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  • Originally posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    Let's put one thing straight here: I am a founding member of the Pacific Battleship Center and their Naval Architect. Because of some medical problems this past year I haven't been aboard as often as I would like to. But I personally know the dedication of our crew and volunteers and you can rest assured that Battleship is VERY well taken care of.

    I spent 39 years at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. I hired in as an Apprentice Shipfitter in September of 1954 and retired as a Naval Architect in February of 1994. In the 1980's I was assigned to be the structural Configuration Manager for the modernization of all four Iowa class Battleships. So I know pretty much about how the ships are built, why they were built that way and how to keep them fit.

    Well, at least structure wise and armor wise. Compartment arrangement wise (which was also one of my requirements as Configuration Manager) I'm also pretty good at and even my wife has been aboard helping me take measurements and develop any improvements we can do aboard the ship. But in the field of Mechanical items, Electrical work or Electronics I know the experts to call on who I used to work with at LBNSY and they are all willing to go aboard and see what can be done and offer advice. For electrical and electronics I can call on Bill *** and/or Ray **********. For compartment arrangements I can call on John ***** and/or Anthony *********. For metallurgical concerns I can call on Dan *****. For heating and cooling I can call on Stan *******. For machinery and propulsion I can call on Nat ******. Even for structural modifications, I have all my drawings reviewed by Larry **** before issueing to the ship. Larry used to be one of my supervisors and has a Masters Degree in Naval Architecture.

    Please note the above that I'm leaving out the last names of our experts to maintain their privacy. I goofed on this once before with a document I wrote and he's bugged me (justifiably) about it ever since.

    So don't you worry about the Iowa. The same can be said of her three sisters. We have an excellent manageral staff to keep things straight. So if there is any problem, our staff can handle it. If you don't think they can ---- well, let's just say you do not want to go through me (and/or with a couple of other people I know). Well, especially if it's with any sort of anger or vindictiveness. I much prefer boring you to death with speeches of ship histories, UFO sightings, Monster legends and how to drive an M41A1 tank.
    And then there's me.

    In all sincerity having been aboard Iowa with Dick here I don't mind throwing my dos centavos in. I didn't do a pre-Light Off Exam as I would have done on the old PEB, but from what I saw, it is my opinion that she could be made ready for underway in less than one year, albeit probably not with a mixed gender crew. Also I won't attest to combat systems readiness, as she may not be a full up round in that regard; but get steam up and her away from San Pedro? Yeah I could do that with the right kind of help. Right now in my opinion it is not the material condition of these ships that is the long pole in the tent, but the personnel requirements. See there are no more Boiler Technicians and very few Machinists Mates, and don't even say something like convert a bunch of Gas Turbine techs because everyone knows they all wear lace on the cuffs of their coveralls. You need real Black Gang and not a bunch of glorified flight line weanies. Just sayin'.

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    • Originally posted by desertswo View Post
      And then there's me.

      In all sincerity having been aboard Iowa with Dick here I don't mind throwing my dos centavos in. I didn't do a pre-Light Off Exam as I would have done on the old PEB, but from what I saw, it is my opinion that she could be made ready for underway in less than one year, albeit probably not with a mixed gender crew. Also I won't attest to combat systems readiness, as she may not be a full up round in that regard; but get steam up and her away from San Pedro? Yeah I could do that with the right kind of help. Right now in my opinion it is not the material condition of these ships that is the long pole in the tent, but the personnel requirements. See there are no more Boiler Technicians and very few Machinists Mates, and don't even say something like convert a bunch of Gas Turbine techs because everyone knows they all wear lace on the cuffs of their coveralls. You need real Black Gang and not a bunch of glorified flight line weanies. Just sayin'.
      Well said Captain though I didn't include you in the list as you would be our hole card. But when Gas Turbines came out in the Spruances and Perrys, I found their crews to be pretty knowledgable and many of them had a multi-tasking attitude (like me) about them. But that was back over 30 years ago. So since designs and other improvements have been made to operate those turbines more safely, perhaps the type of crewmen that operate them now have been selected based upon a "one interest only" personality than in the "olden" days.

      Gosh, I've been retired THAT long? Not really as I'm still with the Battleships and I wish we could have gotten the Ranger as well.

