The Long Beach overhaul

The R/V Hero spent 5 months at the Al Larson Boat Shop on Terminal Island (an establishment that has been there since 1903--they did the 1984 Hero overhaul) between June and November 1980. The vessel had last been in the United States in 1974 for a major overhaul because of dry rot...and this 1980 yard period was for more repairs to the hull where dry rot had been discovered. Below, some views of the hull repair and other work in progress.

hull work in progress
Hero in the shipyard
The first set of photos are from Gary Bennett and John Lohr, who spent time there working on the communications equipment and radar. Note that I do not know the chronological sequence of the photos on this page...and I do have a few more to add at some point.

Hero in drydock
hull work in progressHero in the shipyarda look at the main deck
At left, a closer look at the caulking work. Gary noted that one of the men doing the caulking was brought out of retirement as one of the last people in the country who could do this work. At right, a view of the main deck at the bow.

Hero in the shipyard
Hero in the shipyard

$1.1 million had been allocated for the repair; however, the damage was not as extensive has first believed, and repairs were accomplished under the original estimate. In addition to the scheduled repairs, the mast, top and side spars, and boom were replaced, and a 1-ton articulated crane was installed to improve loading and unloading from the ship's well deck.

Christopher Murdock

At left, Christopher Murdock, who served on the Hero in 1980 until the drydocking. He is the photographer for the two photos just above. The photos were shared with me by Jonathan Short, the son of Christopher's partner. The photo was of very poor quality and I've attempted to make it less ugly. If you are curious, here is the original. And I would like to contact him about some of his other photos.

Next...the Hero brochure ("your stay...NOT!") published by ITT/ANS.