Armstrong delivers new research vessel to Scripps


The following is text of a news release from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography:

(SAN DIEGO) — Scripps Institution of Oceanography has taken delivery of R/V Bob and Betty Beyster, a purpose-built coastal research vessel designed for efficient operations offshore in Southern California and throughout the Channel Islands. Based at the Scripps Nimitz Marine Facility and operated as a shared-use facility, Bob and Betty Beyster provides scientists, students and engineers a capable, safe and economical platform for research and teaching.

Bob and Betty Beyster, built by Armstrong Marine of Port Angeles, Wash., is a 42-foot scientific workboat with a range of 500 nautical miles, a cruising speed better than 25 knots, and a capacity for six scientists and a boat operator. The vessel has a stern A-frame for lifting and towing instrument packages, an articulating knuckle crane for starboard-side instrument deployment and recovery, and engineered deck sockets for securing portable equipment. These capabilities enable a wide range of scientific activities that support education, research, and instrument development.

Bob and Betty Beyster features a dynamic positioning system (DPS) that integrates GPS navigation data with propulsion controls to automatically maintain heading and position, even in strong currents and windy conditions. These capabilities enable the precise control required for remotely operated vehicles, CTD casts, mooring deployments, and other operations required for science.

The vessel's scientific equipment includes a seafloor mapping system, a knuckle crane that enables the vessel to deploy and recover autonomous vehicles, a stern A-frame with hydraulic hoist, a hand-deployable remotely operated vehicle, a hull-mounted transducer for underwater communications, and ample facilities for securing and integrating a wide variety of portable instrumentation.

Bob and Betty Beyster is owned by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and was acquired by the institution thanks to philanthropic support that raised more than $1.2 million for the vessel. The vessel was supported by a variety of donors in honor of the late Dr. J. Robert Beyster, founder of Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), and his widow Betty Beyster.

An endowment to support scientific time at sea for students is in place, with the goal of continuing to  raise funds to provide ongoing student access to the vessel. Additional philanthropic contributions to this endowment can be made online here or by contacting the development office at Scripps at (858) 822-1865 or

By Professional Mariner Staff