each hangar area. Both hangars have roll down doors which offer protection against weather. An overhead lifting system exists in each hangar. These hoists can lift about 3 tons.

GALLEY & CAFETERIA - The mess hall is located amidships. For safety and public health reasons only the cooks and other authorized crew members are permitted in the galley. Food is served cafeteria style.

HOSPITAL - There are 3 bunks and various medical supplies. 

IC AND GYRO ROOM - This room contains the ship's gyros and distribution systems.

LABORATORY SPACES - Please refer to the deck plans for dimensions and layout of the lab spaces. The approximate sizes of the main deck labs are:

  • Forward Hangar 240 sq ft
  • After Hangar 276 sq ft
  • Main Lab 1,342 sq ft
  • Analytical Lab 220 sq ft

All labs are fitted with the standard 2' x 2' bolt down pattern on deck, accepting 1/2" bolts which are 1/2" deep. Unistrut mounting channels are on the bulkheads. Unistrut parts and eyebolts, etc. are maintained on board by the resident technician.

The main lab contains the echosounding system, gyro repeater, "Z" drive thrust indicators, winch indicators, and internal communication system. The hangars have minimal fittings--one set of water/compressed air outlets, a sink, and an overhead mounted chain block on a rail for heavy object transport.

1st Platform

ANTI-ROLL TANK - Ship's roll is dampened by actively controlling the flow of 70 tons of water between two tanks.

CHILL/FREEZE ROOM - The chill/freezer room, also known as the dry stores and general storerooms, have no space for science samples or equipment.

ENGINEERING SPACES AND SERVICES - These are off-limits to scientific party members except by permission of the chief engineer or the duty engineer, especially when cruising. They can be dangerous at any time, due to the possible hazard of oil, grease, or other lubricants underfoot.

All questions of an engineering nature and requests for services or help should go to the chief engineer. Engineers are helpful and knowledgeable, but they can assist scientists only after completion of their regular duties.

LOWER LAB - This space permanently contains the SEA BEAM 2000 electronic system, scientific computers and other electronic data acquisition equipment. No space is available for oncoming scientific gear. This lab is approximately 261 sq ft.

LAUNDRY ROOM - There are two clothes washers, two dryers, and a deep sink. 

MACHINERY ROOM - Propulsion machinery. This is manned engineering space.

STERN THRUSTER ROOM - Propulsion machinery. This area is in the aft part of the ship. It is an unmanned space.

CREW & SCIENTIFIC STATEROOMS - 40 berths on the first platform. 

TRAWL WINCH ROOM - This room contains the traction winch wire stowage drums and nonremovable machinery.


LOWER SCIENCE HOLD - The hold is approximately 475 sq ft. Accessed via a ladder from the first platform or cargo trunk vertical access (approx. 3' x 5'). Please check plans for the configuration and layout of the hold. Resident technicians are cognizant of available space in hold. This hold contains shelving and deck space with bolt downs for hand carried equipment.

ENGINEER'S MACHINE SHOP - Contains engineer's lathe, drill press, etc. These items may be used by members of the scientific party with permission from the chief engineer.