MAY 26, 2017—The R/V W.T. Hogarth, a new 78 ft research vessel for the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO), was recently christened and launched by family-owned shipyard Duckworth Steel Boats, Tarpon Springs, FL, according to naval architecture firm Boksa Marine Design, Lithia, FL.
Boksa Marine Design (BMD) signed a contract with FIO in February 2015 for the design the $6 million vessel to replace its current research vessel, the R/V Bellows.
Originally built in 1968, the R/V Bellows has been operated by FIO as a research boat since 1979 as a floating laboratory for scientists and students studying in the waterways of Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas.
FIO is a Florida Academic Infrastructure Support Organization, collaboratively working with 27 educational institutions and agencies from across the state to maximize marine research and education resources.
The goal of the FIO is to “provide a forum for addressing the challenges facing our oceans and develop strategies for promoting greater understanding, scientific advancement, civic engagement, natural resource management and public policy which preserves and protects ocean resources.”
At 78 ft in length and 26 ft at the beam, the W.T. Hogarth is both longer and wider than its predecessor. It has more working space, including separated wet and dry labs, a larger work deck, separate galley and more comfortable arrangements for berthing.
The W.T. Hogarth is expected to perform a variety of over-the-side operations including water sampling, bioacoustics, sediment coring, and fisheries research.