Zero Energy Historic Vessel Restoration

Discussion in 'Projects & Proposals' started by Denali.Amida.YP146, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. Denali.Amida.YP146
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    Location: Portland, OR USA

    Denali.Amida.YP146 Rick Coyle | KoKa Media | Portland, OR | USA

    Hello, I'm new to this forum but I happened upon it while searching for info on re-plating a steel hull. I run a nonprofit in Portland, OR where we are restoring and modernizing one, potentially two historic vessels from the 1920's. We received an 82' 1926 Alfred E. Luders Express Cruiser (timber) as a generous donation from a family who invested close to $200K in her initial restoration and unfortunate salvage effort after she sank in her boathouse. She is in pretty great shape considering.


    The potential vessel is the reason for this post. We are considering taking on a massive restoration of a former coast guard cutter, USCGC Bonham W129, now Polar Star - one of 30 'Buck n' Quarta' 125' cutters ordered by Coolidge in 1926 to aid the naval patrols for rumrunners. As a side, Denali is claimed to have been owned by Al Capone. Express Cruisers like her had the fastest hull design of the era and we're commonly used by the prohibition smugglers.

    90 years later, she's been a home, a fishing boat, a navy vessel, a tugboat, and now she sits neglected and decaying.

    We're thinking of putting together a restoration collaboration between a few community colleges and universities in the area and possibly a Veterans organization and Youthbuilders group, and restore her over time. If you look at the pictures in this link, you can see how bad the hull is. To restore the hull would cost millions (I've been told), but what about replating her hull? Can it be done on a vessel of her size? What would the steps be to prepare for that?

    Any input would be well received and valued. We are looking for help with both restorations so if anyone is interested in being a part of the 'remote crew' or if you're local, lets connect. This project will extend into cyberspace and we will be creating an immersive user experience so that people can be inside the virtual vessel in 360 degree 3D VR.
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

  3. Denali.Amida.YP146
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: Portland, OR USA

    Denali.Amida.YP146 Rick Coyle | KoKa Media | Portland, OR | USA

    Thanks for the reply. Yes I know about USCGC Ewing up in Seattle and I've connected with Hansen about it. The reason for the restoration is to be a learning and teaching experience incorporating STEM concepts. But yes, if it is too far gone to be salvageable and safe then we will definitely pass. The nonprofit doesn't have funds to purchase a vessel right now so we can only accept a donation.
     
  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    They didn't do you any favors with the donation. They probably got a really good tax deduction for it. For $30,000 you can buy something better. If that amount is too much, you guys are way over your head. You will not be able to do a restoration based on labor from college students. What is necessary are highly skilled trades people. Restorations require a lot more knowledge than a new construction. By the way, you can build an exact replica for less than a restoration.
     
  5. Denali.Amida.YP146
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    Denali.Amida.YP146 Rick Coyle | KoKa Media | Portland, OR | USA

    Thanks. I think you may not have read the initial post.
     
  6. Denali.Amida.YP146
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    Denali.Amida.YP146 Rick Coyle | KoKa Media | Portland, OR | USA

    The cutter has not been donated yet, we are considering it which is why I'm seeing information. They can't get more than $5K from a tax deduction without a full inspection and appraisal. It's not about cost. Funding is coming in. It's about STEM education and collaborative problem solving. We're not looking for easy answers, we're looking for challenges to solve and innovate. Maybe Bonham isn't the right vessel for us, but I'm looking for information about re-plating a steel hull that is in as bad of shape
     
  7. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Replating the hull will almost certainly not be enough. The entire internal structure will also have to be fixed or replaced. The experience can be very interesting because, besides what is visible, there are sure to be a multitude of hidden defects. But, I say this in a positive sense, if in the end you discover that it was impossible to make the boat sail again with the due safety, this will be a good learning too.
    If in some aspect, not economic, you think that I can help, do not hesitate to request it. I have experience in designing and building metallic ships. Good luck.
     
  8. Denali.Amida.YP146
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    Denali.Amida.YP146 Rick Coyle | KoKa Media | Portland, OR | USA

    Thank you thank you for your encouraging reply! This is going to be a huge collaboration with global participants and your expertise would be highly valued if you'd like to help! I'm sure you're absolutely right about uncovering hidden issues and finding that much more of her structure will need repair or replacement.
    We have a team of engineers and scientists on board who will guide students through the design process as we re-power her with renewables and clean tech. We also have a USCG veteran diesel mechanic who makes a living repairing ships, and our team is growing. We have mechanical engineers and fluid and thermal dynamics engineers and looking for naval architects, marine engineers, and metalurgical engineers among many other fields. Let me know how to get in touch with you and I'll connect.
     
  9. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

  10. Nick.K
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    Nick.K Senior Member

    I am regularly employed repairing old steel trawlers typically built from 1980 to 1990. It's toxic, tough and dangerous work, definitely unsuitable (in my opinion) in many cases for anyone with less than a few years of prior experience of boats or yards. What element of the reconstruction would you give to a 'youth builder' for example? Timber is different because many processes are or can be done by hand tools and it is practical to absorb labour in a way that is still rewarding for the volunteers, but steel repair is acetylene cutting, grinding, hoisting plates and welding, blasting and airless coating often in conjunction with moving heavy loads overhead; all highly unsuitable jobs for people new to that environment and unaware of the multitude of risks.
     
  11. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member


    You need less engineers and more skilled tradesmen.
     
  12. Denali.Amida.YP146
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    Location: Portland, OR USA

    Denali.Amida.YP146 Rick Coyle | KoKa Media | Portland, OR | USA

    Good to know.
     
  13. Denali.Amida.YP146
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    Denali.Amida.YP146 Rick Coyle | KoKa Media | Portland, OR | USA

    I'm sorry I should have been more clear. I don't intend to have unskilled laborers perform steel hull repair or wood hull repair for that matter. Trade school apprentices with supervision? Perhaps, but even that would be limited. I was looking for information regarding re-plating a steel hull, i.e., what does that entail and what kind of cost compared to alternatives. The veteran labor force and youthbuilder programs is an idea reserved for other aspects such as installing various technologies and ancillary structural modifications, and that would be limited to those workers with suitable experience.
     
  14. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The first step is to have a marine survey done. Based on that, and the level of restoration expected, you can get a plan. The plan will include cost of material, labor and time. Preferably something like a Gantt chart will be generated. These steps are going to take a couple of months and won't be cheap. I would guess that the cost would be $30,000 to $40,000. It will be time consuming to do all the research. I always tell my customers that anything can be repaired if you have enough time and money.
     

  15. Nick.K
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    Nick.K Senior Member

    I think you also need to be more specific about the aims and intended use of the vessel. This is a boat with historic aspects for example. It is built with the materials, methods and mechanical systems of the time which are probably impossible to replicate in the reconstruction. The hull plating and structures in the photos are riveted for example. To what degree is the historic aspect of the boat important to to the projects aims? Should this be reflected in the methodology? Is the boat to be fully functional or only partially (a floating exhibit for example). Your initial post gave the impression that this was to be a project to draw in a wide variety of volunteer workers, providing experience and learning opportunities but if the work is to professionally done then it seems to me that you don't achieve that aim.
     
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