The UW School of Oceanography operates two ships: R/V Thomas G. Thompson, a state-of-the-art 274-foot, 3000 ton vessel, operating virtually anywhere in the world's oceans, and the 65-foot R/V Clifford A. Barnes, working in Puget Sound, nearshore areas, and the Columbia River estuary.
The R/V Thomas G. Thompson is owned by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and operated under a Charter Party agreement by the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington as part of the UNOLS fleet (University National Oceanographic Laboratories System). The R/V Thomas G. Thompson(AGOR-23) was constructed by Halter Marine and was delivered to ONR on 8 July 1991. The Thompson is 274 ft in length, 52.5 ft. beam, and at full load has a 19 foot draft. The normal cruising speed is 11 knots, and offers a ships complement for 21 officers and crew, 2 marine technicians and berthing for up to 36 scientists.
The R/V Clifford A. Barnes is owned by the National Science Foundation and operated under a Charter Party agreement by the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington as part of the UNOLS fleet. It is intended for use primarily in the sheltered waters of Western Washington and British Columbia.