      When I mentioned safety of the turbines, I'm referring to many design changes we had to do with the first ones that came out. Intake trunks needed improvements to prevent nasty things from being sucked into the turbine (which at that time only had a thin net at the bottom of the trunk that caught a piece of broken off weld metal one of our enginers found on one ship he inspected) and exhaust trunks had to have sections of their plating replaced with a higher grade to take the high heat better than the standard grade of plating.

      Well, that's enough for now. I get off track too easily and this is a BATTLESHIP board and many of the ship classes mentioned above have either been given to foreign countries, sunk as fishing reefs or cut up for scrap.

      But as for the boiler fed Battleships are concerned, I don't think you would have much problem finding people who would burn the midnight oil digesting the Tech Manuals and inspecting each valve, pipe flange, burner, boiler tube, etc. explicitly before first light off. Even if you are "Black gang", you are a crewman of a BATTLESHIP and for most BB crewmen I have known, they are proud of that title.
      Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by RustyBattleship View Post
        Well said Captain though I didn't include you in the list as you would be our hole card. But when Gas Turbines came out in the Spruances and Perrys, I found their crews to be pretty knowledgable and many of them had a multi-tasking attitude (like me) about them. But that was back over 30 years ago. So since designs and other improvements have been made to operate those turbines more safely, perhaps the type of crewmen that operate them now have been selected based upon a "one interest only" personality than in the "olden" days.
        Dick, I once had to cross the pier to show the Chief Engineer of USS John Young (DD 973) how to punch the sea life and other assorted gunk out of one of their main engine lube oil coolers. We and John Young had deployed together as a two ship Surface Action Group (SAG), and we were sort of joined at the hip accordingly, and I was acting not only as Chief Engineer of my own ship, but sort of as a DESRON material officer as well.

        Anyway, when I say "I" went across the pier, I really meant just that. I wouldn't allow my engineers to do it because they had enough to deal with on our side of the pier, but more to the point I did it to impress upon this young man (I was his senior by one pay grade and five years or so in age and experience) that he really needed to get down in the weeds a bit so that he could make informed decisions about his plant and its equipment. All that said, can you imagine a bunch of senior petty officers and CPOs not having a clue about how to go about something so simple? Well that was your GS rating circa 1988. You are correct in that the original rating members were pretty good because they were all former Enginemen and had learned a thing or two before joining the new rating. As they began to grow their own however, this insidious idea that the shipyard or tender or IMA was going to do everything for them started to creep in . . . along with the lace cuffs.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by desertswo View Post
          And then there's me.

          In all sincerity having been aboard Iowa with Dick here I don't mind throwing my dos centavos in. I didn't do a pre-Light Off Exam as I would have done on the old PEB, but from what I saw, it is my opinion that she could be made ready for underway in less than one year, albeit probably not with a mixed gender crew. Also I won't attest to combat systems readiness, as she may not be a full up round in that regard; but get steam up and her away from San Pedro? Yeah I could do that with the right kind of help. Right now in my opinion it is not the material condition of these ships that is the long pole in the tent, but the personnel requirements. See there are no more Boiler Technicians and very few Machinists Mates, and don't even say something like convert a bunch of Gas Turbine techs because everyone knows they all wear lace on the cuffs of their coveralls. You need real Black Gang and not a bunch of glorified flight line weanies. Just sayin'.
          Well Captain, Rusty and her crew has already got one head converted to a gender setup so give them time . Glad to hear she's looking good though and if it came to it and they needed her and a crew I'd volunteer in a heartbeat......Just gotta ignore my medical history :slap:.
          RIP Charles "Bob" Spence. 1936-2014.

          Comment


          • I usually peruse this forum weekly to see if anything interesting is being discussed re. battleships and was quite surprised to read this current discussion devoted to the state of material readiness of our four IOWA museums.

            Both Rusty and DSWO have both pointed out the obvious - the ships are going nowhere anytime soon; and have also pointed out WHY. What I find interesting in this discussion is that most of the public (and I include myself) have very little knowledge of the rather detailed (and to a lesser degree) and undisclosed tenets of these donation agreements between the Navy and the individual ship caretaker groups.

            I have often wondered why reunion groups (just to name one type of visitor) gathering on one of the museum ships are fed, not from a functioning galley, but catered meals brought aboard the ship. Personally, for the money, I would much prefer the Navy Chow to the junk catered in, but that's neither here nor there. The reasons were quite correctly stated in the foregoing discussion and I'm glad to have had that tidbit of info passed on. I'm also appreciative for Rusty mentioning that IOWA has put into service one or two of the smaller galleys aboard IOWA.

