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Author Topic: THE USS MARLIN WILL BE OPENING TO THE PUBLIC AGAIN SOON  (Read 9941 times)
Viejo
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« on: January 03, 2009, 11:41:14 PM »

While many details have yet to be worked out, we now have a Letter of Permission from the Parks and Recreation Maintenance Department of the City of Omaha that allows us to work on the USS Marlin to get it cleaned up and ready to open to the public again and also to act as tour guides when it is open.
This is going to be a multi-base operation under the guidance of the District 3 Commander of the Central Region of USSVI. Dave Farran and I are going up on the 12th of Jan to go through the boat and start making lists of what is there, what is missing, power that comes to the boat, things that will be needed to get certain pieces functioning. We will also be talking with the Lady in charge of the park about areas of responsibility, raising funds, setting schedules for clean up, then in the Spring getting the boat open to the public.  I will be point of contact for at least three bases and also individuals and some people who have served on the Marlin. I also intend to the information source for PR, funds, materials, etc that comes from anywhere other than through the city. I also have been talking to some other veterans as there is a Minesweeper, the USS Hazard next to the Marlin. I have already found some people in the Omaha area that are interested in working on these two ships and am putting together lists of suppliers and other Pepe that can donate things down the road as the project progresses.
The City of Omaha is very supportive and excited about having us work with them to get the Marlin open again as I am sure they feel it will generate some funds to make it more self sufficient.  We will of course be raising funds to support these efforts also.
Now what I need from some of you guys is some help in letting me know what to expect, what works, what to avoid in the areas of visitors to the boat, setting priorities as to what would be best to get working first. Also later down the road, we'll be probably trying to find items to make the galley and eating area and the three bunks look like they used to. 
We will not be competing with anything else and what money we raise will go toward the boat, but I am sure that many of you can use your experience to help me make some good decisions.  I would like to have some general ideas of what might be good to bring up  and ask for when I talk to the people in the Parks and Recreation.
So all help and suggestions are welcome. I don't have a lot of definite answers to many things because until we meet with them again and until Dave and I make up lists of what is there, what works, what is needed, I don't really know a lot. But I thought some of you  might have some management type ideas you can throw my way as I figure what we say to start with may be very important down the road. Over on the LIB BBS is a stream of conversation on this under the Jan. Meeting topic. It will give you more idea of what we have plans for and what we are working on getting done.
Thanks and hope to hear from a lot of you.
Viejo Smiley
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Darrin
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2009, 01:36:07 AM »

Great Job Bill and the crew that is REOPENING the USS MARLIN!!!!

To start with you need basic lighting onboard to make sure that the tourist's are able to see along with you and your docents, following that is a training program for the docents to ACTUALLY learn what all of the gear onboard did and for them to actually be able to speak about it confidently. After that is simple things in life like AC in the summer and HEAT in the winter depending on how cold it get's there in your area.

Personally I don't think that anyone is competing against the COD or the Pamp or Bowfin, we all aspire to make our boats better one day at a time.. Piece by piece, dollar by dollar and yes there is a LOT of blood, sweat and tears involved that the tourist's will never see.. Remember what work's on one boat or all of the boats may not work for MARLIN so you will have to figure out exactly what works for her and the crew that works on her..

On a side note, PLEASE train your docents to give the best information out as possible and with that make sure that there are isn't 1 or 2 system's experts on your boat who does all of the work on those systems, because when they retire or heaven forbid pass the information is lost and the next generation will have to learn the hard way on how to fix the gear that was once easily maintained by those whom were trained on it and whom love it.
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Viejo
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2009, 11:06:33 AM »

Darrin, thanks for all the advice. There is electricity on board, but until I get back up there, I won't know what type or how heavy is the wiring. Yes, I certainly believe in having a training program for all of us. Especially since even the diesel guys have probably never served on one of these boats. As I stated over on LIB ( remember we are still waiting for you to join(Grin)  I want to have around three times as many people signed up to work with the boat as will be needed, cause things happen and people will lose interest.
Right now, we are contacting people who did serve on the Marlin and hopefully some of them might have manuals or can remember and will educate us on things that are different or unique to the Marlin. 
So, we'll get her cleaned up, then go slowly from there. I am hoping also that people who have been in the position of managing a museum boat will chime in with their experiences as we have the advantage of being able to make a lot of decisions and want to make the right ones. I will also be looking very carefully at those who do work on her as I want to prove that a boat run mostly by subvets can do it in a business fashion and also run it like you would any other museum. Perhaps the fact that it is so different from the other museum boats will help this to happen. We probably won't have too many who feel that they are the experts and one of the things we have no plans for at this time is to make some type of club house out of it. The most you could have at a meeting of any type would maybe be six if you had them all standing, so hopefully things will go well, but I am sure I will be on these pages a lot with ignorant questions.
Thanks,
Viejo
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Darrin
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2009, 12:57:45 PM »

No problem Bill,

"There is no such thing as a stupid question, the only stupid question is the one unasked"

Another thing that you may want to look at is how well you are advertising your boat so that the rest of the world gets to come and see her and not just the locals'. With that billboards are a great way to get the point across that she is open once more, 5-10 miles up on the highway and then signs taking them to the boat.

