Battleship Texas springs leaks, I worked her last week

Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by KG0UFO, Jun 15, 2012.

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  1. KG0UFO

    KG0UFO Ham Member QRZ Page

  2. NA0AA

    NA0AA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I spent a couple of days at the Ghost Fleet in Suisun Bay, CA. They keep 'em in water so shallow that when the bilge pumps finally die, they don't have far to sink - like a foot or two - sometimes they don't notice for weeks since they are piled up side to side many ships deep. Some of those old ships have wood hulls under thin metal plating. Reserve fleet? More like practice targets the vast majority of them, sad to say.

    I think they finally extracted the USCG Glacier ice breaker, and they got the Iowa down to LA as a museum ship. There are still some cool old ships there, including some interesting amphib stuff with well decks and the like for launching Mike boats and landing craft.
  3. W5TTW

    W5TTW Ham Member QRZ Page

    The old gal's keel was laid over a century ago. She's entitled to spring a leak every now and then.
  4. K7KBN

    K7KBN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some of the ships with wooden hulls don't have any metallic plating, just GRP (glass-reinforced plastic, or fiberglass). Like the old MSO/MSC minesweepers - the most expensive ships the Navy had to maintain, based on displacement.

    And the former USS Glacier (AGB-4), before the Navy turned all the icebreakers over to the Coast Guard. I remember a few articles in QST back in the '60s, written by hams stationed on Glacier who described the duty AND the rare liberty ports they visited on the way back to the states after several months in the ice. I almost wanted to be stationed on an AGB, but their smooth, round bottoms would have triggered terminal motion sickness in me! I'm just glad I was on a carrier!
  5. AD1L

    AD1L Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Salvage operations are so sophisticated now I'm sure they will put the Texas right.

    When you think about museum ship exhibits you would have a hard time outdoing the Intrepid for the diversity of material on display.
    And as if they didn’t have enough the addition of the shuttle Enterprise last week has them seriously spanning everything from WWII to the space-age.

    On this page The Atlantic published a series of photos that I find truly stunning.

    Can you imagine looking out the window of one of the Manhattan high-rises and seeing that coming up the Hudson below!

    James – AD1L
  6. N2ADV

    N2ADV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yeah. I got to see it, it was pretty freaking cool.
  7. W4HAY

    W4HAY Ham Member QRZ Page

    She's a neat old ship. Several of us toured her twice in the early '80s and the most interesting stuff to us was below decks, especially the steam engines. Lots and lots of machinery and yeah, we got a little dirty. As we were leaving, one of the park officials commented (imagine deep Texas drawl), "Looks like y'all really enjoyed yourselves"!
  8. KK4AAG

    KK4AAG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It is not the ability to fix the leak it is raising the funds to do so. The federal government doesn't supply funds to keep these museums going. Take it from some one that is involved with upkeep, of the USS Drum SS-228. See the restoration portion on this website: .

    Also NAVSEA inspects these ships once a year and if they get too bad they will take them back and scrap them.

    The USS Olympia needs 10 million dollars minimum in hull work and it is not looking good for the old gal: .
  9. AJ4CU

    AJ4CU Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here in Wilmington, NC where the USS North Carolina BB55 is located we had a similar situation, age and corrosion had done a job on her hull plating and a few large sections had to be replaced, being she sits in the mud ( now admitted by the acoe that it is a very stupid idea) a coffer dam was able to be built so the plating could be replaced, it was really cool seeing that work done.
    It was sitting in the mud (as the Texas was originally) that nearly caused the loss of the Mighty Texas, a great effort saved her, I am sure it will be handled soon and she will be right again...

    The Olympia should also be treated as a national treasure and efforts should be made asap to save that great ship!
  10. W6OGC

    W6OGC Ham Member QRZ Page

    My little brother and I have hundreds of happy hours on the USS Texas moored there at the San Jacinto Battle Monument, back into the '40's and '50's. Our granddad used to take us out there and we would keep the Ship Channel free of communists and other raiders. The guns were still there and could be turned and aimed by hand, not the big ones but the smaller ones on the deck. Great fun! Both of us grew up to be Navy officers at least for a time.

    For some reason I was under the impression that the ship does not float but is permanently fixed in concrete etc. Perhaps that isn't so. Perhaps it is and the leak will not "sink" the ship, merely get the innards wet.
  11. 2E0OZI

    2E0OZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just think its sad that the Royal Navy didn't choose to at least preserve one or two battleships. Perhaps the Warspite, which saw so much action, or the Vangaurd, the last of the line.
  12. KK4AAG

    KK4AAG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you are interested in these museum ships, be sure to check out the Historic Naval Ships Association website: .
  13. N0SYA

    N0SYA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the links, the work on the USS Drum is amazing.
  14. KK4AAG

    KK4AAG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You are welcome. The most amazing thing about the Drum is my SubVets chapter raised most of the money ourselves. The battleship commission is more concerned with the airplanes and the battleship. We are just a red headed step-child to them.
  15. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Please do some real research on the "restoration" of Texas and available money.
    All the work is done by volunteers, free of charge!
    Money was allocated few years back and she was supposed to be out of water this spring!
    It is the "curator" of the ship, Texas "Parks and Recreation" who is dragging their feet and nobody really cares. But they do put on dog and pony shows for the "officials".
    They do have the money, at least to get started.
  16. KK4AAG

    KK4AAG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Don't know how much is in your war chest or what the volunteers do or don't do, just making a comment on the raising of money to do repairs on a museum ship. We are lucky the Drum is on blocks so we don't have to worry about coffer dams redundant pumps generators for the pumps if the power goes out. It takes big bucks to safely work on a vessel's hull in the water. Takes even bigger bucks to get them out of the mud and into a dry dock. Even not paying for labor you need to factor in all the costs of setting up the work area, supply costs, price out a large piece of steel plate, you need to shape and cut it, it will probably have some curve to it. If the EPA gets involved then you have hazmat problems, they used red lead for priming back in the day. The interior of the hull may or may not be insulated with asbestos lagging. The tanks will have to be flushed and pumped out and ventilated constantly with blowers if they held fuel oil to prevent explosions and fires. You will need fire watches with air fed ventilators on the interior. All this takes money.

    They have a saying that a boat is a hole in the water that you fill with money, true statement, ships are even worse.

    The big question about allocated money is, have they found some other government job or program that they think is more vital to the state than a museum? I am sure they will raise the money if needed and repair the Texas, it just may take longer than you think, given the state of the economy.
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