Warship's return delayed

The 377-foot-long Laffey is moored at Shipyard Creek in North Charleston.

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum won't close Monday for a week as previously announced to bring home the storied warship Laffey after repairs.

The Mount Pleasant tourist attraction 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 to a new location.

"Our biggest issue is getting all the contractors out there on the same sheet of paper," said Mac Burdette, executive director of Patriots Point. "The holidays were a tough time to get everybody together."

Bringing the Laffey home after the $9.2 million repairs to its aging hull will require a 60-foot section of the concrete pier that leads visitors to the World War II-era aircraft carrier Yorktown to be temporarily removed.

Patriots Point officials want to place the Laffey where the submarine Clamagore now rests.

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

The 377-foot-long Laffey is 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 to its new position parallel of the Yorktown, workers will have to cut through the pier, disturbing electrical, water and sewer lines.

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

"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.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.