In regards to ventilation on Marlin, in the summer if your HVAC is down or working poorly (or just plain no big enough for your boat) then add fan's over the hatches. On Torsk we added 2 36" stand up fans with the base and stands removed so they lay nearly flush topside, this allows air to be pulled out of the boat which helped our our HVAC unit which just isn't large enough for the whole boat. In the summertime that made a HUGE difference on Saturday's when we were onboard, instead of stale air and the humidity air flowed through the boat, granted we had one in the bridge and the other over the AER hatch so it made a big difference through the whole boat and not just one compartment or two.

FYI there are 2 curator's whom post here quite often and they are Paul Farace and Rick (from the Batfish) sorry Rick, couldn't remember your last name Embarrassed    And they may be able to help you with your concerns and some of your questions that only the curator's or their staff know.
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Viejo
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2009, 02:27:30 PM »

Darin, understand about questions, that's why I used the word ignorant. But believe me there are stupid questions. Never understood where that saying came from. In my years of teaching, I heard a lot of questions that showed the person wasn't listening to what was being said. Stupid is the inability to learn and some people can't learn cause they never listen.  coolsmiley But I know what you were getting at and I have no hesitation at letting people know when I don't understand or know something. I have been looking through those manuals you put up the link for and even though of course this little sub isn't the same as most, much of it still applies and they will be of great help in setting up some training for those who will be helping out on the boat. There are so many things I want to do, but have to go one step at a time. I do have confidence that there will be people around the Omaha area that will want to work with the boat. Before when a private company owned it, they used volunteers from Offat Air Force Base and a couple of other military installations around Omaha to man the park. None of them were subvets, so we will already be starting out with a better help situation.
I don't believe the Marlin has AC at this time. I have been an HVAC contractor for over thirty years, so will use some contacts I have to get that type of equipment when we are ready for that. On the Scorpion of course, our AC guy was a an aux. MM, but we didn't have a forward puke and after puke relationship on that boat. We all were one crew and all helped each other, so I spent plenty of time working on our 60 ton ACs and also running our Lithium Bromide Distillers.
In civilian life, I have worked on systems with cold decks and hot decks, built in humidifier and drier circuits that were 30-40 feet long, down to window units and lots of heat pumps and evaporative coolers, so don't imagine that we'll have much difficulty getting some type of AC going on the Marlin when we get to that time.
When I taught a HVAC course in the high school, I got equipment from the wholesalers that they donated, so will try the same thing on the Marlin if we need it. Right now, I am going to see about rigging some heat for it. It's only about 50' from the Missouri river, so a water to air Heat Pump might work cool.   But as small as each of the compartments are, I imagine a 1500 Watt space heater will make it livable.
 While the actual size of the boat is about 131', the space in which you walk around is probably not much over 70' and it is only about 13' wide at it's widest, so it won't take much to cool it or heat it  anyway. It's like an old singlewide trailor.  It is hard to imagine how small until you walk through it. They don't even have a conning tower. You go up to the deck through a ladder, then climb another ladder to get to the bridge. I think somewhere on these pages, Lance has several pictures of the Marlin.  The use of fans certainly does do a lot. Where I live here in Iowa, some people still cool their houses with a fan that takes air in through the house and then blows it out through the attic, cooling down the attic and bringing fresh air through the house. I never had my air conditioning on in my house once last summer. If you run fresh air fans, you do want to shut off the AC though as it is designed to recirculate to work.
I am sure Paul and Rick will come up with some good advice as they have been through all that goes on with one of these boats. Another person who will be helping me is Bill "SOB" Parker who is on the board of the Maritime Association which runs the Pampanito. SOB and I belong to Cyberspace Base of USSVI and he is always great help in things I need to learn about subs.
Talk later,
Viejo Cool
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Lance Dean
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2009, 03:48:44 PM »

Marlin photos:

http://www.submarinemuseums.org/pics/marlin/
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Darrin
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2009, 05:07:35 PM »

Thanks Lance,
the pics are great... she needs to be pressure washed and then painted and then she should be good to go on the outside, interior wise she needs minor touch up paint and a good cleaning and with some power you should be in business.  Be thankful that most if not everything is there and I am pretty sure that with just a little bit of work she will power all the way back up without too much problem (compared to the WWII Fleet Boats).

