Historic Ships in Baltimore seeks to raise $152,000 to repair USCGC Taney

A Baltimore nonprofit that oversees a fleet of historic ships is seeking to raise $152,000 to help restore a Coast Guard ship in the Inner Harbor.

Historic Ships in Baltimore is aiming to raise funds for repairs to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Taney. The ship needs to be dry-docked for periodic maintenace to guard against corrosion.

“Like all ships that are in the water, occasionally they need to come out of the water to get maintained,” said Chris Rowsom, executive director of Historic Ships in Baltimore.

The ship, currently docked at Pier V in the Inner Harbor, needs new coatings along its waterline — where the air and water meet on the ship’s hull — to guard against deterioration. Other areas need to be patched and sealed.

The Taney was built in the 1930s and stationed in Hawaii during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The ship is often called the “last survivor of Pearl Harbor.”

In total, Rowsom expects repairs to cost about $300,000. A matching grant that Historic Ships in Baltimore received from the National Park Service’s Maritme Heritage Program will cover the other half of the project’s cost.

As of Friday, Historic Ships in Baltimore had raised $6,120 toward the $152,000 goal.

“Dry-docking is not a very sexy process,” Rowsom said. “It’s not like a new exhibit or anything, but it’s something that needs to be done in order to preserve the ship.”

Rowsom said his organization has not yet determined where the ship will be drydocked, but shipyards in Baltimore and Norfolk, Va., are both likely options.

It’s been about 15 years since the Taney was last dry-docked for maintenance. Rowsom expects the ship to be taken out of the water for repairs next spring, and said repairs will last two to three weeks.

Historic Ships in Baltimore hopes to raise the funds before repairs begin next year.

The remainder of Historic Ships’ fleet, which includes the tall ship Constellation and the Lightship Chesapeake, will stay open for tours while the Taney is being repaired.

smeehan@baltsun.com

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