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New research vessel en route from shipyard
September 7, 1998

The University's new research vessel, the R/V Connecticut, is on its way! It was launched last month, at the Washburn & Doughty shipyard in East Boothbay, Maine. The ship will be operated by the Marine Sciences & Technology Center, under the direction of Richard Cooper.

After a christening by Paddy Cooper, Cooper's wife, the vessel slid smoothly down the shipway into the Damariscotta River.

"This is a highly capable, multi-functional vessel which heralds a new era of accomplishment for the Marine Sciences & Technology Center," said Richard Cooper.

The 76-foot vessel boasts several unique design features, including 360! steerable pump jet thrusters, fore and aft, which facilitate precise positioning; a "wet" instrument well located amidships; and a full complement of December machinery.

The vessel will accommodate up to 45 people on day trips and has 12 berths for extended science missions of up to seven days. It will be used for undergraduate and graduate education, as well as for supporting funded research projects, and will also be contracted out regionally to other educational, research and government organizations.

Commissioned by the Marine Sciences & Technology Center, the vessel was funded through a $1.5 million grant from Connecticut Innovations Inc., with additional support from the University.

"The Marine Sciences & Technology Center greatly appreciates the support that the administration has provided to facilitate construction of what is truly the University's flagship," Cooper said.

During the coming weeks final outfitting and system testing will be completed and sea trials are scheduled for late September. The Center expects to take delivery of the vessel in early October, with a dedication ceremony for the vessel tentatively planned in November at its home port in Groton.

Renu Aldrich