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 Post subject: Re: (OT) SS United States up agains the wall again...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:55 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:29 am
Posts: 216
To me, the saddest part of this whole debacle was how they wasted several million previously donated for upkeep.....essentially they should have moved her to a new cheaper location back then, but for lack of common sense they did not and now they're out of money.
This is not so much something that was always a lost cause, but smarter thinking......perhaps realizing that they needed a longer term storage plan, would have served their stated purpose better.
Even anchoring her somewhere away from a dock with a small barge to support a generator and pumps as needed would have been cheaper, probably only a fraction of the cost of that dock she is currently at......
This sort of thing is, unfortunately, what happens with some preservation groups that get in over their heads and refuse to think about other alternatives until it's too late....


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 Post subject: Re: (OT) SS United States up agains the wall again...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:33 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:57 am
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Location: Faulkland, Delaware
Perhaps they could just beach the thing somewhere and turn it into a walk-through tourist attractions.

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 Post subject: Re: (OT) SS United States up agains the wall again...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:54 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3805
Location: Maine
On the surface, a simple solution like tying her up and making her a hotel/museum/shopping center complex sounds like a "no brainer". What you really have is a "hull of a mess", particularly below the waterline. Just the chemical reactions which you can't see between water and metal would be astounding. The superstructure requires constant painting, refurbishing, de-birding. There is so much room inside a ship of this type. You can't fill it with interesting attractions and shops. With what do you fill it? Art? Dinosaurs? Locomotives? Automobiles? Artifacts of New York history?
Then we can talk about contracts, fees, licenses, taxation, rentals, insurance for every possible accident, fire, injury, structural defect.

The "United States" was built to move people, either passengers or soldiers, at speed in comfort, in a manner that is technologically outdated. She's ideal for that purpose and that purpose alone.
I've often thought using her as a convention center/hotel complex would be viable, but I doubt you could host any group with deep enough pockets consistently enough to cover basic expenses.

It may be time to photograph the heck out of her, secure some part as a museum piece itself, then wish her well, say our fond goodbyes, and give her up to the ages. Just like the hundreds of "preserved" steam locomotives that municipalities haven't budgeted paint to cover, she cannot and will not stand alone. It's just the way it is.

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 Post subject: Re: (OT) SS United States up agains the wall again...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:24 am 
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Unfortunately, in her present situation, the SS United States is at risk of being a potential accident and environmental disaster waiting to happen. Remember the fate of the USS Lafayette (SS Normandie), and how much of a mess it is to salvage a liner when things go wrong. Here is an excellent film on this subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE5WthvrnZ8

PC

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 Post subject: Re: (OT) SS United States up agains the wall again...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:17 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:44 am
Posts: 633
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
I wonder is the Queen Mary in Long Beach is sometimes being used as an ill-understood preservation model. All things considered, it's not been a consistently successful venture in the 40+ years it's been in operation. Much of the ship below decks has been gutted or reconfigured to house displays or attractions that have come and gone. It does have the virtue of at least having many of its public spaces intact, or at least resembling their in- service appearance.

The "Big U" is, as was stated, just an empty shell- a tabula rasa for whatever a developer might want to put in there, but most developers would compare the cost of restoration of such a big space against just building a new space. What's to prevent the salvaging of the funnels and maybe a few other key elements and just constructing a building that resembles a ship?

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 Post subject: Re: (OT) SS United States up agains the wall again...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:46 pm
Posts: 1911
Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
I've always wondered why people rarely (if ever) consider dredging a channel from a river or beach, bringing a ship in, then filling the space with dirt to landlock the ship.
It's been done only a few times, and I know it's expensive, but if you never intend to sail said ship on the high seas, it seems like a no-brainer that would slash the upkeep costs for any preserved vessel...
A great example would be USS Hazard, which is now in a park in Omaha (though ironically, a flood caused the ship to list even though landlocked):
Image

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 Post subject: Re: (OT) SS United States up agains the wall again...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:09 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:29 pm
Posts: 324
Another example of the huge cost and scale of an ocean liner restoration is the Queen Elizabeth 2. She is arguably the most famous liner in the world but now is languishing in the heat and humidity of Dubai...tied up and neglected with no future. There were grand plans to refit her but the economic down turn spoiled all of that. So now the heat and neglect take their toll. Eventually she will be towed away to a scrap yard for dismantling.

As fine a ship as she is, she is too small to fit into the plans of the current cruise lines.

A friend of mine was given a tour of the USS United States years ago and reported that there was nothing left to see inside. Just rusty bulkheads and dripping pipes. You would have to locate the original plans and rebuild every feature from scratch...every table, every hatch, every chair...the cost would be enormous. And why is this ship worthy of saving? Because she bears the country's name? Just because?

And you think it is hard to get volunteers to work on a rusty old caboose...how many weekend warriors would commit to swinging from a rope with a wirebrush in one hand and a bucket of red lead in the other?

T7


Last edited by Termite7 on Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: (OT) SS United States up agains the wall again...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:28 am
Posts: 215
Location: Suffolk, UK
p51 wrote:
I've always wondered why people rarely (if ever) consider dredging a channel from a river or beach, bringing a ship in, then filling the space with dirt to landlock the ship.
It's been done only a few times, and I know it's expensive, but if you never intend to sail said ship on the high seas, it seems like a no-brainer that would slash the upkeep costs for any preserved vessel...


Hardly "preserved", but this one (actually a former Railway operated ferry) was beached in the UK with the intention of making it an attraction of some sort........

