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Thread: BB-55 at low tide

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Boat View Post
    Dumb question:

    Under her own power what are the odds of BB55 clawing her way out of the mud? Is she floating in the slop or is she sitting in it?
    I am no Rusty for sure, but her own power?

    I think it just towing her out with tugs would be a major accomplishment without damage to her hull and props.

  2. #17
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    Chances are Zippo!

    You couldnt turn over her engines as all the mud, silt and slop would clog her Seachest,Seacocks, intakes, boiler drums etc. Thats after you remove the protective steel plating over them first. In order to turn them over you would require alot of work, fuel and water. So basically you would increase her displacement and therefore her depth in the silt and slop. She would end stuck deeper then what she is now.

    You would do 100 times more damage to her sytems then anything you could possibly do by tugging her out. The amount of time and money it would take to correct that damage would be astronomical to say the very least.

    Better to cut her a path by dredge and water blasting to clear her props first. Then tug her out.

    It would be my guess they will inquire about Naval assistance before hand. That is if they were smart.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 10 Jun 10, at 17:26.
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  3. #18
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    Well, they are not going to dry dock the Showboat.

    Going to install a cofferdam around her and do the repairs right where she sits.

    My question about that is: How will the underside of the ship be serviced? I've not ever seen a cofferdam in person, but it doesn't seem like they'd be able to get under her, even if they dug her out and put some sort of blocks underneath.

    I'd rather see her dry docked and done right, THEN put her back in the cofferdam.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacfanweb View Post
    Well, they are not going to dry dock the Showboat.


    My question about that is: How will the underside of the ship be serviced? .
    Which has been a question asked of me on several memorial ships. Do not let the bottom of the ship touch the bottom of the bay, river, etc.

    To do so, even if it includes dredging, pick a mooring site so the bottom has at least 4-feet of clearance at extreme low-low tide. Therefore, anything that might go wrong (such as a rusted out rivet popping open a hole) a diver can still get under the ship safely to plug the hole.

    Also, there are methods of hull scrubbing that can be done by divers using rotary brushes to clear off sea growth. And a succesfull paint has been developed to apply under water. Our divers at LBNSY did that to the Missouri and it held up quite well until her dry docking in Bremerton for inactivation.
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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    Which has been a question asked of me on several memorial ships. Do not let the bottom of the ship touch the bottom of the bay, river, etc.

    To do so, even if it includes dredging, pick a mooring site so the bottom has at least 4-feet of clearance at extreme low-low tide. Therefore, anything that might go wrong (such as a rusted out rivet popping open a hole) a diver can still get under the ship safely to plug the hole.

    Also, there are methods of hull scrubbing that can be done by divers using rotary brushes to clear off sea growth. And a succesfull paint has been developed to apply under water. Our divers at LBNSY did that to the Missouri and it held up quite well until her dry docking in Bremerton for inactivation.
    Ok Rusty I understand why they are taking this route but how can they get to the very bottom of the ship? Once they build the cofferdam and drain the water the ship settles even deeper in the mud. If I understood the situation she is already in the mud.

  6. #21
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    Agreed, and if you cant cofferdam her then pick a moorning site that has a sweep of tidal current under the hull and as Rusty mentions enough depth at minimum. I know they planned on taking her out awhile back, I hope they still do plan in the future. Shes a good looking ship.
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  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    Agreed, and if you cant cofferdam her then pick a moorning site that has a sweep of tidal current under the hull and as Rusty mentions enough depth at minimum. I know they planned on taking her out awhile back, I hope they still do plan in the future. Shes a good looking ship.
    She is a fine looking ship but I think the descision has been made due to the fact that the bottom may be in such poor condition that the cost and danger of moving her may exceed the funds that could be allocated to bring her back up to specs.

  8. #23
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    The I would strongly recommend the inicatives that others have taken to offset the costs. Selling bonds and collecting donations. It takes time but it has paid off in a few cases. Every penny helps.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

  9. #24
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    It sounds like they are doing the same as they did with the Alabama. Having seen the pix of it, there is no way that the bottom of that ship was repaired correctly.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    Which has been a question asked of me on several memorial ships. Do not let the bottom of the ship touch the bottom of the bay, river, etc.

