Laffey’s return to Patriots Point postponed two weeks

The 377-foot-long Laffey is moored at Shipyard Creek in North Charleston but will return to Patriots Point in January.

Leroy Burnell

Patriots Point won’t close Monday for a week as previously announced to bring home the storied warship Laffey after it was repaired.

The naval and maritime museum has decided to use its backup week of Jan. 22 to shut down so it can move “The Ship That Would Not Die” into place and slip the submarine Clamagore over to a new location, Patriots Point Director Mac Burdette said Tuesday.

“Our biggest issue is getting all the contractors out there on the same sheet of paper,” Burdette said. “The holidays were a tough time to get everybody together.”

Bringing the Laffey home after a $9.2 million repair to its aging hull will require a 60-foot section of the concrete pier leading to the World War II-era aircraft carrier Yorktown to be removed. Patriots Point officials want to place the Laffey where the submarine Clamagore now rests.

The Clamagore will be moved next to the marina at the old home of the Coast Guard cutter Ingham. It was moved to Key West, Fla., in 2009.

The 377-foot-long Laffey remains moored at Shipyard Creek in North Charleston at a cost of $11,250 a month since it was repaired in 2009. The Laffey, riddled with rusting holes, seemed poised to sink into Charleston Harbor before being fixed.

To tow the ship that survived kamikaze attacks to its new position parallel of the Yorktown, Patriots Point will have to cut through the pier, disturbing electrical, water and sewer lines.

A barge will also be required to rest over some of the anchors holding the marina in place so it can shield the Clamagore from accidently drifting into the anchors during the move, Burdette said.

“There are a lot of different pieces,” he said. “We want to make sure everything goes right.”

Burdette hopes work will be completed by Jan. 27.