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  #1  
Old 09-05-2000, 09:40 AM
Survey1215 Survey1215 is offline
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A friend visited Bremerton, WA, a while ago and toured the
naval base there. He said there were 100 plus ships just sitting in the water, waiting to be decommissioned and sold off, for scrapping or whatever. He couldn't tell me how I can go about buying one of these dudes. What's a WW II era destroyer going for these days? What about an aircraft carrier? Does Joe Taxpayer even get an opportunity to buy these surplus ships for his/her own use?
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2000, 11:02 AM
stuyguy stuyguy is offline
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Don't know about surplus Navy ships, but I did buy a surplus NYC subway car once. Cost me $3,500. And no, this wasn't a hypothetical ownership like adopt-a-road. It was mine, all mine -- all X tons of steel, glass and grafitti. I stored the pieces in my folks backyard for a while.

If you want to know the whole story, ask and I'll tell you.
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  #3  
Old 09-05-2000, 11:27 AM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/20...ngewiesche.htm

You might find this LOOOONG article interesting. I believe the info concerning US military ships begins in the second section, and continues nearer the end.
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  #4  
Old 09-05-2000, 12:38 PM
Atrael Atrael is offline
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http://www.drms.dla.mil/

If you go to that site, you should be able to find information about purchasing ships for scrap. I can't bring it up now to give you a more specific site, because after the latest upgrade to my system, the Adobe add-in doesn't seem to work.
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  #5  
Old 09-05-2000, 04:12 PM
casdave casdave is offline
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So the time-honoured tradition of coming back offshore pissed and waking your oppo up with the whisper
"Hey, wanna buy a battleship?"
has some basis in fact after all.

Which can only be answered in the traditional way by the victim who wakes up the offender late at night and deep into the middle watch
"Sure, what colour is it?"

This can go on with questions and answers about specifications etc for a few days until bOth are vitually on their knees through lack of sleep.
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  #6  
Old 09-05-2000, 04:31 PM
magdalene magdalene is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by stuyguy


If you want to know the whole story, ask and I'll tell you.
Okay, I'll bite. Where is it now?
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  #7  
Old 09-06-2000, 12:40 AM
stuyguy stuyguy is offline
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Well, I don't really know where it is now -- probaby it's been turned into wire hangers or bottle caps. Much of it remained at the scrapyard where I first bought it, another large chunk got hauled off by a carter my folks hired, and the rest I sold for scrap for about for about $8!

Here's the whole story...

At one point in my career I designed trade show booths for a client in the music biz. For one convention they rented a large space on the exhibit floor of the Marriott Marquee (sp?) Hotel in Times Square to highlight some rap artists they had signed. To create a real "urban" theme I suggested recreating a subway station in the space. They loved the idea and gave me the green light.

I knew it would be impossible to pull it off without a subway train. Rather than build one, I bought one! I found out where the NYC MTA scraps their subway cars and gave them a call. For $3500 the car -- and a guy to help me torch it apart -- was mine. I only needed the exterior shell of about 1/3 of the car, and none of the floor/truck portion of the chasis; we cut away the unwanted portions and chopped the rest into pieces that would fit into a small truck.

To make a long, sweaty, miserable story short, I successfully built the subway station -- complete with the real train -- to everyone's acclaim and astonishment. Because I "rented" the train to my client for the $3500 I had paid for it, I -- personally -- now owned a subway car free and clear!

I loved the idea of having the thing and hoped in my heart-of-hearts that someday I would have a huge loft to display it in. But alas, I lived in a modest 1 BR Manhattan apartment. After a few years of trying to rent it to other clients and stowing the pieces in my folks' backyard, I agreed to scrap most of it, keeping only about 5' of the cool-looking front end. (Yeah, mom and dad's "encouragement" had a lot to do with this decision.) A couple of years later I relented completely and scrapped the front end too -- for the above-mentioned $8.

All I have today -- beside some very, very bittersweet memories -- are some cool photos, the bill-or-sale and a couple of momentos which I hope to frame and hang some day: the emergency brake pull-cord handle, and the iron trumpet-shaped airhorn that was originally mounted just outside the motorman's cab.
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  #8  
Old 09-06-2000, 01:44 AM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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Some people have purchased surplus ships for use as private vessels. I believe Jacques Cousteau's "Calypso" was a surplus mine sweeper. I seem to recall hearing of one or two other personal yachts being essentially re-configured military ships.
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  #9  
Old 09-06-2000, 03:51 AM
cornflakes cornflakes is offline
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I'm not adding anything of value here, but...
McHale's Navy, anyone?
From the "marine and marine supplies" search on Atrael's link. Three blown Detroit Diesel engines, Woo Hoo!!!
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  #10  
Old 09-06-2000, 04:08 AM
Kipper Kipper is offline
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I seem to remember the Canadian Navy being rather embarrassed after selling a destroyer for scrap and later realising they had left a working missile launcher and militarily sensitive communications equipment on it.