    To do so, even if it includes dredging, pick a mooring site so the bottom has at least 4-feet of clearance at extreme low-low tide. Therefore, anything that might go wrong (such as a rusted out rivet popping open a hole) a diver can still get under the ship safely to plug the hole.

    Also, there are methods of hull scrubbing that can be done by divers using rotary brushes to clear off sea growth. And a succesfull paint has been developed to apply under water. Our divers at LBNSY did that to the Missouri and it held up quite well until her dry docking in Bremerton for inactivation.
    Rusty....good to know there are methods of doing work underwater.

    However, my question is this: Are these methods the BEST way to do hull work on a ship that hasn't been out of the water in almost 60 years? I understand it worked well on the Missouri....but I'd guess at that point she had been maintained much better and more frequently than BB55 has, so was in better condition to start with.

    Looking at the pics of the cofferdam around Alabama, I just don't see how they can get to the bottom of the hull to do anything, much less actually repair it if needed. Am I missing something?

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacfanweb View Post
    Looking at the pics of the cofferdam around Alabama, I just don't see how they can get to the bottom of the hull to do anything, much less actually repair it if needed. Am I missing something?
    I haven't seen the cofferdam proposals or pictures of either the North Carolina, Alabama or Texas. Please link them to me.

    However I think an old graving dock (dry dock) has been made available for Texas. They can set her down on double high blocks to allow people (of normal height) to walk underneath without bending over and suing the museum for causing their sacro-iliac to pop out.
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  12. #27
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    Rusty-

    Page 10-14 on this PDF show some of the work.

    http://www.piledrivers.org/files/upl...47BDB977B8.pdf

  13. #28
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveinCoalinga View Post
    Rusty-

    Page 10-14 on this PDF show some of the work.

    http://www.piledrivers.org/files/upl...47BDB977B8.pdf
    Thanks for the link. That confirms just what I was thinking of how they would build such a cofferdam - using interlocking steel beams driven very deep into the mud.

    Replacing bottom plating will have to be done a narrow section at a time by actually tunneling under the ship.

    As I've said before, museum brass hats that don't really know anything about ships (and abrasive sand plus metal decomposing minerals) think they are saving money just by settling the ship on an even keel in the mud. This makes it nice and level for tourists and deletes the need for most mooring lines.

    But sitting in the mud prevents any and all hull maintenance which will eventually lead to a very expensive dry docking. And in Alabama's case, a very expensive and dangerous cofferdam construction.
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  14. #29
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    Here's the latest description of what they are planning:

    Work will begin in October on enclosing the starboard bow of the ship in a small cofferdam.

    A feasibility/cost study will be performed at that time to determine how much money will be needed to repair the entire hull in this way.

    The commission then has the option of enclosing the entire ship in four walls, like work that was done on the USS Alabama in Mobile, Ala., in 2002. Or workers could repair the steel hull in 40-foot sections, as money becomes available from the group's fundraising campaign.

    After repairs are made around the “wind/water line,” where wave movement and wind cause the most deterioration, Bragg said he would like to float the ship and paint the lowermost portions of the hull, using new underwater “paint pelting” technology and underwater welding. Some steel plates may need replacement, and the work calls for the removal of about 1.5 million gallons of contaminated oily water from the ship's tanks.

    Bragg said pumping the 36,000-ton, 729-foot steel ship out of the mud and using tugs to move it almost 400 miles to Virginia would cost about $30 million. He expects the cofferdam solution to cost $12 million to $14 million.

  15. #30
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    IMO, Mud only accelerates the process of hull deterioration no doubt and no matter where it happens the result is the very same.

    Wow, Im surprised they really didnt give her a top to bottom clean and sealing against oil seapage, bunker "C" as she used to burn was very thick for fuel oil. So the residue can make a mountain out of a mole hill.

    Apparently the man has a plan, very simular to Alabama's current state.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 13 Jun 10, at 05:59.
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