Friday, January 17, 2014
After many years of age and wear, The Fighting Lady is getting a much-needed face-lift. In a project expected to last about eight months, Patriots Point operations personnel are painting the starboard side of the ship. It’s the first time the hull of the ship has been painted since the mid-1990’s.
With a price-tag of around $190,000, the job- which will take some 500 gallons of paint- is funded through admissions, gift shop sales, overnight camping and event rentals. Patriots Point does not receive appropriated funding for operations.
The first priority is to complete the starboard side hull from the main deck down to the water. Patriots Point will request funds from the Patriots Point Development Authority board in the next fiscal year budget to paint the port side of the ship.
“We’re doing this job as efficiently as we can,” Patriots Point Operations Director Bob Howard said. “To clean the ship to bare metal and apply a new coating system would cost well over $3 million. While that’s ideal, funds that large simply aren’t available. We chose an alternative that would help preserve the metal and make the ship look better for a few years while we identify the funding needed for the long-term solution,” Howard added.
After discussions with state regulatory agencies, it was determined a sufficient method is to lightly remove the flaking paint and scale, without sanding or grinding, then apply a primer and top-coat to the steel.
“By using our crews to do this work we are saving hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette said. “She will shine when our guys are finished,” he added.