Project Summary

The 1976 decommissioned U.S. aircraft carrier ORISKANY (CV 34) was towed from its lay-up location at Mare Island, California to a potential scrap yard in Beaumont, Texas, a 14,000 miles long wet tow around the Cape of Good Hope. In April 1999, preparations for this tow included the installation of a huge anchor/mooring winch onto its flight deck.  But how to weld a steel winch to an aluminum deck? The answer was found in locally removing the aluminum deck coverage and welding the winch corner brackets directly onto the underlying heavy steel deck beams.

This project was a joint venture between Argonautics Marine Engineering, Inc. and Technical Salvage Advisors, Inc., which was involved in the stability analysis, tow speed predictions, and general tow readiness assistance.

Latest update: On May 17, 2006, the aircraft carrier ORISKANY was sunk 24 miles off the coast of Pensacola Beach, FL, to serve as an artificial reef as well as an underwater military memorial. It became the first ship sunk for reefing under a new Navy program to dispose of old warships.  

Scope of Work

The project scope included:

Project Photograph

specialists in marine heavy-lift transportation engineering
naval architects
marine surveyors

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Est. 1992

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On-site assessment of configuration and measurements of beam properties;
Design of winch securings;
Structural analysis of deck longitudinals, subjected to dynamic corner loads;
Inspection of winch installation.
The Oriskany in preparation of the tow
The ORISKANY in preparation of the tow