The FLIP Ship

Despite the many opportunities for research in the oceans, the surfaces of those seas tend to get rough.  Ships being tossed around tend to do less research, so in 1962 the Office of Naval Research helped to develop the Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP).
FLIP can be used in either a drifting or moored mode, based on the science requirements, and FLIP can remain on station in the vertical position for substantial periods of time. For research requiring a stationary rather than drifting platform, a deep moor capability has been developed.

This 350 foot long contraption is towed out to the open ocean, and flipped 90° to the vertical position to become a stable spar buoy.  The 50 or so feet that juts above the waterline becomes the crew operations area, where research can be carried out in stable, calm conditions.

Link (Marine Physical Laboratory)  Photo: Dept. of Navy

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This thing is really neat. Unfortunately, I have bad memories of it because my business partner and I had a falling out over it. He rented it for a demonstration that I thought was ill conceived so I told him to buy me out. He did both and the demo flopped. (Pun intended)
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