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New Sub Museum slated for Newport, KY - USS Narwhal SSN-671

Place for general submarine conversation

Postby TMSmalley » Tue Sep 23, 2003 4:27 pm

A pal of mine who does marine surveys for museums is doing the structural survey work on this boat next month - the Sturgeon class, NARWHAL. He says TRITON is also up for donation by NAVSEA if anybody is interested. Ned Beach was skipper on that one.

Sharp eyes will note that the writers of this story moved the USS BOWFIN from its home in Hawaii all the way to Cleveland - Heaven knows where they put the COD. :D


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Tourism officials excited by sub
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By Patrick Crowley
and Dan Klepal
copyright The Cincinnati Enquirer
9/21/03

NEWPORT - The Ohio Riverfront already sports an eclectic offering of tourist attractions, from an aquarium and beer garden in Kentucky to pro sports stadiums and a soon-to-open Underground Railroad museum in Cincinnati. Will a submarine fit in?

"Absolutely," said Tom Caradonio, president of the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau. "It's another arrow in the quiver."

On Thursday, Kentucky U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, a Southgate Republican, announced that the USS Narwhal, a decommissioned U.S. Navy nuclear submarine, is likely to be docked along Newport's Riverboat Row in about two years. It will be a tourist attraction as well as a tool to teach schoolchildren math and science, he said.

Tourism officials haven't yet calculated the potential economic impact of the attraction, but are already excited about what it will add to an area with Newport on the Levee, the Newport Aquarium, the Hofbrauhaus beer garden, Great American Ball Park, Paul Brown Stadium, the Purple People Bridge and the National Freedom Center Underground Railroad museum.

"A submarine sounds like it will be very valuable to tourism and education," said Jim Carroll, spokesman for the Kentucky Tourism Development Cabinet. "I think, like the Newport Aquarium, it will attract tourists as well as lots of school kids."

There are 18 decommissioned submarines converted to museums around the county, most of them World War II-era vessels.

In Cleveland, visitors pay $6 to board the USS Bowfin Museum and Park in Cleveland. Guests receive a portable cassette player that provides a guided tour of the vessel. About 30,000 people visit it annually, said ship keeper Dewey Hansen.

The USS Cobia has become the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc, Wis., a small town near Lake Michigan. About 45,000 people a year visit and tour the World War II sub, according to museum development manager Patty Ressler.

Operators of existing Ohio River attractions say the Narwhal will bring even more visitors to what is fast becoming a major tourist destination.

"We think it's awesome, we are very happy about it," said Jill Issacs, spokeswoman for the Newport Aquarium, which sits just above Riverboat Row and will be one of the Narwhal's closest neighbors.

"Anything that brings people to the riverfront is positive, and it really will benefit everyone that is on the river," she said.

Last year, the aquarium drew more than 500,000 visitors.

Travel Agent Debra Haynes of the Travel Store in Forest Park said the submarine alone wouldn't attract out-of-town visitors to the riverfront.

"But as part of everything the riverfront has to offer, it fits in great," Haynes said. "People will make it one of their stops when they come to visit."

Though Northern Kentucky clearly scored a coup in landing the sub, any new attraction benefits the entire region, including downtown Cincinnati, said Julie Calvert, vice president of communications for the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky are both part of the same region, and anything good happening in Northern Kentucky is good for everybody in the region," she said. "The submarine is definitely something we will use to market Greater Cincinnati to tourists around the country."

The picture looks good, but it's not perfect, either.

Submarines are expensive to maintain.

In an Aug. 18 letter to Rep. Ken Lucas, a Boone County Democrat who worked on securing the vessel, Naval officials advised project backers that maintaining the submarine is an "admirable but ambitious" plan that "presents challenging technical and security issues and is ultimately very costly to initiate and maintain."

Submarines have to be dry-docked at least once every 10 years for cleaning, maintenance and repair.

"It costs about $1 million to put (a vessel) in dry dock," Hansen said. "You have to do that because you'll get rust, and you don't know what the bottom of the hull looks like."

In Wisconsin, annual maintenance on the USS Cobia costs about $240,000 a year.

Covington Independent Schools superintendent Jack Moreland, chairman of the National Submarine Science Discovery Center, said the board has no idea how much maintenance will cost.

"The museum and tours will generate an income, and I'm sure it will be more than adequate to take care of repairs and maintenance," Moreland said

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Edited By TMSmalley on 1064846366
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Postby wlambing » Tue Sep 23, 2003 5:14 pm

Dear Tim,
USS Narwhal (SSN 671) is NOT a Sturgeon class ship. She is a "one-off", that is, her own class. She was the super-quiet platform hauling around the S5G, Natural Circulation power plant. One turbine, no reduction gears, and only 33 foot beam. Sorry, Jane's!! :p

Take care,
Bill Lambing
MMFN(SS)-MM2(SS)
A-Division, SSN 671
Mar 73- May 78
"If you ignore the problem long enough, it will go away. Even flooding stops eventually!"
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Postby TMSmalley » Wed Sep 24, 2003 10:29 am

Ya got me, Billy! It is only "similar" to the Sturgeon class. :;):

SSN-671 Narwhal
The USS NARWHAL (SSN-671) was the quietest of submarines at the time of her commissioning, the result of a natural circulation reactor. She has been modified for special missions, and is fitted to operate a Remotely Opearted Vehicle. She was decommissioned in 1999. The USS Narwhal (SSN 671) was built as the prototype platform for an ultra-quiet natural circulation reactor design. This allows for operation with the large water circulating pumps, a major source of radiated noise, secured. It is similar to the Sturgeon design in other respects. NARWHAL used new engineering technology and several other innovations that led to advances in the submarine development program, laying important groundwork for the LOS ANGELES and OHIO class submarines which followed her. She was truly a one ship class.
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Photo of Narwhal (671) and other boats taken week of 9/16/03 by Joe Lombardi
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Postby chips » Wed Sep 24, 2003 7:10 pm

From my office in the Celebreeze Federal Building, I can see the USCG Station and the USS COD. There is only one sub docked at Cleveland's lakefront.
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Postby Casey Thrower » Wed Sep 24, 2003 10:30 pm

TMSmalley wrote:A pal of mine who does marine surveys for museums is doing the structural survey work on this boat next month - the Sturgeon class, NARWHAL. He says TRITON is also up for donation by NAVSEA if anybody is interested. Ned Beach was skipper on that one.

I thought TRITON was razor blades already.
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Postby TMSmalley » Thu Sep 25, 2003 9:32 am

Nope - here's the photo of TRITON taken last week in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

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Postby Casey Thrower » Thu Sep 25, 2003 6:42 pm

TMSmalley wrote:Nope - here's the photo of TRITON taken last week in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

Image

MAN! I hope they make her into something. TRITON has always been my favorite sub next to SKATE. Thanks for the headsup.
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Postby Casey Thrower » Thu Sep 25, 2003 6:46 pm

TMSmalley wrote:"It costs about $1 million to put (a vessel) in dry dock," Hansen said. "You have to do that because you'll get rust, and you don't know what the bottom of the hull looks like."

In Wisconsin, annual maintenance on the USS Cobia costs about $240,000 a year.

USS DRUM in Mobile was placed on dry land as the U-505 was to keep from costing so much money. I think this is really the way to go as you can see the whole submarine, not just topside.
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