More about our research vessel, Achiever

Raincoast Conservation Foundation acquired Achiever as a platform for our massive 10,000nm marine survey studying the abundance and distribution of marine mammals and birds. The vessel was utilized throughout five years during all four seasons running transect lines from the BC/Alaska border down as far south as Johnstone Strait, and the countless inlets and fjords of BC central and north coast. The vessel proved to be an excellent platform for this rugged and grueling work allowing for more work around the marine research field.


Achiever is a 68’ steel sailboat certified through Transport Canada as a passenger carrying vessel. It is utilized for a multitude of varying work along the BC coast. Achiever was built in 1991 from the designs of Bo Birdsall, a New Zealand yacht designer. Achiever worked as research vessel in the Aleutian Islands before coming to BC. Bought in 2004 from the tireless efforts of Raincoast supporters, it went through an 18-month refit to suit the requirements for remote work throughout BC’s coastal waters. Achiever has since worked the past 14 years on the BC coast fulfilling research requirements for organizations such as Department of Fisheries and Oceans Cetacean Research Program, Marine Mammal Research Unit of UBC, Institute of Ocean Science, as well as film and media trips for National Geographic, NHK, ARD and Canadian Geographic. Achiever also serves as a floating classroom facilitating on the water education from remote communities on the Central Coast to assisting in Raincoast’s own Salish Sea Emerging Stewards Program.


Achiever’s capabilities with marine surveys paved the way for more work in the research field. Over the past 8 years, Achiever has performed extensive work with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Cetacean Research Program out of the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, BC. Study objectives have ranged from population estimates and data collection of fin whales, killer whale ecotypes, and humpback entanglement probabilities. This work has spanned from inside protected waters to the rugged and open waters of the west coast. The Marine Mammal Research Unit of UBC has also worked with Achiever for its ongoing research of pinnipeds found in our coastal waters. The vessel was utilized to access remote sea lion rookeries and haul outs found throughout Hecate Strait and the west coast of Haida Gwaii.

Achiever’s ability to access remote regions of the BC coast are equally matched by its capability of comfortably accommodating researchers with their equipment in the field. The wheelhouse has table space that can be utilized for lab and computer work. It carries an auxiliary generator with large battery capacity allowing for 110VAC supply to all outlets throughout the vessel. Gear can easily be stowed in the capacious lazarette. There is a drying room for wet gear when out in the elements. Achiever’s deck space allows for larger items to be lashed to the deck for safe keeping.

Achiever’s versatility has proven it a successful research vessel reaching remote areas of the coast for extended periods of time. The ability to be fully self-sufficient for long-range journeys allows for a more affordable option compared to traditional and larger research ships.

To enquire more about possibilities and rates within the marine environment of British Columbia, contact Raincoast’s Marine Operations Coordinator.


  • Transport Canada Certified Passenger Vessel
  • Transport Canada Certified Crew (Captain & Mate)
  • Cook aboard for dietary sustenance
  • Ability to carry up to 10 guests
  • Length 21m (68’)
  • Beam 4.3m (14’)
  • Draft 2.0m (6.5’)
  • Gross Tonnage 21.89
  • Fuel Capacity 3,500lt (range roughly 2,500 nautical miles)
  • Water Capacity 2,800lt
  • Single screw 175bhp marine diesel engine
  • 6kW auxiliary genset for 110VAC
  • Cruising speed 8 knots
  • Tows 16’ inflatable RHIB with a 60hp engine
  • Hull Type Steel
  • Cutter Rig Sailing Vessel (sail area?)

Navigational Equipment

  • Radar x2
  • Depth Sounder x2
  • GPS x2
  • VHF Radios x2 (1 DSC)
  • Hand Held VHF Radios x2
  • Inflatable PFD’s for guests x14
  • Life jackets for entire complement
  • SOLAS approved life raft 16 passenger offshore rated
  • Observation platform


  • 2 private aft cabins (2 double berths sleeps 4)
  • Dormitory style main cabin (bunk beds sleeps 4)
  • Wheelhouse tables break down for extra sleeping arrangements (sleeps 2)
  • Crew accommodation


  • Fully equipped galley with cook
  • Large wheel house with tables for research equipment
  • 2 marine heads (1 shower)
  • Large lazarette for gear storage
  • 5.5 cubic foot freezer for sample storage
  • 6.5’ head room

Education and Outreach

Since acquiring Achiever, Raincoast has always expanded spent time education platform throughout the BC Coast. It takes part in an annual youth camps in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. The decks and wheelhouse turn into a floating classroom educating and inspiring young leaders of tomorrow. Raincoast scientist and students come aboard working alongside traditional knowledge holders inspiring the leaders of tomorrow. Raincoast has expanded these yearly summer camps in the Great Bear to programs being offered in the Salish Sea.

The Salish Sea Emerging Stewards program has taken these learnings and begun implementing them to young aboriginal youth across southern Vancouver Island and the lower mainland. Utilizing modern science with traditional culture, the Emerging Stewards program combines land and sea learning objectives aboard the floating classroom.

Achiever’s educational outreached hasn’t stopped there. Programs for other districts are available as this floating classroom can accommodate outdoor curriculum in a hands-on environment.

For more information on Education and Outreach, contact Raincoast’s Marine Operations Coordinator.

Safeguard Coastal Carnivores / Donor Engagement

Working with partnering Coastal First Nations, Raincoast’s goal is to permanently end trophy hunting of all large carnivores in the Great Bear Rainforest. Raincoast has acquired 4 commercial hunting tenures making up approximately 33,000 square kilometers of the Great Bear Rainforest. By purchasing these hunting tenures, we are required to continue utilizing them as the new guide outfit owner.

Join Achiever as we visit the many inlets and rivers where guide outfit tenures have been acquired. Explore the very first estuaries where trophy hunting has come to an end and see for yourself the impact that no take eco-tourism has on these systems. Travel within the next tenures Raincoast and partnering First Nations look to acquire in continuing the efforts eliminating trophy hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest. Visit partnering First Nation communities and see how they are thriving on gaining governance on their lands and territories.

For more information on trips and dates around safeguarding coastal carnivores, contact Raincoast’s Marine Operations Coordinator.


With changes in mind, 2020 will see the establishment of a new Achiever Fund to provide stable support for ourmarine operations program. With Achiever as our core platform for coastal research, wildlife monitoring, and education, we are looking for donors to support our new marine operations funding model. Achiever helps us implement our mandate to safeguard the lands, waters, and wildlife of coastal British Columbia. As a floating classroom for experiential education, it also inspires future generations of stewards.