SMCC to dedicate new Marine Science boat, Research Vessel Charlie Hall

South Portland, Maine — Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) is proud to announce the dedication of its new Marine Science training boat, Research Vessel (R/V) Charlie Hall. The vessel, a 28-foot Terry Jason boat, represents a significant addition to SMCC’s Marine Science program, providing students with valuable real-world, hands-on experience and enhancing the College’s capacity for marine research and education. The dedication will occur Friday, October 6, at 4:30 p.m. at the SMCC Pier.

The boat is named for former SMVTI/SMCC Marine Sciences Instructor Charlie Hall. Captain Hall, a Maine Maritime Academy graduate, U.S. Navy veteran, and Merchant Marine, spent nearly 40 years at SMCC. “Charlie was happiest at the helm of a boat,” Dan Abbott, Architectural and Engineering Design Professor and resident boating enthusiast, said. “His dedication to the College and his love of teaching made it easy to name the boat R/V Charlie Hall.”

The project was born from the need for a reliable and versatile boat for SMCC’s Marine Science program. The previous boat, the SeaWolf, had reached the end of its operational life and required replacement. A group within the Marine Science program worked diligently to find a suitable replacement.

This summer, the group facilitated the purchase of a Maine-made vessel by renowned boat builder Terry Jason. Jason, a New York native and lifelong boat builder, moved to Maine in 1975 and was well-known for building high-quality lobster boats and pleasure crafts. Jason and his Stueben, Maine-based company, served customers from Maine, the U.S. and across the world. Jason completed the build of this 28-foot boat in 2009. The boat was repowered in 2016 with a highly efficient Hyundai SeasAll Marine diesel engine.

According to Abbott, purchasing the boat was a total team effort.

“From the moment the College approved funding the project, the SMCC team shined,” Abbott said. “Everyone that needed to be involved pulled together and made it happen. The process had several ups and downs, but the team stayed strong and worked hard to make this happen.”

The boat boasts top-quality equipment, genuine windows, metal hatches, and new technologies, making it an ideal platform for marine research, according to SMCC Biological Sciences Chair Daniel Moore.

“I’m excited for this boat to help our students learn on a vessel virtually no two-year college has, and very few four-year schools have,” Moore said. “We purchased impactful marine technology for the boat, including a side-scan sonar, a DNA sequencer, and a data sonde, all because of a generous anonymous donor. Their contribution will make a big difference in students’ lives.”

SMCC Marine Science Professor Brian Tarbox, who will serve as the boat’s primary captain, is excited about the increased capabilities and reliability of R/V Charlie Hall.

“The new vessel will play a pivotal role in SMCC’s marine science program,” Tarbox said. “Students will gain hands-on experience in boat handling, navigation, water quality assessment, sonar mapping, acoustic fish detection and much more. Students trained on the R/V Charlie Hall will be well-prepared for careers in marine biology, oceanography, environmental consulting, and fisheries management, among many other aquaculture careers.”

“The R/V Charlie Hall dedication is a significant milestone for SMCC’s Marine Science program,” SMCC Interim President Tiffanie Bentley said. “It demonstrates the College’s commitment to providing students with a comprehensive education combining classroom learning and hands-on experience. The vessel’s versatility and marine research capacity will undoubtedly benefit our students and their long-term goals to continue to build Maine’s thriving aquaculture economy.”

For more information about SMCC’s Marine Science program, please visit