Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


The academic research fleet is experiencing an increase in the cost of operations. Some members of the fleet are feeling a dramatic rise in operational costs in the area of marine insurance and a decrease in the availability of insurance. The academic fleet is referred to as the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) fleet. It is composed of 25 ships which are operated by 18 institutions. The vessels are owned outright or operated under a charter party agreement from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The National Science Foundation and ONR are also the major funding agencies for the academic fleet. In the current era of declining funds, the operator must utilize the available funds in the most efficient manner. Therefore, the major funding agencies and the vessel operators have become increasingly interested in insurance programs which could provide the desired coverage at greater savings. There are several group insurance programs that could result in a net savings for the fleet. The range of programs include volume purchasing, mutual or P & I clubs, and self-insurance.