- The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA along with LS3P announced today, that construction is scheduled to begin this Spring on the Starboard Bow of the Ship. Taylor Brothers Marine Construction, whose headquarters are based in Beaufort, North Carolina, has been awarded the contract for the project.
The Battleship has not been drydocked since 1947 and over time the hull has shown signs of deterioration with the Starboard Bow having the most significant needs of repair. Funds raised from Operation Ship Shape, 1998, have been allocated to pay for the $2.1 million project. This case will serve as the feasibility study for the more substantial in-place hull repair.
"New technologies are giving us the opportunity to move forward with a larger capital project," states Captain Terry Bragg, Executive Director of the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA. "We have an obligation to maintain our prime artifact, which is the Ship."
LS3P Associates' principal Charles Boney Jr., was an excited five year-old standing on Water Street when the Battleship came to Wilmington, and was proud to know that his architect-father was on one of the tugs guiding the ship up-river to the berth as well as designer with the Boney Architect of the ship's first Visitors' Center. "I'm honored to be able to continue our legacy of work for the USS North Carolina. Keeping her afloat, and ensuring her integrity for future generations, is an honor for everyone at LS3P Associates." Lead by Kim Gordon and Elliot O'Neal, LS3P Associates provided bid documents for the hull repairs and coordinated the work of Ocean Technical Services through the NC Department of Cultural resources.
Joe Lombardi of Ocean Technical Services is a leading expert in the restoration and preservation of World War II naval vessels. His work as a Marine Surveyor includes battleships, destroyers, submarines, and aircraft carriers. His intimate knowledge of the USS North Carolina began with a structural hull survey in 1999, and he continues to advise the Battleship Commission in their care for the ship. Lombardi's creative skills helped develop a portable coffer dam system to be used in this unique hull repair, which will make the work possible without the expense of placing the ship in dry-dock.
Taylor Brothers Marine Construction will perform the hull repairs from their Wilmington office. The father and son team of Julius Taylor Jr. and Julius Taylor III will bring over forty years of experience in marine construction to bear on the hull. Their work for the Battleship will include a custom-made steel coffer dam, which will be inserted against the hull to displace water and mud. The coffer dam will provide a dry work area against the hull. Working from barges floated over the mud that now surrounds the ship, Taylor will replace steel at the Battleship's "wind-water" line where water meets the hull. The current work will be confined to the starboard bow where rust is most prevalent.
The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is self-supporting, not tax supported and relies primarily upon admissions to tour the Ship, sales in the Ship's Store, donations and investments. No funds for its administration and operation come from appropriations from governmental entities at the local, state or federal levels. Located at the junction of Highways 17/74/76/421 on the Cape Fear River. Visit www.battleshipnc.com or follow us on Facebook.com/battleshipnc and Twitter.com/battleshipnc for more information.