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 Post subject: OT Save the Delta Queen, US Senate votes on Monday
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:17 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 284
Location: Oroville, CA
While not Railway preservation, marine preservation and steam preservation too!
As most of you know, Linda and I are great fans of the Delta Queen Steamboat, the last remaining intact overnight paddlewheel steamboat in the USA. Built on a steel hull, but with a mostly wooden superstructure, she does not meet modern standards for Safety of Ships At Sea (SOLAS) standards, which were enacted back in 1966. Until 2008 congress passed exemption bills allowing her to run, considering she is equipped with a very modern sprinkler system throughout the vessel, is never more than 5 minutes from shore, and is taller than the rivers are deep. She has an over 85 year safety record. This year a new exemption is being voted on that will allow her to return to the rivers to keep this part of our American Heritage alive. This year is critical, without the exemption she will most likely become derelict and disappear, as have nearly all of our riverboat steamers. They are just too expensive to keep up without the income of paying passengers. The US Senate is preparing to vote on S 89, the exemption bill for the Delta Queen this Monday, April 3. Please call or email your State Senators this weekend to express support for S 89. Don’t know whom to call or email? Here’s a handy website to help you;

https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

In case I forgot to mention it, this bill spends no federal monies, it just grant permission to operate!

Thank you for helping! Long Live the Delta Queen!

_________________
Steamcerely,
David Dewey
Help save the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!
Write your congressman to support and co-sponsor House Resolution HR-619. This bill only grants her permission to run; there is no cost to us taxpayers.


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 Post subject: Re: OT Save the Delta Queen, US Senate votes on Monday
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:29 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 407
Location: Floyd, AR
OK, does this bill force the Queen to replace 10% of the wood annually? Are we just going to have another steel boat in 10 years? Are the Delta Queen operators on board with this plan?

S. 89
[Report No. 115–5]


To amend title 46, United States Code, to exempt old vessels that only operate within inland waterways from the fire-retardant materials requirement if the owners of such vessels make annual structural alterations to at least 10 percent of the areas of the vessels that are not constructed of fire-retardant materials and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
January 10, 2017
Mrs. McCaskill (for herself, Mr. Blunt, Mr. Brown, Mr. Portman, Mr. Cassidy, Mr. Cotton, and Mr. Boozman) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

March 21, 2017
Reported by Mr. Thune, without amendment

A BILL
To amend title 46, United States Code, to exempt old vessels that only operate within inland waterways from the fire-retardant materials requirement if the owners of such vessels make annual structural alterations to at least 10 percent of the areas of the vessels that are not constructed of fire-retardant materials and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. FIRE-RETARDANT MATERIALS EXEMPTION.

Section 3503 of title 46, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

Ҥ 3503. Fire-retardant materials

“(a)(1) A passenger vessel of the United States having berth or stateroom accommodations for at least 50 passengers shall be granted a certificate of inspection only if—

“(A) the vessel is constructed of fire-retardant materials; and

“(B) the vessel—

“(i) is operating engines, boilers, main electrical distribution panels, fuel tanks, oil tanks, and generators that meet current Coast Guard regulations;

“(ii) is operating boilers and main electrical generators that are contained within noncombustible enclosures equipped with fire suppression systems; and

“(iii) has multiple forms of egress off the vessel’s bow and stern.

“(2) Before December 1, 2028, this section does not apply to any vessel in operation before January 1, 1968, and operating only within the Boundary Line.

“(b)(1) When a vessel is exempted from the fire-retardant standards of subsection (a)—

“(A) the owner or managing operator of the vessel shall—

“(i) notify in writing prospective passengers, prior to the sale of any ticket for boarding and to be affirmatively recognized by such passenger prior to purchase, and any crew member that the vessel does not comply with applicable fire safety standards due primarily to the wooden construction of passenger berthing areas; and

“(ii) display in clearly legible font prominently throughout the vessel, including in each state room the following: ‘THIS VESSEL FAILS TO COMPLY WITH SAFETY RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE U.S. COAST GUARD.’;

“(B) the owner or managing operator of the vessel—

“(i) may not disclaim liability to a passenger or crew member for death, injury, or any other loss caused by fire due to the negligence of the owner or managing operator; and

“(ii) shall acquire prior to entering service, and maintain, liability insurance in an amount to be prescribed by the Federal Maritime Commission;

“(C) the penalties provided in section 3504(c) of this title apply to a violation of this subsection;

“(D) the owner or managing operator of the vessel shall—

“(i) make annual structural alteration to not less than 10 percent of the areas of the vessel that are not constructed of fire retardant materials;

“(ii) prioritize alterations in galleys, engineering areas of the vessel, including all spaces and compartments containing, or adjacent to spaces and compartments containing, engines, boilers, main electrical distribution panels, fuel tanks, oil tanks, and generators;

