The US Navy's Five Aircraft Carrier Museum Ships


Jeff Head

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How much does it cost to turn aircraft carrier into museum ? Non-profit self-sustained NGO would have a hard time to pull it of in these economic conditions without government help .

On the other hand , you could try to do something like Chinese have done to Kiev , turn ship into hotel and theme park on commercial basis . It may not be pure and dignified as museum , but at least you would preserve something and avoid scrapping .
All of these carriers are paying attractions. You have to buy a ticket to get into see them and they all run activities within the museum to make more money. They all have numerous attractions and attempt to operate at least on a break even basis, but are really meant to make a profit for their investors if they can. They have to show that they can cover all the costs (for the carrier setup, the maintenance, the people working there, the utilities, land, etc.) before the Navy approves the final deal.

So, they take donations, they take investments, they charge to get in, they have items they sell, they sell refreshments, they hold New Year's Eve parties,etc., etc. to raise the initial funds and then keep the money coming in so they are not going under financially.

As to the initial cost, depending on the condition of the vessel, it can cost many millions of dollars to get started.

It's a pretty well defined process. In addition to these five carriers, there are maybe ten or more large battleships, a few cruisers and many destroyers and submarines that are operated in this fashion all over the country. They pretty much know what they have to do and if they can clear the initial hurdle of getting started, the vast majority of them then go on to operate for many, many years.
 
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bd popeye

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How much does it cost to turn aircraft carrier into museum ?
Several million. I know it cost over $2 Million USD just to paint the hull of the Midway.

This is the cost of the tours on the Midway.

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The Midway is a self guided tour. Until you go in the island then there's an old salt to tell you all about the Magic of the Midway. I'm sure they have guide tours.

I visited the Midway while in San Diego in 2007.

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popeye signing in as a former Midway crewmember

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popeye and peepeye in the BRIG!!

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Dauntless Diver Bomber on the hangar deck.

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popeye at his old work center off the mess decks

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A-7 Corsair II on the cat with popeye standing by.
 
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thunderchief

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I was browsing trough above mentioned web sites and I must say USN has very strict criteria for ship donation (financial , environmental , permits from local community etc ... ) . Basically , all of this organizations failed to meet some of this requirements and so their respective ships were withdrawn from donation hold .

But we are talking about donation . What would happen if , God forbid :p , some unscrupulous scrapping company buys the ship but instead of breaking it up tow it to some nice location in Caribbean with not-so-strict environmental laws and cheaper work force ? Some place where repainting of the ship would not cost 2 million $ ?

I don't know is it legal in US to sell former naval ships to foreign companies (like they did with HMS Invincible which ended up in Turkey ) but if it is this could be a potential loophole for saving some of these old rust-buckets :D
 

Jeff Head

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I was browsing trough above mentioned web sites and I must say USN has very strict criteria for ship donation (financial , environmental , permits from local community etc ... ) . Basically , all of this organizations failed to meet some of this requirements and so their respective ships were withdrawn from donation hold .

But we are talking about donation . What would happen if , God forbid :p , some unscrupulous scrapping company buys the ship but instead of breaking it up tow it to some nice location in Caribbean with not-so-strict environmental laws and cheaper work force ? Some place where repainting of the ship would not cost 2 million $ ?

I don't know is it legal in US to sell former naval ships to foreign companies (like they did with HMS Invincible which ended up in Turkey ) but if it is this could be a potential loophole for saving some of these old rust-buckets :D
The contracts for the scrapping of former US Naval vessels is covered by just as stringent contracts.

If someone violates that contract, and attempts to take the vessel for untoward ends, the US Navy will repossess the vessel...and I am sure that their "collection" groups are something that could be...well, lets say somewhat overpowering.

Most of the companies that do the scrapping are well known and already vetted entities who meet the stringent criteria already. There are issues of national security for some vessels (including all of the super carriers, even the Forrestal class), and for the honor and respect of veterans and their sacrifice on these vessels, and the pride and credit of the United States at stake, all of which the US Navy takes very seriously.
 

bd popeye

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The contracts for the scrapping of former US Naval vessels is covered by just as stringent contracts.
Exactly.. they'll be sending drones over your shipyard if you start goofing up.

