View Full Version : Forum commissioning
01-08-2008, 07:45 PM
Suggested by Sarsfield of Batfish fame, open for business.
01-08-2008, 11:39 PM
:D Thank you, again, Neal.
The main purpose of this sub-forum (pun intended) is to share our efforts, ideas, problems, solutions, etc. among those of us that are involved in the restoration of some of the best and most well-implemented machines ever devised... U.S. WWII submarines.
I recently joined up with the USS Batfish in Muskogee, OK and spent a weekend on her in Dec. trying to raise money for her restoration. We have a long way to go to $60,000, but we'll have fun raising it.
Our immediate goal is to restore the 1MC system. Before the Navy handed her over, they did a number of stunts that I would almost consider sabotage. The periscopes are broken, the torpedo outer doors have been removed and a bar welded in front of each of the pressure doors, they cut wires to important electrical systems, including the alarms, and the list goes on. They definitely didn't want her to sail for war ever again. She's land-locked, now, but we're trying to get some of her systems back on line and giver her a fresh look on the exterior.
Any help, advice, and experience would be greatly appreciated.
01-09-2008, 12:02 AM
Thanks Neal, As Sarsfield said the Batfish needs help. lets try to promote it to as many as possible, especially AVGwarhawk
01-10-2008, 11:22 AM
Man, I did not get to see this until today. Brothers in restoring arms!!! I feel your pain with what the Navy does before they turn over a piece of history. Our electrical board in manuevering looks like the TX chainsaw massacre was filmed behind it. Lucky for the Torsk, she has several aboard who served on these old warships and have the know how to hook things back up!!! One thing is for sure, you need to understand voltages very well before you start powering things up!!! Tim Calvert was a engineman on the Diablo so there is our help on that...working on turning over a Fairbanks:D . Charles Weaver was stationed in manuevering in the 60,s and earned his dolphins on the Torsk. There are a few others who served on them during the war but time has taken it's toll on them.
We are fortunate to be were we are in relation to mothballed surface skimmers. There are plenty bobbing around the Potomac River. Most parts are interchangeable and are exact or similar to the submarines. So the TVA goes on many ship strips. Our latest was the USS Trout. She is not available for a strip field trip again. She is up for bid as scrap. We are attempting to find out who got the contract and where she will end up. At that point we beg to come aboard and grab what we can. She is currently in Philadelphia. Our hopes is she ends up with a scrap yard in Baltimore. Easy picking then. We need a periscope collar she has!!!!! The downside, she is the last of it out there that we are aware of. If you do not have it, you have to make one.
If I were hanging on the Batfish, my first one on the wish list for her would be the torpedo outer doors. The Torsk had plates cut and welded for her doors. Although not functional, the complete the outside of her. We are very fortunate to have the shipyards were she can be dry docked for work.
She is ready for another dry dock trip. The navy was so kind to video a small hole on the starboard side. Once a year the navy shows up to inspector her as she still floats. They site us for a few minor infractions and spend the rest of the time in the galley talking old war stories with the crew. What I do is select what I want to clean up, repower, restore, etc. I then complete it!!! A few on the TVA start something and it goes unfinished. Currently I'm cleaning up the control panels for the snorkel. She was turned into a guppy after the war. Had her sail changed. You can see that in the pic above. The hull is pure WW2 and 99% of the inards are WW2. The attack scope is WW2 but the observation scope was replaced after the war.
We are fortunate to have water service and standard electrical service to her. All the heads work and I never imagined that one day I would be going to the bathroom on a WW2 submarine;) . The electrical service allows us to use compressors for tools and keep the tanks full of air so she does not submerge for her last time at the dock:o . The battery rooms aft has a refrig for some cool drinks on those hot summer days!!! One really cool thing we got working as a result of the standard electrical was the radar now spins. We retrofitted a motor in the con to spin the mast. So she looks alive when you walk up to her and see the radar turning up on the sail. So, you have to use your know how to get some things going. Heck, even the four slice toaster is functional;) .
Other than that, a lot of the time is spent keeping house. Getting the dust bunnies up with a vacuum. Polishing the brass. Keeps the folks coming to visit and money in the bank for other things. This year the city of Baltimore donated $50000 to the Torsk and the USS Constellation. The Constellation will probably get most of the money as she is a one of a kind warship and gets most of the attention anyway. The Constellation sits across the bay from the Torsk. I keep attempting to get the AOB, speed(0) and range of the Constellation so I can fire a torp at her. Then we get all the money:p Other than that, we beg, borrow and steal what we need. :up:
01-10-2008, 11:55 AM
I visted the Torsk twice when I lived in MD from '98 to '05. I worked at Pax River NAS as a propulsion engineer for 7 years.
Is the Torsk's deck still rotted out or did you guys get it replaced?
The Batfish definitely needs outer doors and that may be part of the $60,000 plan to restore her outer hull, including a new deck and remounting her 5" deck gun. Right now we'd be happy just to get the 1MC/7MC system working again. Since she's on land, we really don't have a need for compressors or any other machinery. It would be nice to get her periscopes fixed and the radar working. We think her radio gear is intact, but it needs to be checked out by a technician.
March 1st we will be doing cleaning and yard maintenace for the Navy inspection. We didn't get a very good score last year. I think the Navy and/or government should pitch in if they're really that concerned about it - I'm not for big government, but we're not talking about millions of dollars here.
You guys do have a serious advantage of being so close to the Philly Naval Ship Yard and being in Baltimore. If you plan on raiding the Trout, grab whatever they'll let you have and let us know what you get. Maybe we can barter and, who knows, actually pay for some spare parts.
The Pompanito has a huge wish list. I think they're trying to get her ready for another war patrol. :rotfl:
01-10-2008, 12:12 PM
We just received the decking. Only the bow needs the new wood that is completely gone. Apparently the wood is as good as teak or better. I understand it will last over 100 years untreaded. The measuring and cutting started over two weeks ago. We wait for spring and warm weather as we need to get under the superstructure to install.
The Torsk's radioroom is fully functional and registered number with FCC or whoever messes with that. I do not spend much time in there really.
As far as the Trout, I will be going with deep pockets if we get the chance!
Well, pick a project and complete it to the end. That is my motto and it works. There are many projects started by others that they started something else and on it goes. My first project was installing the O2 tanks in each compartment. This project started over 5 years ago. I volunteered at the Torsk just under a year ago. Ah, so these tanks been sitting in the aft torp room for how long???? So, I had 5 left to finish what was started a long time ago. It is done, all the tanks up where they belong. I move on to the next project to complete. Currently the others are starting finishing the projects so it is coming along.
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