Next Vessel

Photographer: Jeffrey W. Churill

This picture has the Bramble moored up in Algonac Michigan in 1996. The Bramble was being used to transfer people to and from Harsens Island until the ice jam was broken free so ferry traffic could resume.

USCGC Bramble (WLB-392)

United States Coast Guard

Home Port: 9th Coast Guard District, Port Huron, MI 

Type:  Balsam Class, Seagoing Buoy Tender / Ice Breaker / Museum Ship

Built:  1944

Engine Type:  Diesel

Displacement:  1,025 tons

Length:  180 ' - 0"

Beam: 37' - 0"

Draft: 13' - 0"

Maximum Speed: 13 knots

Range: 22,500 nautical miles at cruising speed. 7,500 at full speed

The USCGC BRAMBLE is a "C" class, seagoing buoy tender transferred to Detroit in 1962.  Her current duties are search and rescue, icebreaking and aids to navigation throughout the Great Lakes.

 During the summer months she is involved in dockside availabilities, training conferences, festival celebrations and scheduled drydock.

Her winter months are usually spent dockside, undergoing maintenance and training. When required she heads out for icebreaking duties primarily from Lake Huron to Lake Erie.

The U.S. Lighthouse Service completed her preliminary design with the final design completed by the Marine Iron and Shipbuilding Corporation of Duluth, MN. Being built by Zenith Dredge Company of Duluth, MN, the BRAMBLES keel was laid on August 2, 1943. The total cost for her construction was $925,464. She was launched on October 23, 1943 and put into service on April 22, 1944. 

There were a total of (39) 180 foot seagoing buoy tenders built from 1942 to 1944. The IRONWOOD was the only one not built in Duluth, MN. being constructed in Curtis Bay, MD at the Coast Guard yard.

In 1945 she departed for her new homeport of San Pedro, CA for performing duties of aids to navigation. She was later transferred to Juneau, AK for work around the Aleutian Islands that same year. Here she also performed aids to navigation duties along with supply duties. Her home port was changed to San Francisco, CA after World War II. In 1949 her home port was transferred, this time to San Juan, PR. In 1953 she was again transferred with her new home port in Miami, FL. This is where her Northwest Passage voyage originated.

(Click "Voyages" on top tool bar for more information)

Photographer: Jeffrey W. Churill

Just entering the St. Clair River near Port Huron, she just finished pulling up buoys from Lake Huron. This was one cold day in early January of 1999.

In 1963 she made her home port transfer to Detroit, MI to perform aids to navigation, search and rescue and ice breaking duties. She reported to her present home port of Port Huron, MI in September, 1975. 

The BRAMBLE has been decommissioned and now sits in Port Huron, Michigan as a Museum Ship. She has been replaced with the new Juniper class 225' Coast Guard Cutter HOLLYHOCK.


Visit Her Sister Ship:

USCGC Sundew

Photographer: Keith W. Churill

UPDATE 08/01/2012: The Bramble is in the process of being re-located to Toledo, Ohio. The Last Patrol, a non-profit organization has begun the task of aquiring the vessel and reactivating her as a museum ship. Visit their website for the latest information:

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