This article from the Wall Street Journal was brought to our attention through Maritime Network group on LinkedIn and we thought that perhaps there might be some gCaptain readers out there that might be interested. The article reads:
Anybody want some top-secret seagoing vessels? The Navy has a pair it doesn’t need anymore. It has been trying to give them away since 2006, and they’re headed for the scrap yard if somebody doesn’t speak up soon.
One is called Sea Shadow. It’s big, black and looks like a cross between a Stealth fighter and a Batmobile. It was made to escape detection on the open sea. The other is known as the Hughes (as in Howard Hughes) Mining Barge. It looks like a floating field house, with an arching roof and a door that is 76 feet wide and 72 feet high. Sea Shadow berths inside the barge, which keeps it safely hidden from spy satellites.
According to Sea Shadow’s wikipedia page, she was built in 1985 for the U.S. Navy and used to examine the application of stealth technology on naval vessels. She was used in secret until making its public debut in 1993. Sea Shadow has a SWATH hull design. Below the water are submerged twin hulls, each with a propeller, aft stabilizer, and inboard canard. The portion of the ship above water is connected to the hulls via the two angled struts. The SWATH design helps the ship remain stable even in very rough water of up to sea state 6.
While the Sea Shadow was never fully commissioned, she was the basis for the stealth ship in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies.
As for the Hughes Mining Barge, it is equally impressive but might be a little harder store. You can read more about it on its Wikipedia page HERE.
But before you go begging your significant other for permission to become the next proud owner, the article reminds us that “a naval museum is ‘a bloodthirsty, paperwork ridden, permit-infested, money-sucking hole…’ Because the Navy won’t pay for anything — neither rust scraping nor curating.” On the other hand, while they might not be the most practical pick-up, they would be a great conversation piece at your next dinner party.
For those interest, they are available for donation from the Suison Bay Reserve Fleet