DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING A LONG-TERM PRESERVATION PLAN
When the Maritime Park Association opened USS Pampanito, a World War II fleet submarine, to the public in 1982 we knew very few specific details of the submarine's preservation history or of her current physical condition. The main concerns up until that time had been acquiring the vessel from the Navy, obtaining a berth so that she could receive visitors, designing the mooring system and setting up the administrative framework with which to operate the vessel as a public resource.
Once the submarine was open to visitors and she was generating revenue, the Association identified the need to establish a long-term action plan for preserving the submarine. It was felt that the future of all of the interpretive and educational programs that would be developed depended on the submarine surviving intact into the future. The Association was formed in 1950 around the establishment of the San Francisco Maritime Museum and later, the restoration of the square-rigged sailing ship Balclutha. We were aware of the long-term requirements of preserving a large historic vessel and had learned there was much more to preserving a ship than just saving her from being scrapped.