Welcome Aboard

We are glad to have you on the R/V Robert Gordon Sproul for your research cruise, and we look forward to working with you to make this a productive and successful project.

As professional mariners and marine technicians, we have three goals when we set sail.  First is to make sure that all personnel are safe and every effort is made to avoid injury during the cruise. Second is the safety of the vessel, to make sure the ship’s seaworthiness is maintained. Our third goal is to complete your scientific mission as completely and efficiently as possible. Please let us know how we can help you accomplish all three of these goals while you are aboard Robert Gordon Sproul.

This handbook is intended as an introduction and general overview of how the ship operates, and the equipment you can expect to find aboard. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. We look forward to sailing with you.

The master, crew and technicians aboard
R/V Robert Gordon Sproul


INTRODUCTION - The purpose of this handbook is to acquaint personnel with the characteristics and capabilities of R/V  Robert Gordon Sproul. It provides a good review of what can be done on the ship, and lists sources of more detailed  information. It also directs your attention to a number of important safety matters. By reading it well in advance of your cruise, we hope you will spot potential problems in time to seek out satisfactory solutions so we are able to accomplish all of your  scientific goals. 

REVISIONS - The handbook is subject to ongoing revisions. We want it to represent the best information available from the  experience of personnel at sea, and so we welcome comments or corrections, suggestions for better arrangement of  material, additions, etc. Please send any such input directly to the Ship Scheduling Office (shipsked@ucsd.edu). 

A CAUTIONARY NOTE ON ACCURACY - While reasonable efforts are made to update the handbook as needed and to  issue new versions in the wake of significant changes on the ship, it is impossible to assure complete accuracy at all times. In all cases, make your particular research equipment needs known on the Ship-Time & Marine Equipment Request Form (SME) - (mfp.us) and contact relevant technical support groups to ensure that critical gear is ready for  your work. 

THE RESEARCH TECHNICIAN GROUP - Within Shipboard Technical Services, is the Research Technician Group. Also  known as Restechs, they will be your main point of contact for cruise planning needs once your cruise dates are secured. It is important that you communicate your needs with them as early as possible. They manage a wide variety of equipment that  can be used for your cruise, but equipment is subject to availability. 

One or more Restechs will assist you with the mobilization and demobilization for your cruise. At least one Restech will sail  with you during your cruise in an effort to accomplish your scientific goals. They will enforce safe practices in the labs and on  deck while doing so. If you see something unsafe, let them know immediately. The Restech will lead and/or oversee the deck  operations while communicating with the bridge. It is important that you work closely with the Restech before, during, and  after your cruise so your experience with us at Scripps can be as productive, and safe as possible. 

The Science party is expected to provide personnel to help complete the loading process as well as all deck operations. Help from the crew can be requested, but typically the Restech and the science party complete all science related deck operations with little or no help from the crew. Please plan to fill the ship’s bunk space accordingly with the right sets of skills needed to  accomplish your deployments and recoveries. 

The Restechs are also your point of contact for shipments heading to the ship in San Diego. If you will not be sailing in or out  of San Diego, the Restechs can advise on all shipping matters to other ports. For more information on foreign shipments,  please refer to the Ship Scheduling website’s page. 


UNOLS RVOC Safety Training Manual, Research Party Supplement 


UNOLS Research Vessel Safety Standards 


Scripps Cruise Planning Portal 


Schedules, ship layouts and other ship-related information 


Shipping scientific equipment to Scripps-operated ships 


Scripps policies and procedures regarding ship operations