Boating Facilities

HIMB research team in a whaler on Kaneohe Bay

HIMB maintains a fleet of vessels that are available to UH faculty, students, and visiting scientists for research activities, passenger ferrying, or cargo transfer.


Research Skiffs


For work within Kaneohe Bay, there are four 17' Boston Whalers with Honda 40hp outboard engines. For work outside Kaneohe Bay, there is a 22' Boston Whaler Outrage with twin Yamaha 90hp outboards. Another 17' Boston Whaler, Hinalea, is maintained and operated by the UH marine biology undergraduate program. Please contact Dr. Cindy Hunter for further information regarding the Hinalea.

Research fleet of Boston Whalers Boston Whaler Outrage for research outside Kaneohe Bay

Operator Requirements

All HIMB vessel operators are required to submit proof of a US Coast Guard (USCG)-recognized boating certification prior to conducting an on-water skills checkout. The most common certificates are issued by the US Coast Guard Auxillary and Power Squadron and can be either classroom or web-based courses. HIMB currently recommends the BoatUS web-based course ( as it contains Hawaii State-specific information and is free of charge.

An on-water skills checkout is required prior to authorization to operate HIMB vessels. This checkout includes an overview of the reservation and checkout procedures at HIMB, a review of USCG required equipment, docking and handling skills, ATONS and natural navigation in Kaneohe Bay, anchoring, and crew overboard (COB) procedures. The duration of the checkout varies depending on prior documented experience.

All HIMB vessel operator applicants are encouraged to gain experience with current authorized operators in the program prior to scheduling a checkout with the Marine Safety Officer.


HIMB offers formal boat training opportunities in conjunction with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and US Department of Interior (DOI) several times each year. These certifications are often required when operating from NOAA and DOI resources in the Hawaiian Islands and the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. We currently co-teach the NOAA Advanced Coxswain Training (ACT) course and the DOI Motorboat Operator Certification Course (MOCC). Space is very limited in these classes and is given on an as-needed basis. Please contact the Marine Safety Officer if your research requires these certifications.


Contact Details


Jason Jones, HIMB Marine Safety Officer

Monday - Friday, 9 am-5 pm

Phone: (808) 440-8608



Boat Description

Boat Fees
(min. charge = 1 hr)

17' Whaler

$10 / hr

22' Whaler

$30 / hr

Check-Out Calendar

To use the research skiffs, you must schedule a boat check-out with the HIMB Marine Safety Officer.


Support Vessel


Passengers and cargo are transported to and from HIMB on the 40' Honu Kai. The Honu Kai is capable of handling loads up to 10,000 pounds and is manned by designated HIMB employees. Groups of more than 20 are required to use the Honu Kai ferry during their initial arrival and final departure. This vessel is also available for scientific research and educational project support.

Advance notice is required to schedule the Honu Kai; please call the HIMB office at 808-236-7401.

HIMB support vessel Honu Kai


Description Boat Fees
(min. charge = 1 hr)

Round trip to/from Lilipuna Pier

$60 / hr

Round trip to/from Heeia Pier $100 / hr
Research cruise (plankton tows, other activities etc.) on weekdays $60 / hr

Research cruise (plankton tows, other activities etc.) on nights or weekends (add 1 hour prior to departure and 1 hour after arrival for boat operator to prep/clean the boat)

$70 / hr


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