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KML maintains a variety of vessels for your education and research needs. With the exception of the 13’ Boston Whaler, all vessels are equipped with Garmin GPS Chartplotters, depth finders, VHF radios, and all US Coast Guard approved safety gear. Knowledgeable KML staff serve as experienced captains to navigate the marine habitats. Two of the vessels are available for self-captained use. Contact the laboratory for more information concerning your boating needs. Click on any of the photos below to enlarge.
We encourage everyone to be familiar with the 2019 Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Boater Education Course

Refer to FORMS page for FURF to reserve space on a vessel and all necessary documents


R/V Diodon

R/V Diodon (30’ Island Hopper): Named after the porcupine fish, with which it shares some resemblance, the R/V Diodon is the flagship of the KML Fleet. Powered by twin 225 hp Yamaha four-strokes, it has a covered forward cabin, spacious deck, center seating, tank racks, a large rear dive platform, sturdy dive ladder, and two large live-wells.

Capacity: 4480 pounds (2 captains plus 22 snorkelers or 10 divers including gear)

Cruising speed: 24 knots (20 gph)

Range: 100 miles

R/V Mola Mola

R/V Mola Mola (25’ Parker): Named after the heaviest and perhaps strangest-looking fish in the ocean, the ocean sunfish, the Mola Mola is a center console, semi-V hull, powered by a 250 hp Yamaha four-stroke, with tank racks, a large dive platform, and sturdy dive ladder for easy access, and has live wells on board.

Capacity: 1830 pounds (captain plus 9 snorkelers or 5 divers & gear)

Cruising speed: 22 knots (15 gph)

Range: 250 miles

R/V Opah

R/V Opah (25’ Parker): New to the KML Fleet and named after the large, deep-bodied pelagic 'moonfish', the R/V Opah is sister ship to the R/V Mola Mola. She sports a center console, semi-V hull, and is powered by a 300hp Yamaha four-stroke engine. The Opah is equipped with racks for 8 SCUBA cylinders, a large dive platform, sturdy dive ladder, and 2 live wells on board.

Capacity: 1692 pounds (captain plus 9 snorkelers or 5 divers and gear)

Cruising speed: 25 knots (20 gph)

Range: 200 miles; 150-gal fuel tank

R/V Nari Nari

R/V Nari Nari (18’ Parker): Named after the spotted eagle ray, the R/V Nari Nari is an 18' Parker, and is perfect for smaller research groups. This center console is powered by a 115 hp Yamaha 4-stroke and has a semi-V with a relatively shallow draft. This vessel is available for self-captained use - please inquire for details and certification requirements

Capacity: 750 pounds (captain plus 3 snorkelers or 2 divers with gear)

Cruising speed: 20 mph (5 gph)

Range: 100 miles (self-captained: ~7 mile radius of KML)

Self-captained vessel forms

13' Whaler

13' Boston Whaler: Some of our users don't need to travel very far from the lab, have small research groups and a bit of gear. Powered by an electric start 25 hp 4-stroke Mercury, this vessel is available for self-captained use - please inquire for details and certification requirements.

Capacity: 600 pounds (2 snorkelers or 2 divers plus gear)

Cruising speed: 15 mph

Range: bay-side only, within 3 miles of KML

Self-captained vessel forms