The Center operates two dedicated research vessels, the 48-foot R/V Gulf Surveyor (CCOM/JHC owned and operated) and the 34-foot R/V Cocheco (NOAA owned and CCOM/JHC maintained and operated). The vessels operate primarily in the area of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but are capable of transiting and operating from Maine to Massachusetts. Although neither vessel is designed for offshore operations, they are ideally suited to near-shore and shallow water (in as little as four meters depth).
The vessels are operated under all appropriate national and international maritime rules as well as the appropriate NOAA small boat rules and those of the University of New Hampshire. Both boats carry life rafts and EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons), electronic navigation systems based on GPS, and radar. Safety briefings are given to all crew, students, and scientists. Random man-overboard and emergency towing exercises are performed throughout the operating season. The Center employs a permanent captain and permanent relief captain.
In addition to the two research vessels, the Center also has a personal watercraft equipped with differential GPS, single-beam 192-kHz acoustic altimeter, and onboard navigation system - CBASS, and has partnered with the Blodgett Foundation to help equip a hovercraft (R/H Sabvabba) especially outfitted to work in the most extreme regions of the Arctic.