The world’s first nuclear-powered submarined was towed up river on October 15th to the Naval Submarine Base to undergo a preservation project. This project is said to ensure the historic ship will be around for 30 more years to help educate and engage the public.
This project will involve repairing and painting the hull and superstructure, replacement of the topside decking, inspecting tanks and voids, and upgrading lighting and electrical work. They plan to also blast and paint the entire exterior. This project also might call for a significant steel replacement under the superstructure with some beautification work, like making the engine room brighter.
Electric Boat (EB) is taking the lead on the maintenance activity while also getting support from people with International Marine and Industrial Applicators and the Mystic Seaport Museum. The tradespeople at EB are very excited to work on the Nautilus and experience this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The Submarine Force Museum has been the home to the USS Nautilus after it was decommissioned in 1980 and made a National Historic Landmark in 1982. In 1955 the Nautilus made its maiden voyage where it revolutionized naval warfare from the time Electric Boat put it into the water until today,
The last time the Nautilus left its moorings for preservation work, the Navy said, was in 2002 for a $4.7 million refurbishment. Even though the USS Nautilus has had previous preservation work, this will be the most significant work done on the Nautilus since it became a museum ship.
Wanting to visit the ship? Don’t worry the USS Nautilus is set to return to the museum in the Spring or Summer of 2022. In the meantime while the Nautilus is undergoing maintenance, museum visitors are able to view a virtual tour of the submarine.