The Royal Navy's first Hydrographic Survey Ship was HMS Merlin (1666 - 1698), the story arguably starts back in 1681, when Captain Grenville Collins was ordered to produce the first comprehensive survey of the British coast for Charles II. His command, the Royal Yacht Merlin, can, in the words of the late Lt. Cdr. Geoffery B Mason, RN (Rtd.) "be regarded as the first British warship dedicated to marine survey work as opposed to exploration" And thus began the Royal Navy's long and distinguished hydrographic history'

                        Since then many ships have been converted from other hulls, or more recently, purpose built for worldwide Surveying.


Present commisioned Survey ships of Royal Navy:

Antarctic Patrol Vessel

HMS  Protector (A173)


Ocean Survey Vessel

HMS Scott (H131)


Echo Class

HMS Echo (H87)

HMS Enterprise (H88)


Survey Motor Launch

HMS Gleaner (H86)