With the changes in ocean science and global economics of the 1980's has come a set of serious problems for the academic fleet of research vessels. Over half the ships now operating in oceanographic research are over 10 years old. They are not fuel efficient, and some are worn out. Strong opinions abound as to the proper size of an ideal ship for the 1980's. Memories of the voyages of the famous sailing ship Atlantis, which was replaced by the modern research ship Atlantis II, built in 1963 (the Vema, built in 1923, is still operating), give way now to concepts of modern ocean science projects being undertaken by satellites, coastal research (including the coastal margins) being concentrated, and research of the oceans being done on land.