Sproul has twin engines driving fixed pitch propellers with dual rudders for steering. A bow thruster is available when power usage permits its operation. Her cruising speed is about 8 knots. She does not have automated station keeping abilities (i.e. dynamic positioning), therefore station keeping is dependent on the operator's ability to maneuver the ship within the weather and current conditions present.

Hydraulics & Machinery

HYDRAULIC SYSTEM - Hydraulic power is used to run the crane, A-frame, and winches onboard. If you have portable equipment requiring hydraulic power it can be installed, however, no quick connection fittings exist so advance notice and coordination will be required. Contact the Restech group to discuss your hydraulic needs.

A-FRAME - The A-frame is located at the stern of the ship. It has a safe working load of 6,500 lbs when in motion (hydraulically driven). When parked against the aft foundation, the A-frame can safely handle up to 10,000 lbs. without conditions. Contact the Restech group to discuss the need for A-frame operations at sea and make sure to provide accurate weights for equipment that will require lifting.

CAPSTAN - The ship normally carries a portable capstan on the main deck, principally used for mooring lines, available for other line-hauling tasks. Specifics available upon request. It can be situated to mesh with other space constraints and operational requirements.

CRANES - Permission to operate cranes is strictly limited to authorized personnel. These cranes are operated at sea only by permission of the captain. A knuckle crane is normally installed on the port side after deck. It’s lifting capacity varies based on reach but at its lowest rating, it can safely lift 1400 lbs at sea. Contact the Restech group to discuss the need for crane operations at sea and make sure to provide accurate weights for equipment that will require lifting.

WINCHES & WIRES - Winches on the Sproul are operated by a member of the science party. Operators will be trained and signed off on proper use of the winches before use by the Restech or a member of the crew. Winches can be operated locally, or from the aft steering console on the bridge deck. Tension, speed, and wire out readouts are at each winch with repeaters in the main lab, aft steering, and on the bridge. This information is also logged and viewable via the MET system.

CTD Winch - Hydraulic Western Gear loaded with 0.322" conductor wire. The max tension allowable in this configuration is 2000 lbs. The drum of this winch can be swapped out upon request. Contact the Restech group to discuss options.

Trawl Winch - Hydraulic Markey DEYSH-3 loaded 3/8" 3X19 wire. The max tension allowable in this configuration is 5200 lbs. The drum of this winch can be swapped out upon request. Contact the Restech group to discuss options.

There are also a number of portable winches available that can be installed on deck upon request. The chief scientist must make his requirements known to the Restech so the appropriate winch can be reserved for the cruise.

A log is maintained documenting the actual wire on each winch at any given time. The working end of every wire is occasionally cut off and the termination replaced. It is important that expected water depths of planned operations be made known to the resident technicians and the marine superintendent as far in advance of these operations as possible, to ensure that adequate wire is available.

Navigation Equipment

DEPTH RECORDING - There is a fathometer on the bridge. Maximum reliable soundings are ~800 meters. The soundings from the fathometer are logged in the MET acquisition system.

DIRECTION FINDING EQUIPMENT - A Simrad Taiyo ADDF TD-L1620 direction finder is available on the pilot house for tracking scientific instruments that output a signal from an RDF beacon. Transmitters for use with this system are provided by the scientific group or arrangements for the appropriate equipment can be made with the Resident Marine Technicians Group.

GPS – GPS 90 and GPS 150 positions are logged in the MET acquisition system. A serial feed can be provided.

GPS COMPASS - A GPS compass is logged in the MET acquisition system. A serial feed can be provided.

NAVIGATION SOFTWARE - Nobeltec navigation software is used on the bridge. A repeater screen is installed in the computer van and the main lab.

RADAR – A Furuno 72nm Radar and a Furuno 72nm Multifunction Display Radar are used on the bridge.


DECK LOADING - Ship stability is ultimately the responsibility of the captain. The responsibility of scientists is to consult the Nimitz Marine Facility or the resident technician early to describe loading plans and requirements so that any necessary adjustments can be made. The more complex and heavy your equipment the more advance notice is needed. Our goal is to resolve loading problems and incompatibilities well before sailing day, so that it will not be necessary to leave scientific gear on the dock in order to assure a safe ship.

DECK BOLTS - No welding is permitted directly to any deck. All installations must use the 2 foot x 2 foot grid of deck bolts (welding may be done to “ears” or plates, which in turn are bolted to the deck). Bolt holes are 1" NC thread on the main deck, 1/2" NC thread in the labs and storerooms. The ship has a supply of bolts and eye bolts for use with these deck sockets. Bolt holes in equipment should be made oversize, to allow for deck grid irregularities.

SHEAVES & BLOCKS - Use of various winches and wires implies use of certain combinations of sheaves and blocks. In addition, your scientific operation may have particular requirements for fair-leading wires to certain locations. Be sure to check with the resident technician well in advance to explain all your wire rigging ideas and needs. Technicians will know how to best accomplish your task. The ship has a very limited supply of sheaves and blocks so requirements must be known before sailing.

TOOLS AND SUPPLIES - The Restechs maintain a tool box from which the scientific party can borrow tools. The return of all tools is a must. Tools are limited to those most commonly used and you may not find everything you need on board. Be sure you have everything you will need before sailing.

HATCHES - Hatches and watertight doors are heavy and dangerous if not secured correctly. Careful use of all doors and hatches, especially at sea, is very important. Carelessness could easily lead to severe injury. All doors and hatches should be positively latched either open or closed at all times, never left to swing free.

FLOOD LIGHTS - Do not turn on deck lights without obtaining permission from the bridge first. Consider the night vision of the crew and use only the lights you need, turning them off when finished\

FRESH WATER - Fresh water is available on deck but should not be used for wash down purposes, except if necessary and then by consultation with the resident technicians.

SEAWATER - A pump supplies the deck with seawater via a garden hose spigot.

COMPRESSED AIR - Ship's compressed air is available for pneumatic tools and equipment. It is suitable for running pneumatic tools, but may not be dry or clean enough for laboratory use. Users should plan to supply their own filters if the air is intended for any lab use. An air compressor for air gun work can be installed on deck (contact Shipboard Geophysical Group for more info).

BOATS - The ship has one 11-foot rigid-hulled inflatable boat with a 15 horespower outboard motor. The Restechs have a 17-foot rigid inflatable boat with a 50 horespower outboard motor. The Restech boat is available on request and dependent on availability.

GASOLINE - Small amounts of gasoline for outboard motor use at sea are carried in USCG-approved containers.

INTERCOM – An intercom system is installed in the ship, as well as a marine hailer on the back deck.