WHOI follows the Uniform Operations and Cost Terminology
definitions of the University National Oceanographic Laboratory
System (UNOLS) adopted in May 1976.
A Day is a calendar day from time 0001
to 2400, or any portion thereof.
An Operating Day is a day when a ship
is not at its home port and is available for service.
Home Port is normally Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
A Port Day is an operating day when
the ship is in an out-port (not at the home port).
A Voyage is the period from and including
the day of departure from the home port to and including
the day of return to the home port. Voyages are identified
by ship name and a number. At WHOI the number is assigned
consecutively from #1 starting when the Institution assumes
operation of the ship. A voyage may consist of multiple
A Leg is the period from and including
the day of departure from any port to and including the
day of return to any port. Legs are usually numbered by
Roman Numerals. A leg may consist of sections (sub-legs).
These may be determined by a significant change in the
science party, a change in the Chief Scientist, or a change
in the scientific mission, even though the ship may not
have made berthing in a port. For example, a new section
may be designated when a change is made in the scientific
party while at sea via a shuttle boat. Legs may also be
divided into sections when there is an emergency, or for
“touch and go” port calls with no change in
the scientific program. Sections of legs are designated
with alpha characters.
Cruise is a general term used to define
the time a ship is engaged in a particular scientific
program or mission.
A Stand Down is a period when the ship
is not available for service, hence the days are not operating
days. Depending on the reason, minimum crew may be assigned
during a stand down or layup period.
The charge unit for ship charges is the Operating
The number of Operating Day multiplied
by the Daily Rate will determine the
cost for a Leg (Cruise).
The Daily Rate is the cost per Operating
Day. It is determined by the total cost to operate the
ship, as charged to the operating account for a calendar
year, divided by the number of operating days the ship
is available for service in that year. All days when the
vessel is in service and away from the WHOI dock are operating
days, except as noted below. All operating days are charge
Sea Trials are an event to test the
ship systems and otherwise exercise the vessel, which
normally requires the vessel to get underway. This can
occur as a result of a shipyard period, extensive changes
in vital machinery or control systems, an extended inactive
period or extensive maintenance. Sea trials may also occur
because of changes in ancillary systems or addition of
new equipment. The vessel is considered not available
for service, hence sea trial days are not operating days.
Inspections occur when federal regulatory
bodies (e.g. US Coast Guard) and research vessel owner
agencies (NSF and ONR) require routine and regular examination
to demonstrate compliance with US regulations, Charter
Party Agreements, UNOLS Safety Standards and operational
readiness. Inspection periods may involve both at-sea
operations and in-port exercises. The vessel is considered
not available for service, so inspection days are not
A Transit (deadhead, deadhead transit)
is a leg during which a ship is moving from one project
or port to another with no scientific work scheduled.
Transits are usually charged to the sponsor of the time
periods immediately before and after the transit leg,
and charges are made on a pro-rata basis. Transits to
and from a shipyard for maintenance purposes are not operating
days and are therefore not charge days. If a scientific
program can be scheduled so that it ends at a shipyard
or other maintenance location, then the leg will be charged
because it is normal operating period.
Port Days (out-port), days away from
the WHOI dock in the service of science projects, including
mobilization, demobilization, and change of the scientific
crew or outfit are operating days, and hence are charge
days. Normally the allocation of the cost of port days
will be split between disembarking and embarking sponsoring
funding sources. When the port days are uneven in number,
the embarking party will normally bear the greater charge,
except in special or extenuating circumstances.
Operating days may be charged for a ship at the dock in
Woods Hole if departure is delayed due to a science party
requirement. An operating day will not be charged if the ship
is responsible for the delay.
Lost scientific station time at sea due to weather, scientific
equipment failure or ship’s equipment failures are chargeable
days until the ship returns to port. If the port is an out-port
and the ship becomes unavailable for service due to mechanical
failure for more than 24 hours, then the out-port days will
not be charged. If the failure is due to ancillary systems
failure (submersible or ROV or similar) then the days will
be charged if the ship is ready for service.
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is dedicated to research and education to advance understanding of the ocean and its interaction with the Earth system, and to communicating this understanding for the benefit of society. Learn more »