Resurrection: New Life for IJN Aoba

Resurrection is putting it mildly!  The IJN Aoba started life as the IJN Kinugasa and was originally built be a Queen’s Own member in Washington.  It was later sold to Deryk Haole in California, who refit and fought the ship successfully at a Queen’s Own event in Sutherland Oregon  in the late 1990’s.  The ship made it’s way back to Washington, where it eventually landed in the hands of Tim McNeal of Bremerton.  He used it for several years before it made it’s way back to California.

During transit the ship had a slight mishap- she nearly broke in half!  The picture to the left shows the ship in its carrying cradle.  Very little is holding the ship together.







She was in pretty bad shape and it was likely not going to be repaired, so it was about to have it’s valuable internal components stripped out and the hull and superstructure scrapped.



Hearing this, Deryk Haole said it that was going to be its fate, he would do what he could to fix the ship.  So title and ownership to the ship was made for the total sum of $1.  This page will chronical the effort to breath new life into this once proud fighting Cruiser.

In spite of the gloomy situation, there was still hope.  So how do you re-attach two halves of an 8′ long cruiser?







You start by gutting all internal equipment and strip the sides of the hull off.

This provides you space and access to begin repairing the break.








The bottom of the hull, which is covered in fiberglass cloth, is usually strong enough to hold a ship together.  I design flaw was discovered when stripping the sides of the ship off;  all planking under the waterline, started and ended at the same exact rib.  Usually the planking is staggered.

This picture shows several horizontal slits that have been cut into the hard bottom.  Next, metal rods will be epoxied into the slits






Stay tuned…more to come.



This picture shows the rods already epoxied in place and covered with automotive “bondo”.