Compact ARCboat Lite Enables Safer and More Efficient Surveys - 27/08/2019

The ARCboat Lite is a portable and compact version of HR Wallingford’s award-winning remote-controlled survey vessel, the ARCboat. Weighing only 15kg and just 1.3m long, the ARCboat Lite can be carried and deployed by a single person and easily fits inside the boot of a typical family hatchback. It can operate in flows of up to 2.5m/s, in water as shallow as 22cm, and it costs less than the larger ARCboat.

According to the manufacturer, both ARCboats are safer than manned vessels as operators can survey from the bank rather than venturing out on to the water. They also minimise disruption to the environment, as they are operated by extremely quiet, zero-emission electric motors.

Potential Future Flooding

“We developed the new ARCboat Lite in partnership with the UK’s Environment Agency,” explains Peter Watchorn, Senior Surveyor at HR Wallingford.  The UK’s Environment Agency will use the ARCboat Lite for its routine hydrometric and bathymetric surveying, primarily in rivers. By measuring the water levels and flow data, it will help mitigate the risks of potential future flooding.

The Environment Agency’s Nick Everard, Technical Adviser, Hydrometry, says: “The original ARCboat has helped transform our river discharge measurement and mapping activities, which are critical to our management of water in times of flood and drought and at all points in between."

The ARCboat Lite can carry the same range of third-party equipment as the ARCboat, so users will be able to switch their existing instrumentation between the two vessels without needing additional adaptors or kit.

USGS National Water Data Conference

Both the ARCboat Lite and the ARCboat are on display this week at the USGS National Water Data Conference in Columbus, Ohio (US), sharing the Hydrological Services America (HSA) stand (220 & 222). 

Details at: Watch the ARCboat Lite in action at

Last updated: 10/09/2019