December 04th Dry Dock Photos
Courtesy of Joseph W. Lombardi


The Sumner-Class destroyer U.S.S. LAFFEY was fleeted and floated on her new hull bottom this past Tuesday at Detyens Shipyard, N. Charleston, SC after a lengthy restoration. This marks a new beginning for this very important and historic vessel and an important restoration effort by Patriots Point Development Corporation.

U.S. COATINGS did a fine job in preparing the vessel for the follow-on work by the shipyard; this firm is now engaged with the interior lower space painting/preservation work.

The Detyens Shipyard and MMIF steel fabrication crew, welders, riggers, cleaners, fire watches, painters, dock masters did a masterful job in removing the steel double plate that covered 81% of her original shell plating, itself badly corroded. They then removed that original plating to bare frames and bulkheads from the 13 waterline down to and including the keelson, bow to stern. All rivet seams, sea chests and overboard discharges previously below the waterline were removed or plated over. The entire hull was sheathed in new 3/8 A-036 mild steel plate and welded. I might add that the shipyard superintendent for Detyens, Mr. Eric Williams, performed magic in keeping to the schedule. Well done!

The four machinery spaces had required extensive repairs and wholesale replacement of the five transverse bulkheads, longitudinal and transverse frames. The keel was largely replaced from Frame 72 to Frame # 148; a very difficult and dangerous endeavor. The reefer flats and other areas aboard were extensively restored with new plating.

The shaft packing glands and rudder posts were repacked with new flax packing and tightened into the stops. External covers were welded over the shaft tubes and shafts to prevent any additional water from entering the ship.

Both anchor chains, 10 & 12 shots with both 4,000 lb. Baldt anchors were hydro blasted, primed and painted and re-inserted into the chain lockers and hawse pipes.

The hull was hydro blasted to SSPC-6 profile. The freeboard from the sheer to the waterline was coated with a single coat of INTERNATIONAL 300V primer and one coat of INTERNATIONAL POLYSILOXANE haze gray topcoat. The boot top (or waterline) was coated with two coats of 14 mil INTERNATIONAL 300V primer coats and a single coat of black INTERNATIONAL POLYSILOXANE. All lettering and draft marks have been completed. The hull bottom below the 5 waterline was coated with two 14 mil coats of INTERNATIONAL 262 primer. Zinc sacrificial anodes will be hung over the sides to protect the hull from galvanic corrosion until a permanent impressed cathodic protection system can be installed at her permanent berth at Patriots Point.

The interior was washed down and coated with two 14 mil coats of INTERNATIONAL 300V primer coats in the spaces fore and aft of the machinery flats. The new steel bulkheads, frames and foundations within the machinery spaces received two coats of EURONAVY epoxy primer coats to preserve these interior scantlings.

LAFFEY launches in the near future and that schedule will be forthcoming/announced by Patriots Point. I have enjoyed immensely the cooperation of all of the great crew at Patriots Point; they did such a masterful job in keeping LAFFEY afloat for the better part of eight months until a shipyard berth was possible; much is owed to them for their care of the ship.

It was my privilege to serve as Project Manager for this progression.

All Hail LAFFEY! She looks like a toy soldier!

Joseph  W.  Lombardi,  AMS  

Marine  Surveyor  &  Consultant
Ocean  Technical  Services,  LLC
10  Dalton  Avenue
Gloucester,  Massachusetts  01930

Office      978-526-1894
Cellular   508-958-1299
Fax          866-381-2687


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