Duckworth Steel Boats, Tarpon Springs, Fla., christened and launched the 78’x26′ research vessel W.T. Hogarth on May 23. Designed and engineered by Boksa Marine Design, the coastal class research vessel, which will be delivered later this year, is the newest addition to the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) fleet and will help continue the efforts of scientific education and discovery of FIO and its member institutions.
The $6 million vessel was a necessary upgrade for student scientists, replacing the nearly 50-year-old Bellows which had served as a floating laboratory for 35 years. The new research vessel will be both longer and wider than its predecessor. It will offer more working space, including separated wet and dry labs, a larger work deck, separate galley and more comfortable arrangements for berthing.
Anticipated missions for the new vessel will include a variety of over-the-side operations including the study of marine life, affects of pollution, water sampling, bioacoustics, sediment coring, fisheries research and more.
The W.T. Hogarth was named to honor William T. Hogarth, who recently retired after a distinguished 50-year career that included serving as FIO director, dean for the USF College of Marine Science, interim regional vice chancellor of USF St. Petersburg, director of the National Marine Fisheries Service and chair of the International Whaling Commission. He also led the scientific response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
“It’s an exciting day,” Boksa Marine Design president Nick Boksa said in a statement announcing the christening. “She got her feet wet for the first time and floated perfectly on her lines.”
“The W.T. Hogarth will be a welcomed addition to FIO’s fleet that will provide exciting new technical capabilities to enable world-class research and educational opportunities that help Florida understand and preserve its critical marine environment,” FIO Director Philip Kramer said in his remarks.
“The Florida Institute of Oceanography has a rich history of scientific education and discovery. We hope the new boat will continue the institute’s ongoing mission,” said Boksa.