Bill, IF you and your group document everything that is done it will make it easier in the long run for those whom come after you and your crew to maintain her. TVA has done that with the Torsk and if you go to www.usstorsk.org and click on activities you will get to see all of the work weekends from the very first to the last one in '08.

Good luck, let me know if there is anything that I can do to help you
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Viejo
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2009, 06:42:55 PM »

Lance, thanks for putting the photos up. Could you send me the email address, or send him mine, of the guy who took the outside pictures. I want to see if he is interested in helping out with her.
Thanks,
Bill coolsmiley
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2009, 06:47:06 PM »

Done, info emailed to you.
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Mark Sarsfield
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2009, 12:13:53 PM »

Did this boat only have one torpedo tube?  It looks like a single door is on the bottom of the bow.

The scope looks like it's in good shape and the CT appears to be intact.  Simple Green will help to clean a lot of stuff up and get some original shine back.  Light oil will also help to make old dull paint look like new glossy paint - it worked nicely on a fan that I restored and mounted in the Batfish ward room.  I used 3-in-1 oil.  It won't evaporate anywhere as quickly as say WD-40 or any other type of spray oil in a can.

I also used some denatured alcohol to remove excess paint drips off of some equipment.  It takes some elbow grease, but you reduce the risk of removing paint that you didn't want to remove.

Finally, make the boat look like it's being lived on.  Towels, bunk bags, fake food, dishes, etc.  Maybe, eventually you will be able to interest some local reenactors to hold one or two events per year on the boat.
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Mark Sarsfield
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"If you have one bucket that can hold 5 gallons and one bucket that can hold 2 gallons, how many buckets do you have?" - IQ test from Idiocracy
Viejo
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2009, 01:10:18 PM »

Mark, yes it only has one torpedo tube. It sits right in the middle of the torepedo room which has just two of it's original eight bunks.  It was used to take people out for training that their boat didn't have time to give them, so officers could come on board and learn to fire a torpedo. A much smaller one, but still worked the same.
Thanks for all the adviice on getting her back in shape. We will start making two types of lists, one for what needs cleaning and materials to do so, and then a list of equipment to be worked on and I imagine the periscope will be one of the first in that list.
Thanks,
Viejo
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2009, 10:21:33 PM »

Sooo what's new with the Marlin and LIB?
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Viejo
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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2009, 10:26:32 PM »

Tomorrow night I go to a Fleet Reserve meeting to talk to them about the Marlin. I am still waiting for crew lists. I have the papers back to sign up everyone with RSVP so that they are covered by insurance. Friday, I think I may be going back to look at the stuff in the shed.
Bill
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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2009, 06:07:36 PM »

Bill
The first thing you need to do is to make the boat visitor proof. Anything that has power to it in any shape or form must be protected from knob twisters and finger pockers. Any thing is can be unscrewed must be super tight, electrical out let covers if you have theold style, any kind of knob holding equipment closed. Visitors will twist and yank on anything the can get there hands on and if it doesn't move they will keep trying. Protect anything that is fragile or of value.

As far as visitor/sub vet relations, inform the subvets the visitor experience is the only thing that matters, do not do anything that scares the little ones or leaves them with a bad inpression of submarines, this includes and is not limited to loud unexpected noises. I alway warn the visitors before sounding the diving alarm as it is real loud and some one maybe standing right under it, you scare a baby and get it crying you have just ruined the experience for the parents. If they have questions, stop what you are doing and answer them, you can finish later, they may not be able to come back or visit another boat. At all times wear something that identifies you as a subvet and or a worker on the boat.

Thats all I can think of right now.
Tom
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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2009, 08:08:14 PM »

The onboard ship fans 6"-8" open style compartment style, make sure that the tourista's can't put their fingers into them especially if they are DC powered because even the "adult" tourists try to "stop the fan" with their fingers like they can do at home with their floor fans and they can and will potentially get hurt and cause you and the Marlin all kinds of you know what Wink  IF you have to put window screen or something along that line to keep the tourists fingers out of it so you will still be able to run them in the summer then do so.. Put a placard asking them to please to keep their fingers out of the fans.. NAVSEA may approve the fans that you have onboard without any modifications (i.e. the screens).

BE FLEXIBLE when NAVSEA comes down and take any hit that may come and just knock out the hit list's as they come, biggest word of advice with them is don't argue and just tell them that you will try to have the identified problems fixed when they come back for the next inspection whenever that will be (normally annually) especially if it is a big problem, they understand for the most part that you are working to make her right once more and may be forgiving the next time if you haven't fixed all of their problems.
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