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Museum Update – January 26, 2023

In Today’s Update…

Click the links to jump right to each section:


The main fender between the ship and the pier. Note the broken piling at the top left and how the frame that holds the fender board onto the ship was bent out of place.


As you may have heard, the recent Pacific storms wreaked havoc along the California Coast and resulted in some significant damage. Battleship IOWA was not immune to the storms’ effects.

Record-breaking swells – including the highest wave recorded in the area in twenty-four years – worked our lines until they were loose enough for the ship to move back and forth through a range of about fifteen feet (about double a normal distance).

If that wasn’t enough, the ship was rolling side to side. All of that motion made it feel like she was doing her best to get underway, and the sailors among us felt like they were at sea again.

We went below to the ship’s heel indicator at the height of the swell and got some interesting footage of the bubble moving through a full degree! Check out the video here.

The forward brow moved so far south, it came off its plate and mangled the fence.
One of the “skates” that allows the forward brow to move with the ship was torn off.
Ops team, with help from other departments, did a phenomenal job tightening eight of our thirteen mooring lines as Crowley’s tug MASTER held us in place against the pier. By the end of this evolution, they were working in heavy rain.

A hearty bravo zulu to all who turned out to help with this imperative evolution!


While we’re still afloat and things have calmed down, repairing the damage will take a minimum $35,000 chuck out of the “rainy day” fund.

What costs so much?

    • Replacement mooring lines: $8,000 a piece
    • Crowley tug to help tighten existing lines: $3,500 per hour
    • Crane to remove and return Gangway #1 for repairs: $5,600
    • Awning replacement: $4-5,000

And the list goes on.

Your donation toward our operations team and hull preservation efforts helps us address unexpected expenses like these, as well as continue with ongoing maintenance that will secure IOWA not just to her pier, but keep her in place for generations to come.



Wrap up the NFL season with us and watch the big game aboard Battleship IOWA.

The community big screen is the best place on the LA Waterfront to enjoy this year’s contenders fight for the Lombardi Trophy.

There’s no cost to come aboard, and Vicky’s Doghouse will be cooking up a delectable variety of gameday foods and appetizers. Chef Cesar promises the following:

    • The regular hot dog menu
    • Jalapeno poppers, mozarella sticks, and zucchini sticks
    • Beer on tap, wine margaritas, micheladas, and hard seltzers

We have a fixed amount of seating available, so let us know you’re coming. Click the button below to sign up.

But wait – there’s more!

Coming March 1st: a new PBS documentary about Battleship IOWA. If the trailer is any indication, it’s going to be fascinating, and it features three of our favorite Davids – Canfield, Moser, and Way.

Click the photo below to view the trailer.


You never know who you’ll encounter on our tour route.

On Thursday, January 19, 2023, a pair of spry and witty octogenarians about to depart on a world cruise graced our decks. Those eighty-somethings were the delightful Jerry and Nancy Fee.

Both the offspring of admirals, they have a long history with the US Navy. Jerry has quite the history with IOWA as well. We’ll let him tell you more in the video linked below.

And yes, we’re planning to follow up with him to acquire more details of his story when he gets back from his cruise.


Thanks again to all of our 2022 donors who helped us close out the year strong.

We looks forward to another year of growth as we continue to build the National Museum of the Surface Navy.

NOTE: If you prefer not to donate electronically, please mail your check to:
Attention: Development Department, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA 90731

Thank you to our 2021 donors for their generosity and support. Want to know how your donations are making a difference? Check out our ANNUAL REPORT here.

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