Warship museums are not assured victory as tourist attractions – U.S. – Stripes

When the battleship Iowa was commissioned in 1943, it was a powerful weapon in yet another war to end all wars.

Now its huge guns are pointed at a string of seafood restaurants in San Pedro, and it’s about to join America’s fleet of floating museums — some 48 warships that have been donated to coastal communities eager for tourist dollars and upgraded waterfronts.

Although some of the attractions have thrived, others have been swamped in debt or racked by age.

In San Diego, the aircraft carrier Midway has topped 1 million visitors per year. Another carrier, the Intrepid, is a must-see museum in Manhattan, especially with the recent arrival of the space shuttle Enterprise.

But near Houston, the century-old battleship Texas closed indefinitely last week after holes opened up in its corroded hull and it started taking on more than 1,500 gallons of water a minute. In Alameda, the aircraft carrier Hornet is getting by. But it was nearly shut down a few years ago when officials couldn’t cover the rent and electric bills. In Camden, N.J., the battleship New Jersey now has five full-time employees — down from a peak of 50.

via Warship museums are not assured victory as tourist attractions – U.S. – Stripes.

One certainly hopes the Iowa museum is a successful one. San Pedro isn’t the LA that you see on TV, with beautiful beaches and bikini clad blondes rollerblading along the shore. But as the article notes, it IS right next to the cruise terminal.

7 thoughts on “Warship museums are not assured victory as tourist attractions – U.S. – Stripes”

  1. The Texas had a bunch of work done to her not that long ago. It’s been quite awhile since I went aboard her (early 70s when an Uncle was a Chem Engineer at Phillips) and she was in pretty good shape then.

    I suppose a lot of the work that was done on her wasn’t on the hul below the waterline. I had been led to believe she had been dry docked, though.

  2. The Texas BB-35 was dry docked and both the hull and topside areas repaired about 10 years ago. The citizens of the State of Texas approved a measure setting aside millions of dollars to raise the Texas and put it in a “cradle” above ground. Due to bureaucratic delays, the cost has ballooned past the amount set aside, The Texas may not be seaworthy enough to be towed to a dry dock and could actually sink in transit, blocking the Houston Ship Channel-which would have catastrophic effects on trade and energy industries-and the nation’s fuel prices. Now it appears that if anything is to be done-it will have to be done on site-and could end up as a modern engineering miracle if they pull it off. The good news is that the Texas can’t really “sink”-as it is resting on a mud bottom now. The bad news is that leaking water could fill most of the restored parts of the below decks area of this historic ship-permanently undoing the efforts of thousands of hour of labor and millions of dollars.

    1. Eventually those floating museums will be set on cradles out of the water or they will all sink. Where Nauticus would put the badger Boat is anyone’s guess. There was enough room on land for the Texas nearby when I visited. I have no idea why faceless bureaucrats would have prevented hauling Texas out of the water. I think we need to make a lot of those faceless typers a lot less faceless and let them face the ire of the public. Most of them are simply being idiots and obstructionists and serving no good purpose in the process.

    1. I have VERY fond memories of visiting the USS Massachusetts. Mostly because the cute little redhead I went about with spent a good deal of the time allotted playing smoochies with me near the barbette of the number 2 turret.

      IIRC, Esli’s wife visited the ship that day as well.

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