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Why isn’t the Battleship North Carolina parked parallel to the Cape Fear River?

Jim Ware
Battleship North Carolina

The Battleship North Carolina at sunset on Dec. 30, 2011. (StarNews file photo)

There are basically two reasons why the battleship would never be placed parallel to the river, according to Capt. Terry Bragg, executive director of the Battleship North Carolina:

“First, the ship is absolutely huge and either a significant section of the river channel or most of Battleship Park would have to be excavated to berth the ship – considered financially and environmentally unacceptable.

“Second, the hull of the battleship, like many large metal structures immersed in salt water, is protected from corrosion by paint and a cathodic protection system.

“Similar in concept to the use of sacrificial anodes or zincs on a small boat hull, the battleship instead uses electrical current to neutralize the flow of electrons from the steel hull into the environment, thus minimizing corrosion. By impressing or pushing electrical current into the ship, the underwater hull is made electrically neutral and as well an extremely thin hydrogen cloud is created that further isolates and protects the ship.

“By placing the battleship in the stream of the Cape Fear River, the current would wash away this hydrogen cloud, thus reducing the usefulness of the cathodic protection system and accelerating hull corrosion.”

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