I belive the new owner claimed that this equipment was now legally his and made the Canadian Navy pay for their return.
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  #11  
Old 09-06-2000, 04:09 AM
DougC DougC is offline
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- - - First world labor costs consume much of the profit of scrap operations, so most of these businesses are located in third-world economies (if not quite third-world nations). I can't remember where it is exactly, but India is said to have the biggest scrapping dockyard in the world. Businesses(? or maybe the gov't ?) buy/s old ships from Soviet and Chinese bloc nations when the ships are deemed inoperable. Some are military vessels with the usable weapons already removed, but most are fishing vessels and cargo ships. - MC
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  #12  
Old 09-06-2000, 08:54 AM
labdude labdude is offline
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Wired mag article about ship scrapping

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8...ertankers.html
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  #13  
Old 09-06-2000, 10:08 AM
mrblue92 mrblue92 is offline
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How much for the PT Boat? Heck, that'd be cool to live in--just buy myself a lot, (or get a slip if the thing still floats) and park that sucker. Getting it into Lake Huron from Guam would probably take a bit of doing, though.

Pretty obvious I'm still single, isn't it?
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  #14  
Old 09-06-2000, 11:01 AM
lawoot lawoot is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Survey1215
A friend visited Bremerton, WA, a while ago and toured the naval base there. He said there were 100 plus ships just sitting in the water, waiting to be decommissioned and sold off, for scrapping or whatever. He couldn't tell me how I can go about buying one of these dudes. What's a WW II era destroyer going for these days? What about an aircraft carrier? Does Joe Taxpayer even get an opportunity to buy these surplus ships for his/her own use?
There aren't many WWII era ships there(if any... the last Battleship left for the East Coast last year, I believe)... Some late fifties, but that's about as old as they go. And there aren't 100+ ships there, maybe 30 or so. But they do cover the spectrum, from minesweepers to aircraft carriers. Some of them only ten years old or so... There was talk of putting a new fast fleet replenishment ship (USS Bridge) into this fleet before it had even completed its sea trials (didn't happen, though)

The Navy has alot of these ships in a version of suspended animation, where the equipment on-board is maintained, and the ship is kept up to a state where it can be seaworthy in a minimum of time, in case of war (about two weeks, I think). I live in Bremerton, so if anyone wants more info, I could call the shipyard to get the literal numbers, etc.
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  #15  
Old 09-06-2000, 11:04 AM
lawoot lawoot is offline
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Bremerton

We also have the USS Turner Joy (one of the ships involved in the Gulf of Tonkin incident during Vietnam) on display on our waterfront...
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  #16  
Old 09-06-2000, 11:27 AM
Scupper Scupper is offline
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In Oxnard, CA, where I grew up, there was a private yacht in Channel Islands Harbor called the Dry Martini which was a remodeled surplus PT Boat. It was pretty cool.
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  #17  
Old 09-06-2000, 01:14 PM
Survey1215 Survey1215 is offline
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I went to the site Atrael was kind enough to provide us and
was disappointed to see no surplus flattops, cruisers, or nuclear attack submarines are available. I did see an old cargo barge that had been converted into an Admiral's Barge, though. It's going for $100,000 or so, if I remember correctly. Time to bust out the change jar.
The most disappointing thing for me is that this takes away (even more) from the plausibility of the old Clive Cussler novel "Vixen 03." In it, the South African government (or a private individual, it's been awhile) purchases the USS Iowa "for scrapping," takes it up the Potomac, and starts shelling Washington. The catch, of course, is that one of the surplus shells purchased from a shady arms dealer is unknowingly fitted with some sort of chemical weapon. Very diabolical, totally unbelievable, yet entertaining to read.
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  #18  
Old 09-07-2000, 05:35 AM
FarTreker FarTreker is offline
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PT boats are very collectable and very hard to find. It seems the Navy, after WW2, in the military logic, promptly allowed most of these wonderful little craft to wear out and get junked, sold many off to other nations, left some behind, stripped, to rot and eventually dumped others to private owners -- stripped of weapons -- some of whom chopped them up to make them into yachts!! There are several places seeking out and restoring the few PT boats remaining.

In the next city, someone bought this huge cruiser from WW2 or the Korean war, towed it into harbor where barges and freighters load gunite and stripped it down to make an artificial reef out of it.

I thought it was magnificent. I've not been around a real warship since I was like 5. She was all gray, had metal, sectioned domes covering gun mounts and I would have loved to have been able to go aboard and just spend the day prowling around.

A machine shop got her tractor trailer sized generators, and they've been rusting outside for about 6 years now, never used as far as I can tell. There were two and each looked big enough to power a large chunk of the city. All about the gunite business were massive chunks of the ship, like a huge loading crane, this huge spotlight, and so on.

I enjoyed seeing her there. She was huge, impressive and proud.

Then, one day, they towed her out to sea a mile or so, blew her bottom out and sunk her so she could be a home for fish and an attraction for divers and fishermen. I guess that's better than being cut up into scrap, but not much.
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