I will preface this post with a "war story" from my personal way-back machine in January 1974 when I was a US Naval Reserve Lt.(jg) on active duty for the last seven months of my three years' service. After my ship, USS Douglas H. Fox (DD-779) had been decommissioned and sold to the Chilean Navy I was transferred for my last seven months of active duty to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, where I was to serve as a "Ship Superintendent." I was one of a number of officers (the most junior by far of three attached to this particular job) assigned to oversee progress on the upgrade and modernization of the guided missile frigate USS Maconough (DLG-9).
So, yeah, for seven months of my life I worked in a heavy industrial environment rather than sitting behind the desk. It was actually one of the most fascinating seven months of my life work-wise.
Anyway, the other officers assigned to oversee the work took me "aboard" to see the ship.
There are roughly 3 phases to a job of this magnitude. First is what's called the "rip out." Second is what I guess you could call the rebuild when everything that's been modernized and fixed, including boilers, major pieces of machinery, etc. etc. is put back into the ship. And third is finishing the ship up including sea trials and ultimately re-commissioning. I started work just as the rebuild got into high gear.
Let me just say this. When I walked across the gangplank into the midsection of the ship and saw what surrounded me my initial reaction was, "They will never
be able to put this thing back together." It was just that much of a mess. It was inconceivable to my untrained, unprofessional eye how anything that completely disassembled could ever be put made functional again. You know, like Humpty Dumpty.
Anyway, of course that wasn't true. Incredibly, at the end it looked beautiful. And it worked. However, that initial impression is how I feel about this phase of this build, and how utterly tedious it is getting to the final stages.