Created with Sketch.
Created with Sketch.

The R/V William Kennedy is Canada’s first research vessel dedicated exclusively to historic Hudson Bay - a landmark for scientific research in Canada’s North.


12 ft.


66 ft.

Science Berths

Up to 14


24-hour operations/two shifts


Electric and hydraulic winches, space for additional upper-deck winches

Equipment Deploy

A-frame and 32-ft. crane

RO Water



Converted offshore crab fishing vessel

Hull Material

Kevlar-reinforced fiberglass over wood


Dry-lab and deck

Space at Bow

Yes, 9 m long




Yes, 10,000 lbs

Operated by the Arctic Research Foundation in partnership with the University of Manitoba and the Churchill Marine Observatory, a multidisciplinary research facility located in Churchill, Manitoba, the William Kennedy will explore some of the most understudied regions of the Arctic.

Grappling with the effects of rapidly warming climate in the Arctic, scientists are struggling to achieve baseline data to measure the impacts of climate change and to inform future predictions. The William Kennedy will bring together researchers and scientists, including oceanographers, geneticists and biologists, and work collaboratively with local communities to help in establishing these baselines.

Converted from an offshore crab fishing vessel, the William Kennedy has been retrofitted to handle extreme Arctic weather and ice conditions. The ship’s shallow draft, measuring just 12 feet, allows for critical research to be done in much shallower and near shore waters than traditional Arctic research vessels. The ship, which measures 66 feet in length, is equipped with both an interior drylab and wetlab and can accommodate up to 14 people beyond the crew.