Satellite Dome Installation

Here is a photo of the mount being installed for our new satellite dome. This will enable us to have internet 24/7 using a direct satellite link. Even at the North Pole! This is particularly exciting for the crew of the documentary, meaning that we’ll be able to provide updates about the film and the journey throughout the adventure.

Please check the website often for updates of the journey’s progress. And don’t forget to join our mailing list: click here.

Inside Look: Upgrades in Progress

Progress is continuing on the ship. Here is an inside look at a few of the issues being dealt with.
First, here is a photo of a very bad bearing being changed out on one of the engines.  These should be smooth with even wear.  Not grooves.  Good thing they caught it in time or it could have caused further damage.
And here is a photo of a worker re-wiring one of the generators.  There have been issues with the reliability of the generators before so they need a complete overhaul.

Bramble Upgrades: Cranes & Mooring Gear

Finally, as part of the major overhaul underway on Bramble in Mobile, Alabama, work is being done on the Cranes & Mooring Gear:

  • Replace wires on main hoist and fast line
  • Replace wire on swing
  • Cut back wires on Tuggers
  • Replace FRC cable
  • Replace Bow Mooring cable
  • Remove the anchor chain, clean and repaint
  • Change out all Mooring Lines and install chafing gear

When all of the work is complete, we expect to leave for the Caribbean in early June. Once we feel the vessel is expedition ready, we’ll be heading for the tropical paradises of Belize, Roatan, and Utilla, then onwards to the Panama Canal. Stay tuned for updates!

Bramble Upgrades: Exterior

Work on the exterior of the ship is extensive:

  • Removing old brackets and metal part and pieces which are no longer needed
  • Removed old guard shack
  • Removed dog house over the aft passageway
  • Repairing handrails and bulwarks
  • Repairing and/replacing lighting as required
  • Waterblast and paint, Upper side shell, bulwarks, superstructure mast, stack etc.
  • Tool clean rust where necessary
  • Prime and Paint upper decks
  • New Teak Name Boards to be installed
  • New Award Boards & lettering to be installed
  • Black side shell paint, USCG Stripe andBRAMBLE EXPEDITION to be painted
  • Clean Hull, replace anodes and apply antifouling paint
  • Inspect Rudder, repair as needed
  • Inspect Propeller, repair as needed

Bramble Upgrades: Electronics

It’s 2019 and it’s time for Bramble to get an update to the Electronics Suite.

  • Satellite Compass x 2
  • Radars x 2
  • Depth Sounders x 2
    • Including new Hull transducers
  • FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared)
  • Multifunction Display: Chart Plotter / Radar / Depth
  • Navigation PC’s x 2 running Nobeltec Professional
  • DGPS x 2
  • AIS unit
  • Data Organizers x 2
  • SSB
    • w/SSB Modem for tertiary com back up
  • WX FAX
  • Environmental sensor
    • Wind Speed, Heave, Pitch & Roll
  • Hand Held VHF x 2
  • V-SAT high speed internet & VOIP
  • TV Satellite Dome
  • Iridium Communications (Internet & VOIP)
  • Uninterruptable Power Supplies

Also: Removal of older non-heritage equipment, antennas,and outdated wiring, replaced with up to code wiring, junction boxes connectors, etc.

Bramble Upgrades: Plumbing & Waste

There is a lot of work to be done to the Plumbing & Waste for the ship. Currently under way:

  • Replaced Graywater lift station in aft storeroom
  • Repaired automatic switching and alarms
  • Opened bulkheads to repair bad piping
  • Re-welded leaking shower pans
  • Caulking throughout
  • Unclogged drains throughout
  • Repaired sinks, faucets and plumbing
  • Replaced fixture in showers, sinks and Galley
  • Cleaned out Septic tank
  • Rewired alarm and automation panel
  • Removed gray water holding tank
  • Installing sewage treatment plant
  • Installing additional auxiliary bilge suction in forward holds
  • Installing 1800 gallon per day water maker
  • Repaired drains and exhaust in laundry area

