Regular deck maintenance work underway on Battleship North Carol - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Regular deck maintenance work underway on Battleship North Carolina

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A deck maintenance project is now underway, to try and head off damage that rain water may cause. A deck maintenance project is now underway, to try and head off damage that rain water may cause.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Construction on the Battleship North Carolina started over 75 years ago.  For the most part, the vessel is in pretty good condition, but over the years, Mother Nature has taken its toll on various parts of the North Carolina.  A deck maintenance project is now underway, to try and head off damage that rain water may cause.

When the Battleship North Carolina was commissioned in 1941, her massive deck was covered with the tropical hardwood teak.

But in the late 1990s and 2000s, the ship's teak deck was showing signs of wear and tear, so a major re-decking took place.

Today, that teak is still in good condition, but some work is being done to make sure it will be around for a long time to come.

"When you think about owning a boat, and all of the maintenance that has to go into a small boat, and you take a historic battleship, you can imagine it takes a lot of effort, it takes a lot of resources and it takes a lot of dedicated people," said Chris Vargo, the battleship's Operations Director.

These Florida workers are going over the Battleship's main deck inch by inch, looking for any damage to the surface.

The teak is attached to the ship's main steel frame, by bolts.  There is a filler substance between each plank.  If cracks are found in the planks, a sealing compound is inserted into the split.  The purpose is to keep water from seeping into the cracks, which could cause the plank to continue to split and even worse, collect on the steel under the wood and cause more damage.

"Most of the teak is in great shape, it just needs to be re-seamed, re-plugged and resurfaced and the planks that are bad are pulled and replaced," said Vargo.

Overall, the deck work won't be finished until next year.  And the cost will top out at about $1 million, a small investment for one of the most decorated ships of World War Two.

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