This presentation is part of Preserving U.S. Military Heritage: WWII to the Cold War, Fredericksburg, Texas, June 4-6, 2019.

by Paul Mardikian


This paper describes the challenge of conserving of a 50-foot long Alclad aluminum Patrol Craft Fast (PCF) for the National Museum of the United States Navy on static display at the Washington Navy Yard. The failed coating was removed using ultra high-pressure (UHP) waterjetting to NACE WJ-2/SSPC-SP standards at pressures between 30,000 and 40,000 psi, a technique that it is non-abrasive to aluminum, non-toxic and environmentally safe. Following waterjetting, corrosion mitigation of the hull and bilge examination, the Swift Boat received a new high performance coating. This paper outlines the challenges, methodology and techniques employed to preserve the original fabric of this large historic vessel and plans to ensure its long-term stability.


Paul Mardikian is co-founder and senior conservator of Terra Mare Conservation, LLC, a firm specializing in the conservation of cultural heritage, particularly military heritage. Paul has an undergraduate and graduate degree in art history and archaeology from the School of the Louvre and a graduate degree in conservation from the Sorbonne University, Paris. After graduation, he completed post-graduate studies and research in maritime heritage preservation and conservation for Parks Canada and for the Western Australian Maritime Museum where he was an honorary research fellow. Since 1988 he has led conservation efforts for numerous conservation projects including the RMS Titanic (1912), CSS Alabama (1864), H.L Hunley(1863) and Apollo F1 engine recovery and conservation project. Paul has over 30 years of international experience in cultural heritage preservation, and extensive experience with complex conservation programs requiring a multidisciplinary approach and international collaboration. He is a fellow of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

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