RV Hugh R. Sharp

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R/V Hugh R Sharp, shown after delivery to U/D Marine Operations in Lewes, DE.

The Research Vessel (R/V) Hugh R Sharp is a ship owned and operated by the University of Delaware Marine and Earth Studies Campus in Lewes, Delaware operating as a member of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS).[1] She is a replacement for the Cape Henlopen.

At 150 feet in length, Hugh R Sharp is a mid-sized research vessel designed for expeditions lasting up to 21 days. The ship spends most of her time working in the Mid-Atlantic costal region. The Hugh R Sharp was delivered to the University of Delaware in December 2005, and the first scientific voyage was undertaken in March of 2006 after extensive shakedown cruises and equipment calibrations. She is operated by a crew of 8 and accommodates a scientific party of 22 for up to 21 days at sea.

One of the ship's unique capabilities is a hydraulically removable keel which can be dropped in transit to deploy sonar. Each transducer well is mounted with mission specific loadouts of sonar arrays, whether side scan, surface mapping or otherwise.

The ship was designed by Bay Marine, Inc. of Barrington, RI in cooperation with University of Delaware Marine Operations Director Matthew J. Hawkins. The Sharp was constructed by Dakota Creek Industries of Anacortes, WA. The name of the ship is drawn from Hugh R. Sharp, an alumnus from the University of Delaware and longtime supporter of ocean research by the University of Delaware. His estate and the University of Delaware shared the cost of the vessel.


Operating Area:       Mid-Atlantic/Coastal 
Length Overall:     150' 
Length at Waterline:     134' 
Beam:     32’ 
Draft:     9’ 
Freeboard (aft deck):     5’ 
International Tonnage (With two 20-foot vans on deck):     495 
Domestic Tonnage:     290 
Cruising Speed:     11-12 knots 
Range (Average speed 7 knots, 10% reserve):      3500 nm 
Endurance (Limiting Factor:  Fuel):     21 days 
Propulsion Plant:     Diesel-Electric (Cummings K-19s)
Propulsors:  Twin azimuthing drives/fixed pitch 
Bow Thruster:   Yes 
Dynamic Positioning:   Yes 
US Coast Guard Inspection Status:     Uninspected 
ISM Compliant:     (Under Consideration) 
ABS Classed:      Yes 
Total Permanent Berths (2-person staterooms):     22 
Crew (Including technician):     8 
    Scientific:      12 
    with Conference Room used as berth (4-person):   16 
    with accommodations van (4-person):   20 
    Maximum on “Day Trip”:   30 
Acoustic Capabilities:      Below ICES limits at 8 knots 
Stack Emissions:     “Low”



  1. http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/marine/rvSharp.shtml | University of Delaware, College of Earth, Ocean and Environment: R/V Hugh R. Sharp

External links