Since its beginning, WHOI has maintained a dedicated coastal vessel used by researchers studying the coastal ocean or testing equipment. In Down to the Sea for Science, celebrating WHOI's 75 anniversary, author Vicky Cullen wrote, "In early June 1931, Casey Boat Building Company of Fairhaven, Massachusetts delivered the forty-foot (twelve meter) launch Asterias... . Named for a local starfish, and costing under $7,000, its purpose was to provide ... for 'all the wants of the investigators at the laboratory during the ... summer.' " Asterias (shown here circa 1948) was replaced in 1981— after more than 10,000 trips — with a second Asterias, itself retired in 2003. In 2004 the larger, faster Tioga was launched as the WHOI's newest coastal research vessel.
(Photo by Jan Hahn, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)