“(iii) ensure, to the satisfaction of the Coast Guard, that the combustible fire-load has been reduced pursuant to clause (i) during each annual inspection for certification; and

“(iv) provide advance notice to the Coast Guard regarding the structural alterations made pursuant to clause (i) and comply with any noncombustible material requirements prescribed by the Coast Guard;

“(E) the Coast Guard, in making the determination required in subparagraph (D)(iii), shall consider, to the extent practicable, the goal of preservation of the historic integrity of the vessel in areas carrying or accessible to passengers or generally visible to the public;

“(F) the owner or managing operator of the vessel shall annually notify all ports of call and State emergency management offices of jurisdiction that the vessel does not comply with applicable fire safety standards due primarily to the wooden construction of passenger berthing areas;

“(G) the crews manning such vessel shall receive specialized training, above minimum standards, in regards to shipboard firefighting that is specialized for exempted vessels and approved by the Coast Guard; and

“(H) the owner or managing operator of the vessel shall, to the extent practicable, take all steps to retain previously trained crew knowledgeable of such vessel or to hire crew trained in operations aboard exempted vessels.

“(2) The Secretary shall conduct an annual audit and inspection of any vessel exempted from the fire-retardant standards of subsection (a).

“(c) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to carry out this section. Such regulations shall include the manner in which prospective passengers are to be notified.

“(d) In addition to other penalties permitted by law, the Secretary is authorized to immediately withdraw a certificate of inspection for a passenger vessel that does not comply with any requirement under this section.”.

_________________
Robert Longhofer,
Board Member, Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society, Arkansas Railroad Museum, steam engine SSW819.
Any information or opinions I express are my own, and are not the views of the CBRHS or anyone else, unless explicitly stated otherwise.


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 Post subject: Re: OT Save the Delta Queen, US Senate votes on Monday
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:54 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 284
Location: Oroville, CA
The legislation was written with the input from the owners, so I believe they are on board. Alterations must also meet historic preservation guidelines, as she is listed on the National Register. What I am told is that the boat's structure will be replaced, ie: what's behind the wall paneling. Personally, I think the wood is safer than metal when it comes to structural strength and fire: a wood building will stay intact longer than a metal one, from what I've read. If we don't get the Delta Queen operational soon, very soon, she will deteriorate into a rotten mess. It takes lots of money to keep a boat intact, and that requires either a wealthy owner or an income stream. Stationary displays do not generate enough income. Almost all the riverboats put into "preservation" are no longer with us, burned, sunk, or just fallen apart. It's a sad commentary on Marine preservation, or should I say "non-preservation."
I am reminded of another piece of controversial legislation where we were told "we have to pass it to find out what's in it." I am trusting that the current owners of the Delta Queen, old time riverfolks, know what they are in for.

_________________
Steamcerely,
David Dewey
Help save the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!
Write your congressman to support and co-sponsor House Resolution HR-619. This bill only grants her permission to run; there is no cost to us taxpayers.


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 Post subject: Re: OT Save the Delta Queen, US Senate votes on Monday
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:49 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 865
As I read it, the provisions of section (a) don't apply to the Delta Queen until 2028, and when they do, the Coast Guard may take historical value into account:

Quote:
"... the Coast Guard ... shall consider, to the extent practicable, the goal of preservation of the historic integrity of the vessel in areas carrying or accessible to passengers or generally visible to the public;"


So yes, I'd say it's the visible structure, not the internal framing, and a great deal appears to hinge on the government's interpretation of the phrase "historic integrity of the vessel".

Does rebuilding wood paneling in 'fire-retardant' material over the 10-year period from December 2028 to December 2038 qualify as 'historic integrity' if it replicates the wooden construction in detail? If it is dimensionally accurate (to, say, measured drawings) and when painted is indistinguishable from wood? Are there flame-retardant treatments or coatings that fulfil the fire retardant definition used here?

_________________
R.M.Ellsworth


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 Post subject: Re: OT Save the Delta Queen, US Senate votes on Monday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:34 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 217
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
An article I read probably 40 years ago said the DQ had been painted with paint that was supposed to be flame retardant. The paint job probably dates to one of her earlier exemptions.

Thanks for the heads-up. I sent emails to both of my senators.


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 Post subject: Re: OT Save the Delta Queen, US Senate votes on Monday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:30 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1219
Location: Strasburg, PA
I wrote in as well. If approved by the senate, is there any idea on if and when the house might take it up?

_________________
"It was not easy to convince Allnutt. All his shop training had given him a profound prejudice against inexact work, experimental work, hit-or-miss work."
C. S. Forester

Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Department


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 Post subject: Re: OT Save the Delta Queen, US Senate votes on Monday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:30 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 284
Location: Oroville, CA
The house bill is HR 619, which is, I believe, still in committee.