If someone violates that contract, and attempts to take the vessel for untoward ends, the US Navy will repossess the vessel...and I am sure that their "collection" groups are something that could be...well, lets say somewhat overpowering.
Something like this happened with the Oriskany.

From wiki...

Oriskany was sold for scrap by the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service on 9 September 1995 to Pegasus International, a start-up company at the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, CA. The contractor towed the ship from Bremerton to Vallejo, but the contract was terminated for default on 30 July 1997, because of lack of progress. While berthed at Mare Island in rusted and decrepit condition, she was used as a setting for the Robin Williams film, What Dreams May Come (1998) as part of the representation of Hell.

The Navy took back possession of the ship and after a few more years at the former Mare Island Navy Yard, she was towed in 1999 to the Maritime Administration's Beaumont Reserve Fleet in Beaumont, Texas, for storage pending availability of funding for her disposal.
 

Jeff Head

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Exactly.. they'll be sending drones over your shipyard if you start goofing up.

Something like this happened with the Oriskany.

...The Navy took back possession of the ship and after a few more years at the former Mare Island Navy Yard, she was towed in 1999 to the Maritime Administration's Beaumont Reserve Fleet in Beaumont, Texas, for storage pending availability of funding for her disposal.
Wasn't the Oriskany ultimately sunk as part of a reef or something in 2006? I think that was her final disposition.
 

bd popeye

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Wasn't the Oriskany ultimately sunk as part of a reef or something in 2006? I think that was her final disposition.
Oh yes she was. My point was that the USN will repo their ships as necessary.

Th Mighty "O" meets Davy Jones.aaaaarrrrrvvvvv

USS Oriskany (CVA-34) was sunk on March 22, 2006 as a artificial reef near Pensacola FL.

Another photo of the Mighty "O Boat".

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Pensacola, Fla. (May 15, 2006) - The decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Oriskany (CVA 34) is towed out to sea one final time. It is planned that the ship will be scuttled 22 miles south of Pensacola in approximately 212 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico, May 17, 2006, where it will become the largest ship ever intentionally sunk as an artificial reef. After the Oriskany reaches the bottom, ownership of the vessel will transfer from the Navy to the State of Florida. The public will be allowed to fish and dive on the ship two days later. Known as the "Big O," the 32,000-ton, 888-foot aircraft carrier was built at the New York Naval Shipyard and delivered to the Navy in 1950 where it later became a highly decorated veteran of the Korea and Vietnam conflicts. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Jeffrey P. Kraus (RELEASED)
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Gulf of Mexico (May 17, 2006) - The ex-Oriskany, a decommissioned aircraft carrier, was sunk 24 miles off the coast of Pensacola, Fla., on May 17 to form an artificial reef. The 888-foot ship took about 37 minutes to sink below the surface. After 25 years of service to the Navy in operations in Korea, Vietnam and the Mediterranean, ex-Oriskany will now benefit marine life, sport fishing and recreation diving off the coast of the Florida panhandle. U.S. Navy photos by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Jeffrey P. Kraus (RELEASED)

 

Jeff Head

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Oh yes she was. My point was that the USN will repo their ships as necessary.

Th Mighty "O" meets Davy Jones.aaaaarrrrrvvvvv

USS Oriskany (CVA-34) was sunk on March 22, 2006 as a artificial reef near Pensacola FL.

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When you look at the high res of this photo, and the angles of the aft and forward flight deck sections, it's pretty clear the scuttling charges broke her back.

Now owned by the state of Florida, the wreck is actually an underwater museum of sorts itself. People can dive down to her and go through what they can.
 

Jeff Head

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The Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame continues with its serious effort to get the USS John F. Kennedy, CV-67, named as a Museum ship in Rhode Island.

Here is their site for the effort:


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