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TSS_Duke_ ... %281956%29

It all appears to have gone wrong, big time, and now is a significant blot on the North Wales coast!

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 Post subject: Re: (OT) SS United States up agains the wall again...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 672
Location: Philadelphia Pa
p51 wrote:
junior wrote:
....and the Olympia already is restored, open to the public and fulfilling a dedicated mission - three things alone that the SS United States is not and is a very long, expensive way from doing.
Not restored as much as you think. The Olympia has a great many issues which could spell her doom very easily. Just google the subject and you'll see a portion of them.


Correct. I'm very aware are of its structural needs, particularly and most importantly - to the hull, which has been an issue for over 30 years along with the decking issues. My family put a great deal of "unseen" work into the ship in the 1980s (when there was literally no money to fund it), including my grandfather's carpentry work done to the captains quarters after a fire during that time along with electrical and mechanical work. That said, the bulk of the ship is restored and it is open to the public and it is serving a dedicated purpose - historic education. The money being sunk into the U.S. jus to keep it docked could be put to excellent use finishing up the Olympia for future educational use, verses the shop/theatrical/gambling options that are on the table for the SSUS.


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 Post subject: Re: (OT) SS United States up agains the wall again...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 3:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 1836
RE: SSUS, one of the big issues with adaptive reuse are the basic principles of maritime design:

Quote:
Sheer: The rise of a deck - usually toward bow and stern. Sheer increases freeboard, and helps keep the vessel from shipping water in rough seas - particularly at the bow.

Camber: The convex upwards curve of a deck. Also called round up, round down, or round of beam, usually around one-fiftieth of the beam. Not all ships have cambered decks; ships with cambered weather decks and flat internal decks are not uncommon.

Tumblehome: Inward slope of hull sides above the waterline - the opposite of flare. Tumblehome was a usual feature in sailing ships and many ships built before 1940. Only seen on tugs and icebreaking vessels, sometimes used to reduce topside weight, and for reducing radar cross sections.

Flare: The outward curvature of the hull surface above the waterline, i.e., the opposite of tumblehome. Increases buoyancy when immersed. Flaring bows are often fitted to help keep the forward decks dry and to prevent "nose-diving" in head seas.


These features combine to create a design where the ship's decks are different shapes and layouts. It is not an empty box full of right angles, horizontals and perpendiculars. Walls (bulkheads) and decks curve to follow the design of the hull for speed, etc.

Scroll down at this link to see the deckplans for SS Norway that illustrate the effect of camber, sheer and flare on the layout of cabins. http://www.ssmaritime.com/SS-Norway-1980-brochure-M-Bobo.htm

Wesley


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 Post subject: Re: (OT) SS United States up agains the wall again...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:20 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:30 am
Posts: 119
Most of the interior stripping had to happen anyways. It's more a benefit than anything, since much if not all of the expensive asbestos remediation work outside of the propulsion spaces is already done.

Her 50's interiors weren't as timeless as that of earlier generations of trans-Atlantic liners thanks to the tastes of the time and the obsessive drive to make her as fireproof as possible. So I think any adaptive reuse today would've required starting with what amounts to a clean slate anyways.

And even if it was, her future if there is one isn't going to be as a maritime museum, but as an attraction like the Queen Mary in Long Beach. She'd likely be a hotel, a convention center, etc. So rather than lament at ill advised changes and such like that one has endured so much of, at least here, they'd have that freedom to do that work without the chance of doing much more harm than already exists.

The most the preservationists among us could hope for is securing her exterior and select spaces like her bridge. I don't even think engine room tours would stand much of a chance of happening. If the expensive remediation work there was ever done rather than keeping them sealed off, it likely would only happen as step #1 to repurposing those spaces like what largely has gone on in Long Beach.


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 Post subject: Re: (OT) SS United States up agains the wall again...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:49 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:07 am
Posts: 70
The former dutch cruiseship "Rotterdam" was restored to its former glory at a cost of 258 million euro! Good luck folks!
Kind regards
Jos Koopmans


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 Post subject: Re: (OT) SS United States up agains the wall again...
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 6:56 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:14 pm
Posts: 57
eze240 wrote:
To me, the saddest part of this whole debacle was how they wasted several million previously donated for upkeep.....essentially they should have moved her to a new cheaper location back then, but for lack of common sense they did not and now they're out of money.
This is not so much something that was always a lost cause, but smarter thinking......perhaps realizing that they needed a longer term storage plan, would have served their stated purpose better.
Even anchoring her somewhere away from a dock with a small barge to support a generator and pumps as needed would have been cheaper, probably only a fraction of the cost of that dock she is currently at......
This sort of thing is, unfortunately, what happens with some preservation groups that get in over their heads and refuse to think about other alternatives until it's too late....



The Space in Brooklyn was not offered until about 6 months ago as I recall.


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 Post subject: Re: (OT) SS United States up agains the wall again...
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:44 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:29 am
Posts: 216
You're probably right on the time that the new jersey site was offered, but my point is that they had several million given to them and no matter what other possibilities there were, they chose to stay at that dock, paying $60k a month.....apparently believing that a "deal" was just around the corner, when common sense (not so common anymore) says that it would likely take several years to find a city and the cubic dollars needed to place the ship somewhere and redevelop/ reuse/etc..... their job was to preserve the ship as long as possible and as best as possible until a "deal" could be made....not to assume one would be done quickly....


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 Post subject: Re: (OT) SS United States up agains the wall again...
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:45 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:20 pm
Posts: 140
Long past the time to call in the buyer from Gillette


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