The Battleship Texas will journey from its San Jacinto Battleground site in La Porte to Galveston Bay Wednesday morning for $35 million dollars in hull repairs.
The vessel will be towed to Gulf Copper & Manufacturing Corporation's shipyard in Galveston to undergo extensive hull repairs, which should take between nine to 12 months to complete, according to Tony Gregory, president and CEO of the Battleship Texas Foundation.
“We have a riding crew of about 30 people. We’ll have about five tugs here to pull her out. We’ll back her out into the channel,” Gregory said. “It’ll take hours, it’ll be a slow process.”
The journey will take the ship through the Houston and Galveston ship channels — a voyage that could potentially cause the ship to take on water along the way.
However, Gregory said he was confident that the journey would be relatively smooth.
“There’s a concern that it might take on water, enough water that would cause a problem,” he said. “We feel like we are very well prepared, we’ve gone through a very deliberate engineering process.”
Gregory added that they’ll have divers on board ready to repair leaks should the ship start to take on water while its towed.
The 110-year-old dreadnought was first constructed in 1910 and served in both World War I and World War II. In 1948, the ship was decommissioned and commemorated as a museum at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site.
“It’s an important piece of history,” Gregory said. “We feel like we’re working for the people of the state of Texas so that they can be proud of their ship.”