WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Marine Technology students at Cape Fear Community College have a new deck to swab, and they can't wait to get on board.
Today it was in with the new and out with the old, as CFCC welcomed its recently-purchased Research Vessel Cape Hatteras.
CFCC bought the Cape Hatteras from Duke University for $900,000 to replace the undersized and outdated R/V Dan Moore. The Cape Hatteras is only 31-years-old and 135 feet long and compared to the 50-year-old Dan Moore at just feed.
"With this boat we now have something larger, more capable," CFCC Marine Technology Chair Jason Rogers said. "It's safer. It's going to give our students the skills and experiences they need to get jobs, and that's really what our program is about. Getting students employed in the industry."
Student Jessica Reynolds is looking forward to working on the Cape Hatteras before she graduates.
"I'm super excited," she said. "It's so big compared to the Dan Moore."
Big is certainly one way to describe the ship that will house students during their educational voyages at sea.
"We've always told them that if they can adapt to living aboard the Dan Moore, that anything they go to work on will be like a luxury liner. Well, this is that luxury liner," Capt. Stephen Beuth said.
This luxury liner boasts a larger main deck, twice the lab space and a cruising range of 7,000 miles. That's 2,000 Miles longer than the Dan Moore.
Rogers says the Dan Moore will take on one final cruise this summer before it retires.
CFCC hopes to begin using the Cape Hatteras as soon as possible.