Bramble Upgrades: Interior

Bramble’s interior has experienced a lot of wear and tear over the years. From her time as an active service ship to many years as a museum vessel, it’s definitely time for a well deserved interior upgrade. Currently under way:

  • Deep Cleaning in all spaces
  • Repair insulation as needed
  • Paint spaces
  • Replace all mattresses
  • Replacing flooring in CO/XO & Wardroom/Pantry
  • Repairing and replacing furniture in
  • Ward Room, CO’s Cabin and Wardroom Pantry
  • Replaced Epoxy flooring in Cabins
  • Replaced Epoxy Flooring on ladder-well landing
  • Replaced Epoxy Flooring in all Heads and Hospital
  • Stripped all vinyl floors & applied fresh nonslip wax
  • Removed and repaired all portholes & repainted
  • Installed led bunk lights
  • Removed and/or repaired all of the outdated 110v outlets, switches wiring
  • Cleaned Carpets
  • Replaced overhead drop ceiling in the crew lounge
  • Installed TV, s in the Crew Lounge, CO Cabin, Chiefs Mess & Wardroom.
  • Installed network and coax cabling throughout for anticipated installs
  • New linens throughout
  • Repair Lighting and update where possible
  • Replacing Air Conditioning Units throughout
  • Acid flushing all AC chill water lines
  • Installing AC unit on the bridge

We can’t wait to see the updates!

Bramble Upgrades: Engineering

Engineering upgrades are part of the major overhaul currently under way in Mobile, Alabama. Engineering upgrades include:

  • Rebuilt burnt out DC breakers in the Switchgear
  • Rebuilt diesel-powered Boilers for heating
  • Installed water heaters
  • Replaced and/or rebuilt potable water valves
  • Replaced Potable water pumps x 2
  • Rebuilt Raw Water Pumps for main engines
  • Rewired a majority of the control wiring for ships power generations
  • Repaired governor issue on service generator
  • Cleaned bilges, bulkheads and overheads throughout
  • Rebuilt chill water three-way valving
  • Repaired main shaft cooling system
  • Rebuilt leaking air compressors

Bramble is well deserving of these upgrades and with this work will be running smoothly for years to come!

Bramble Upgrades: Galley

Bramble’s excellent chef Marlon will be particularly excited to see the upgrades to the galley. We will certainly all benefit from these upgrades.

  • Complete tear down and cleaning of this area
  • Including using an industrial steam cleaner
  • Rebuilt Galley Hood
  • Refurbished original equipment and possible
  • Replaced and re-plumbed galley sinks and food grinders
  • Unclogged floor drains
  • Refurbishing of compressor units in the reach in reefers.
  • Rebuild of the Ships cold store walk-in reefer and freezer units
  • Compressors, fans, motors etc
  • Reconnected reefer alarms
  • Rebuilt scullery sanitizer
  • Replaced scullery food grinder
  • Unclogged drains
  • Re-plumbed area
  • Repaired electrical components and lighting
  • Replaced Icemaker
  • Replaced old milk dispenser

Bramble Upgrades: Fire Fighting Appliances

Bramble is continuing to undergo upgrades in Mobile, Alabama before the journey resumes.

Upgrades include the following Fire Fighting Appliances:

  • Replaced PPK extinguishers with modern Dry Chemical
  • Installed new Brackets & Paint.
  • Replaced all AFFF media
  • Replaced all dry rotted Fire Hose & rebuilt nozzles as required
  • Changed out dry rotted hoses on CO2 systems in Engineering and Paint Locker
  • Installed Smoke/Fire Detection units in all manned areas
  • Renewed galley fire suppression system and external extinguishers
  • Rebuilt No. 3 fire pump
  • This fire pump is also being piped into a cross-over to be used as a backup
  • Rebuilt all (6) SCBA units
  • Replaced 4 (team) SCBA bottles to larger capacity carbon fiber units
  • Installed SCBA compressor to be able to re-fill our own bottles
  • Also purchased a fitting which allows us to re-fill SCUBA bottles onboard
  • Replaced 4 Fireman’s outfits