When the Arkansas Queen dinner boat needed a steel deck coating system deserving of a beautifully restored 1950s era paddle wheeler, the project team called Tnemec coating consultant Arthur Valentine into service. “It was looking pretty rough,” Valentine recalled. “A steel deck tends to have more movement than a concrete deck, especially when exposed to varying temperatures, so we needed a flexible underlayment that would have some movement characteristics.”
The top deck’s surface was prepared in accordance with SSPC-SP11 Power Tool Cleaning to Bare Metal. “It was a steel floor, so they couldn’t abrasive blast it like they would a concrete floor,” according to Valentine. Hi-Tech Epoxy Floor Company used diamond grinders with dust muzzles to grind and peel off the old coatings down to 99.9 percent bare metal. Series 206 Sub-Flex EP, a flexible epoxy, was roller-applied, followed by a light gray topcoat of Series 291 CRU, a polyester polyurethane. Skid-resistant beads were added to Series 291 to create a safer walking surface. “We detailed every inch of it with urethane caulking around all the edges and portholes,” Victor Wheetley with Hi-Tech Epoxy Floor Company acknowledged. “It turned out beautiful, and it’s still holding up.”
The Arkansas Queen is located on the Arkansas River in downtown North Little Rock on the site of the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum. Home to the former attack submarine the USS Razorback, the museum also includes the USS Hoga harbor tug, which served in the Pearl Harbor area throughout World War II and is best known for her actions during the Pearl Harbor attack.