Researching is going to help you develop both your raft and you ability to survive. The research table allows you to build slightly more complex structures like breathing equipment for longer underwater voyages, advancements on makeshift tools and the creation of electronics used for finding the unknown. Once all electronics has been learned, crafted and set up, you will be guided to an abandoned oil rig with a whiteboard holding some crucial information on why you might be on this raft and why there is nothing left but small islands.
The research table is created using:
It can be accessed using the book on the table.
To start researching something, you can put one of the required items from the desired researchable item into the table, and once all the items that are needed have been placed into the table, the researching will be complete. Also, sometimes, barrels will give you blueprints, which you can place into the research table and learn a new item/structure.