Subscribe to the JMS Newsletter

By submitting this form, you are granting: JMS Naval Architects, 70 Essex Street, Mystic, CT, 06355 United States, permission to email you. You can revoke permission to mail to your email address at any time using the SafeUnsubscribe SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. We take your privacy seriously. Emails are serviced by MailChimp. ×

Search this Site


R/V Gulf Challenger

The R/V GULF CHALLENGER was designed and built for the University of New Hampshire and immediately demonstrated that a small, fast, research vessel can offer slow-speed efficiency and comfort that was equal to or better than heavier displacement vessels. Follow-on vessels in this series include the R/V FAY SLOVER selected as one of the 10 most significant vessels of the year by American Ship Review, the R/V TIOGA owned by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and most recently the 81” R/V RACHEL CARSON launched in 2008 and owned by the University of Maryland. With a pair of 1,200 HP jet outdrives, the R/V RACHEL CARSON cruises at 24 knots allowing researchers more time on station and less time in transit; both of which result in significant savings in time and operational costs.

“When the University of New Hampshire decided to build a new research vessel, Roger Long listened to all of our needs and ideas and designed an extremely seaworthy boat that has successfully operated as the flagship of our fleet for many years. Excellent visibility from the pilothouse, combined with the efficient layout of the large back deck, provides a reliable and safe work platform for activities varying from offshore buoy deployments and recoveries to dive operations to taking groups of students out to complete their class work.” ~ Captain Bryan Soares

This ground breaking vessel demonstrated that a small research vessel could operate at planning speeds and still have slow speed efficiency and comfort equal to or better than heavier displacement vessels. This design changed the nature of coastal oceanography and nearly every major university acquisition since in this size range has been based on the “R/V CHALLENGER” design.


  • Length: 50′
  • Beam: 16′
  • Draft: 5′
  • Main Propulsion: Twin Detroit Diesel 8V-92TA-DDECm
  • HP: 1,200 @ 2,100 rpm
  • Speed: 18 knots cruising, 22 knots maximum, 1.5 knots minimum
  • Hull: Aluminum