The Kilo Moana is the University of Hawaii’s research vessel. She is known as a SWATH, or a Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull. She’s kind of like a catamaran with two hulls and a deck that spans both of them. It makes for a relatively stable platform for the research that’s done aboard. It also means that she doesn’t take really big seas very well. As a steward, I like the fact that we tend to run from rough weather. The ride can still get very uncomfortable, but nothing like what I remember from my days on the Bering Sea.
The KM is owned by the US Navy and operated by the Research Corporation of the University of Hawai’i as a part of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) fleet.