_________________
Steamcerely,
David Dewey
Help save the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!
Write your congressman to support and co-sponsor House Resolution HR-619. This bill only grants her permission to run; there is no cost to us taxpayers.


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 Post subject: Re: OT Save the Delta Queen, US Senate votes on Monday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2415
Quote:
Does rebuilding wood paneling in 'fire-retardant' material over the 10-year period from December 2028 to December 2038 qualify as 'historic integrity' if it replicates the wooden construction in detail? If it is dimensionally accurate (to, say, measured drawings) and when painted is indistinguishable from wood? Are there flame-retardant treatments or coatings that fulfil the fire retardant definition used here?


I don't know if there are any acceptable coating methods. There is such a thing as "fire retardant" wood. It sounds as if it's treated in a similar manner to creosoting wood ties.

Quote:
The use of Pressure-impregnated Fire Retardant Treated Wood (FRTW) is required by building codes in many major metropolitan areas for use in wall, floor and roof assemblies to help contain the spread of smoke and fire, increasing the time that people have to evacuate and move to safety.

D-Blaze FRTW by Viance is now GreenGuard GOLD certified for Low VOC emissions, and is also UL Classified with an FR-S listings for a low smoke and flame developed index. D-Blaze also has been installed in many notable commercial installations such as the new One World Trade Center in NYC, and the Sears Tower and Navy Pier in Chicago.


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 Post subject: Re: OT Save the Delta Queen, US Senate votes on Monday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:46 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 284
Location: Oroville, CA
Yes, back in the 60's she was painted with a NASA developed fire resistant paint that was believed to retard the spread of fire on the wood. I doubt any of that paint is still in place, especially with some of the later owner's maintenance procedures.
Fire control is very sophisticated on the boat, the heat rise and smoke detection systems are of military grade, some use on our naval ships. Sprinklers abound throughout the boat. Easy escape to the outside walkways from every room (most rooms open to the decks), no maze of internal passageways except for the crew's quarters below deck. The crew is all trained in fire-fighting and life-saving techniques, and a watchman does rounds with check-in stations 24/7. You are safer from fire onboard than you are in your own home.
In a disaster, it's less than 5 minutes to beach her on shore (she's designed for that, as that's how steamboats "dock" most of the time), drop the stage (gangplank) and everyone can walk off the boat without even getting their feet wet.

_________________
Steamcerely,
David Dewey
Help save the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!
Write your congressman to support and co-sponsor House Resolution HR-619. This bill only grants her permission to run; there is no cost to us taxpayers.


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 Post subject: Re: OT Save the Delta Queen, US Senate votes on Monday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:13 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 295
I vaguely remember being on board the paddle-wheeler Julia Belle Swain (sp?) based in Peoria IL at the time, when it raced the Delta Queen around 1975 on the Illinois River. I was 10 or so, and so can't remember which boat won.


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 Post subject: Re: OT Save the Delta Queen, US Senate votes on Monday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 284
Location: Oroville, CA
Julia Bell Swain, another legendary steamboat--that might be out again soon! Often times piloted by John Hartford, who composed The Delta Queen Waltz, but more famous for composing, "Gentle on my Mind" which he said made him enough money for the rest of his life (so he could spend time piloting a steamboat!)
While the winning boat gets to display the Antlers on the pilothouse front until next year's race, it isn't really that important who wins, but who participates. Consider yourself very privileged to have been onboard the JBS during a steamboat race.

_________________
Steamcerely,
David Dewey
Help save the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!
Write your congressman to support and co-sponsor House Resolution HR-619. This bill only grants her permission to run; there is no cost to us taxpayers.


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 Post subject: Re: OT Save the Delta Queen, US Senate votes on Monday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:10 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 12:20 pm
Posts: 120
The Senate just passed the exemption.
85 Yea 12 Nay....12 Senators apparently have no interest in saving an historic treasure.


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 Post subject: Re: OT Save the Delta Queen, US Senate votes on Monday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:25 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1219
Location: Strasburg, PA
Sweet!

Now all we need is 435 idiots to do their jobs!

_________________
"It was not easy to convince Allnutt. All his shop training had given him a profound prejudice against inexact work, experimental work, hit-or-miss work."
C. S. Forester

Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Department


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 Post subject: Re: OT Save the Delta Queen, US Senate votes on Monday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:42 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:21 am
Posts: 378
Quote:
Now all we need is 435 idiots to do their jobs!


Um....by definition, no.


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 Post subject: Re: OT Save the Delta Queen, US Senate votes on Monday
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:25 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1219
Location: Strasburg, PA
Mark Jordan wrote:
Um....by definition, no.

"No" regarding my slight to their intelligence, or "no" regarding their ability to do their jobs?

_________________
"It was not easy to convince Allnutt. All his shop training had given him a profound prejudice against inexact work, experimental work, hit-or-miss work."
C. S. Forester

Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Department


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