This paper describes ocean testing of the half-scale Wave Energy Technology-New Zealand (WET-NZ) prototype wave energy converter (WEC) using the Ocean Sentinel instrumentation buoy during a 6-week deployment period in August‐October 2012. These tests were conducted by the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) at its Pacific Ocean test site off the coast of Newport, Oregon. The WET-NZ is the product of a research consortium between Callaghan Innovation, a New Zealand Crown Entity, and Power Projects Limited (PPL), a Wellington, New Zealand private company. The Oregon deployment was project managed by Northwest Energy Innovations (NWEI), a Portland, OR firm. NNMREC is a Department of Energy sponsored partnership between Oregon State University (OSU), the University of Washington (UW), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The Ocean Sentinel instrumentation buoy is a 6-m surface buoy, developed in 2012, that provides a stand-alone electrical load, WEC generator control, and data collection for WECs being tested. The Ocean Sentinel was deployed and operated for the first time during the 2012 WET-NZ tests. During these tests, the operation of the WET-NZ was demonstrated and its performance was characterized, while also proving successful deployment and operation of the Ocean Sentinel.