Epoxy at the water line

I ooh-ahhed when tugs pulled the MV Aurora to Herman and Helen’s Marina. I still believe big ships add color to the facric of the Delta, and one such vessel could be an ornament to Stockton’s waterfront.

That was the gist of my first column on the subject.

I kept digging, though, and turned up facts that cast the Aurora and other big ships at the marina in a different light. Exactly what light that is remains controversial, but it is fair to say that the authorites have valid concerns.

Another concern involving the Aurora are holes near its waterline. Well-financed ships with such holes are hauled out into drydock where the steel plating is replaced. Aurora owner Chris Willson has patched the Aurora’s holes with epoxy. 

The MV Aurora's holes are patched with epoxy. Should we be concerned?

This is a nearly 300-foot, five-deck pocket cruise ship we’re talking about here. Though it is riding only a couple feet above the bottom, so cannot sink far, raising it still would be a major headache.

“Expoxy is a valid way of repairing steel,” said Willson. “Unless you can pull it out of the water and put the metal on the the hull, you have to use other methods. My methods are proven methods that most people use for years and years, and I do them better than most people.”

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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