Battleship Texas Battles To Stay Afloat

“It was very eerie to see the stern deck of the ship so close to the water,” writes Swamplot reader J.W. Lodge IV, who visited the leaking Battleship Texas by boat yesterday, and who notes that a news story from Friday linked to in this morning’s Headlines post — which claimed that the dual-world-war veteran parked by the San Jacinto Monument had been repaired and reopened — seemed a bit off. “As far as I can tell they’ve got a long way to go with the pumps,” he reports. The ship was reopened for tours on Saturday, but beginning that evening more problems developed. As of this morning, about 1,500 gallons of ship-channel water were pouring in each minute, from 2 separate areas of new leaks in the vessel’s rear port side. Also developing in the water around the ship: an oil sheen.

Photo from Sunday: J.W. Lodge IV

15 Comment

  • Seems a lot like the Astrodome. I wish the Dome would sink.

  • Please correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t a lot of state money put into this ship a few years ago, to ensure that it would stay afloat for years to come?

  • In the great spirit of Houston (Mark) LET IT SINK!

  • @sailor joe, it was stimulus money, which had the same luck keeping the rest of the country afloat.

  • no mek ju, I mean a big fundraiser or state law a few years ago to prevent permanent drydock :)

  • half bury it, like the USS Cavalla is berthed in Seawolf Park.

  • Voters passed a bond issue of $25 million to drydock the ship back in 2007. As is typical of our once great state, officials in the government did nothing at the time. Now they say it would cost $50 million to do what we wanted to do 5 years ago. Of course, for costs to double in 5 years smells like corrupt crony state contractors to me. Texas looks more and more like our neighbor to the south with each passing year.

  • Scrap it and build a new one!

  • Keep in mind that the center of the ship rests on the bottom, so when they talk about “sinking” they don’t mean “out of sight”.

  • The sense I get is that corrosion occurs from several causes, not just exposure to seawater. Anaerobic bacteria have been causing problems in structural plates from the inside out. There was a link to a very technical study posted in the comments of the Houston Chronicle article. The short version is that permanent dry-dock display isn’t necessarily the best solution and there are no easy solutions. There’s a possibility, sad though it is, that no amount of money can save the _Texas._

  • If the HMS Victory and USS Constitution can stay afloat, so can the Texas. USS Texas is the last remaining Dreadnaught in the world and is well worth preserving and maintaining in perpetuity.

  • The HMS Victory and USS Constitution are primarily wood and the electro-chemical issues bedeviling the Texas’s hull plating don’t apply. Also, those ships weigh a fraction of what the Texas weighs and the structural stresses are more easily managed, not to mention that wood is plentiful and comparatively easy to repair. Apparently being out of the water or taking on water unevenly puts enough stress on the whole hull of the Texas that the rivets and seams are in jeopardy. I’m the son of an old Navy guy and I want the Texas to survive as much as anybody, except for maybe the guys who are busting their butts below decks right now. All I’m saying is that it can easily get too far gone and money won’t matter. Because this is the last dreadnought no one has preserved a steel-hulled vessel of this age and size for this long. It’s still a learning process. If there were a simple solution it would have been done long ago.

  • You were made as well as we could make you.
    But not to last.

  • Perhaps this why the Astrodome decision was put off yet again? $250m+ for the dome rennovation to preserve the site Houston’s repeated professional sport shame. It will cost more to demo the dome($78m at last study estimate) than to save the Texas for $50m! You’d think the GOP would have better election year sense than to turn their back on a veteran of *2* World Wars. There is nothing like the Texas in existence anywhere in the world. All the other battleships people see in other states are WWII-era cookie-cutter designs, the Texas was a cutting edge engineering achievement in making large vessels made out of steel and harnessing the full potential of coal and steam.

  • If it is going to cost that much, perhaps it would be best to tow her off shore and make her part of the TX Parks and Wildlife Ships-to-Reefs program.