            In discussing the material condition of the ships and how they are individually maintained, I would refer to a comparison between CASSIN YOUNG (Nat'l Park Service) and KIDD (private caretaker group) - KIDD is in what could be described as almost IN COMMISSION condition due to the many years of work replacing equipment, refurbishing systems, and an overall plan of action that puts the ship into a pristine condition other museum ships can only envy. While I've visited both ships, KIDD simply is IMHO, simply maintained to a much higher degree than CASSIN YOUNG. Not faulting NPS, but the goal set by the caretaking group of KIDD is beyond the scope of that NPS is willing to commit to. Looking at the battleship museums, I've been on board NEW JERSEY (DUH :slap:), ALABAMA, and NORTH CAROLINA (DUH 2). One size does not fit all. I think from reading this discussion (and overall Battleship thread) that IOWA is probably in better hands than the others. I don't see much interest here in NC to do more than show what they've currently got. Hell, they can't even agree that she NEEDS the drydock overhaul after 56 years in the mud. (it's much easier to waste money for a political campaign than spend the same dollars maintaining a historical asset!) ALABAMA wasn't all that impressive either; but given the extreme weather situations she been put through in the last few years they have their hands full. NEW JERSEY is, well, I guess in good hands although I've received less than an enthusiastic response to my requests for actual drawings/plans for my model project. Perhaps Rusty could enlighten me as to whether NJ has the same level of Plan Office as does IOWA. The NJ volunteer group has an online newsletter which points out the immense value of that group aboard ship. Having never been on board MISSOURI I can only speculate that her condition is being maintained at a similar level - I do get occasional photos of her from the modeling forum and members who have visited her and provided current, detailed pix.

            Each group seems to operate their given ship to whatever overall goals they've set, not to an overall standard and as such, that would probably present a big problem IF something occurred that required their return to service.
            Last edited by bbvet; 10 Apr 15,, 12:37.

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            • With regards to the North Carolina, I don't see why they haven't towed her to dry dock already. That was what the plan supposedly was ten years ago. They had the money, and estimated it would be 8-12 million total....permits, getting her out of her berth, etc.

              Now they're saying they need 15 million to do the cofferdam thing. I don't get it. And that's not a cofferdam like the Alabama has, what they've been doing it welding one to a section of the ship's side, repairing that one section, then removing it and going to the next spot. It's ridiculous, in my opinion. Ship hasn't been out of the water in over 50 years. Take her to Norfolk, get her high and dry, and do it right.

              I do know there's been some disagreements on how to do things there in the past few years. I experienced that myself, as I was supposed to restore an old Jeep the ship had in storage for years. They were all set for me to do it, I went and got it, and when I started working on it some new guy started making waves about spending the money elsewhere. He was outvoted until I found the engine had issues, then they ended up sticking it back in storage. So I'm not certain everyone is on the same page down there at all.

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              • Well I know there's atleast one bridge in her way but if I remember correctly that bridge is a drawbridge or it lifts up so that shouldn't pose a problem but yea she needs a proper "refit". I think they had to make her more stable though because while she's not like the Texas her hull had allot off holes and they were worried about talking on to much water (Texas almost sank last time she was moved). I've only been there once and there were allot of things I liked but they seem to need a better leader. Alot of inside compartments had been restored but the paint was peeling off in sheets and they just left it and I'm talking MANY areas. There were also so rust/rot forming outside that would be and easy fix but looked like they didn't do anything. I mean 1 gallon of paint would fix or protect allot of it and they could get it for next to nothing being a museum. I'm planning on going in June so I'll see what's changed.
                RIP Charles "Bob" Spence. 1936-2014.

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                • Well, wouldn't you know it - I'm driving home today and heard on NPR (yea, keep your friends close, and your....closer) that today the NC Battleship Commission launched their campaign to raise $15M for refurbishing the ship. Timing couldn't have been better.

                  The cofferdam crap is typ. NC bullshit - I've heard these half-baked solutions here all my life. And people wonder why things in the south are so, how shall I say, "incomplete"?

                  Just for once I would love to hear from professionals as to how to solve a problem - not from the Professional politicians who run things (and their mouths!).

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                  • This is a hypothetical question that I'm hoping Rusty or Desertswo can answer for me. Given the length and hull form of the South Dakota class BB's, how much of an increase in their 130,000 SHP would they need to attain 30 knots?

