The 184.5-foot (56.2 m) ship is equipped with 1,174 square feet (109.1 m2) of laboratory space to support up to 18 scientists at sea. It has a variety of equipment permanently installed, and optional additional equipment available on request, to measure and analyze navigational data; surface atmospheric conditions; sea surface temperature, salinity, fluorescence; bottom depth; dissolved oxygen titration; solar radiation; GPS time; bioacoustics; and geological sampling. The range of depths of submerged equipment varies from 3,000 to 6,000 metres (9,800 to 19,700 ft). The vessel can support diving operations, radioactive isotope materials, and explosive materials.
Wecoma made her last operational cruise November 2011 and was scheduled to be retired with the interim replacement ship being the former Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution operated R/V Oceanus.