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                    • ^ Good question. Must be a heck of a lot more then an Iowa.
                      RIP Charles "Bob" Spence. 1936-2014.

                      Comment


                      • In May 1954, SCB created a class improvement plan for the*North Carolinas which included twenty-four*3*in/50*guns directed by sixMark*56s. A month later, the SCB chairman voiced his belief that theNorth Carolinas and*South Dakotas would be excellent additions to task forces—if they could be faster. The Bureau of Ships then considered and discarded designs that would move these ships at 31 knots (36*mph; 57*km/h), four knots faster than their current attainable speed. In order for a*North Carolina*to obtain 31*knots, 240,000*shaft horsepower*(shp) would be required. This, in turn, would necessitate the installation of an extremely large power plant, one which would not fit into the ship even if the third turret was removed. If the outer external*belt armor*were removed, 216,000*shp would still be required. However, no matter if the belt was taken off or not, all of the hull form aft would have to be greatly modified to accept larger propellers. The last strike against the project was the high estimated cost of $40*million—which did not include the cost of activating battleships that had been out of commission for ten years.[74]

                        Later calculations proved that the*North Carolinas could be lightened from 44,377 to around 40,541 long tons (41,192*t), at which 210,000*shp would suffice. At the trial displacement figure of 38,400 long tons (39,000*t), even 186,000*shp would be enough; the 210,000 figure was derived from a 12.5% overestimation to account for a*fouled bottom*or bad weather. A similar power plant to the one used in theIowa*class (generating 212,000*shaft horsepower) would be enough, and if the third turret was removed there would be no problems with weight, but there was not enough space within the*North Carolinas. When compared, the current power plant measured 176**70**24, but the*Iowa* '​s was 256**72**26. Lastly, there would be an issue with the propellers; the*Iowa*class' were 19*ft (5.8*m) wide, while the*North Carolina* '​s were 17*ft (5.2*m). In the end, no conversions were undertaken.[75]

                        remembered this which could give you an idea but the NCs were almost 50ft longer which helps with speed:
                        RIP Charles "Bob" Spence. 1936-2014.

                        Comment


                        • Thanks for posting that. I actually remember reading that post. While similar in some ways, the South Dakotas weren't just shorter but the hull shape was a bit different too, although the answer to my question may end up being very close to the one for the North Carolina. The reason I posed the hypothetical question is that it was asked on another forum by someone who's specialty is Royal Navy history and was asked about the South Dakota class. The question came up during a discussion about the Battle of Denmark Strait and the Prince of Wales and Hood doing 30 knots while attempting to intercept the Bismarck.

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                          • Seems like a stretch in the limited knowledge I have on figuring hull speed but I know the SDs and NCs had bad vibration issues so they were tapped out unless they could rectify that (I don't think they ever fully fixed that). I don't know if the Hood or POW had any issues like that but they seem to be lacking on the power side. I wish I could remember the figures but it said how much more power the Iowa's needed to attain 4 more knots was insane and that was with a lengthened and improved hull.
                            RIP Charles "Bob" Spence. 1936-2014.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by 85 gt kid View Post
                              Seems like a stretch in the limited knowledge I have on figuring hull speed but I know the SDs and NCs had bad vibration issues so they were tapped out unless they could rectify that (I don't think they ever fully fixed that). I don't know if the Hood or POW had any issues like that but they seem to be lacking on the power side. I wish I could remember the figures but it said how much more power the Iowa's needed to attain 4 more knots was insane and that was with a lengthened and improved hull.
                              SoDak class had 130,000 shp for 27 knots
                              North Carolina class had 121.000 shp for 28 knots
                              Iowa had 212,000 shp for 32-ish knots


                              And no, they never did fully get rid of the vibration on the North Carolina, but they moved it up to around the ship's top speed. I believe it was originally starting to show up at about 24 knots.

                              That's how she got her nickname, "The Showboat". Coming in and out of New York harbor so many times while trying to fix the vibration.

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                              • Yea I remember seeing where done piece of literature said she was the showboat because she "was the pride of the fleet" :slap:. As to the HP yea I meant how much an Iowa needed to attain 28 knts. It was somewhere around the SoDaks # I think. I'll look in my Friedman book.
                                RIP Charles "Bob" Spence. 1936-2014.

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