Help save the SS UNITED STATES

QM charges about 20 to 35 bucks a head based on the type of ticket. You’d have to get a lot of people to visit SSUS to even think about breaking even on refurbishment, outfitting, pier costs, utilities, payroll, insurance, all that. You’re not going to get that kind of traffic. Ask the guys who run the SS Becuna and SS Olympia museums in Penn’s Landing how things are going for them. Those two are crumbling from lack of funding.

And don’t forget, QM was intact when she was retired to museum life. SSUS is a gutted hulk and still likely has AB, lead and PCB yet to be removed.

[QUOTE=tugsailor;103749]Symbols are important.

So is a history of accomplishment.

I don’t care how many billions it might cost, the government should fully fund restoring the UNITED STATES to its former glory — as a symbol of national pride and accomplishment.[/QUOTE]

We have museum ships aplenty: USS Intrepid- which only gets the visitors she gets because of her location in New York- and USS Ranger in Alameda, which is largely ignored.

We have the battleship Wisconsin just ten miles from where I sit now. And the USS New Jersey in where, Camden? How many people do you think go to Camden for any reason? Camden is a war zone.

Then there is the USS Constitution in Boston, and there are others here and there. Some are public vessels and some are in private ownership and supported by…visitors.

Asking the public to fund another museum ship when they are being asked to tighten belts is not realistic.

[QUOTE=Jetryder223;103772]Salty - you can park Planes, trains, tanks or cars on any vacant lot, put a fence around it and call it a museum.

This is a 1000’ Steamship that costs a million a year just to tie up and keep floating. BIG difference. I am sure that pier could be better used for something producing a positive cash flow.

Have you been on the Queen Mary? It’s a tour that you do once and don’t ever need to do again. There are far more interesting tourist attractions. Same would go for the SSUS.[/QUOTE]

Yep. I’ve been on the QM. And yeah, sure, we could use that pier for far more productive activities…Like importing more cheaply made products from 3rd world countries! And make SURE those items are brought in on Chinese or Korean built ships with 3rd world crews and Panamanian flags flying proudly from the stern…

[QUOTE=tugsailor;103749]Symbols are important. So is a history of accomplishment. I don’t care how many billions it might cost, the government should fully fund restoring the UNITED STATES to its former glory — as a symbol of national pride and accomplishment.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=catherder;103779]We have museum ships aplenty: USS Intrepid- which only gets the visitors she gets because of her location in New York- and USS Ranger in Alameda, which is largely ignored.

We have the battleship Wisconsin just ten miles from where I sit now. And the USS New Jersey in where, Camden? How many people do you think go to Camden for any reason? Camden is a war zone.

Then there is the USS Constitution in Boston, and there are others here and there. Some are public vessels and some are in private ownership and supported by…visitors.

Asking the public to fund another museum ship when they are being asked to tighten belts is not realistic.[/QUOTE]

I agree with both of you. Full government funding is wishful thinking, especially at a time like this, but I do believe that the government should be involved at some level of subsidization. All those ships you listed, Catherder, are national treasures and deserve the preservation that they get, but at the same time no other American vessel like it has ever been preserved. The only thing comparable is the QM and although I whole-heartedly agree with her preservation, she’s still British. Just as the preserved Iowa Class battleships represent the high water mark in US Naval history, the SS United States represents the very highest mark in the history of the United States Merchant Marine and I can think of no other living examples that fulfill the same purpose. She may never sail again but she deserves more TLC than a beach in Turkey or Alang.

Preserve the SS United States!

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;103787]I agree with both of you. Full government funding is wishful thinking, especially at a time like this, but I do believe that the government should be involved at some level of subsidization. All those ships you listed, Catherder, are national treasures and deserve the preservation that they get, but at the same time no other American vessel like it has ever been preserved. The only thing comparable is the QM and although I whole-heartedly agree with her preservation, she’s still British. Just as the preserved Iowa Class battleships represent the high water mark in US Naval history, the SS United States represents the very highest mark in the history of the United States Merchant Marine and I can think of no other living examples that fulfill the same purpose. She may never sail again but she deserves more TLC than a beach in Turkey or Alang.

Preserve the SS United States![/QUOTE]

Well then MarAd would be the agency to do that, and thus far they have expressed zero interest…

If you are really interested in a government subsidy for the SSUS then write to David Matsuda.

I can already tell you what the answer will be. Crickets.

One of my friends sailed on it and he says she would straighten your hair out on three boilers. Does anyone know if she still holds the record for crossing the Atlantic?I was wondering how much longer she would sit there.

People should know that the QM is a fluke that has never been profitable. If it was not 1968 again that ship would be scrapped just like all the other classic liners of the past. Why do you think she is the only survivor?

Just because she was a flagship does not make her a treasure and I also believe that someday a good many of the WWII museum ships will also be turned back over to the Navy for lack of money. I cannot see how we need so many WWII battleships (MISSOURI, WISCONSIN, NEW JERSEY, IOWA, NORTH CAROLINA, MASSACHUSETTS, ALABAMA, TEXAS), WWII carriers (INTREPID, YORKTOWN, LEXINGTON, MIDWAY, HORNET), umpteen WWII submarines & destroyers and 4 merchant ships. As mentioned both the USS OLYMPIA and the PEKING are both on their lips and you hear talk about them going to scrap or being scuttled! Too many ships chasing too few dollars! SSUS cannot compete in that limited marketplace.

[QUOTE=heavyseas;103791]Does anyone know if she still holds the record for crossing the Atlantic?[/QUOTE]

well technically no, other commercial vessels have crossed the Atlantic is less time but the whole Blue Riband and Hale’s Trophy really only belonged to the era of the great liners

so even though the Hale’s Trophy is no longer at the US Merchant Marine Museum it is just as Wikipedia states:

“the (S.S.) United States is still considered the holder of the Blue Riband.”

it’s just that we don’t live in the same world today as then and those triumphs are not material anymore…just sad!

[QUOTE=c.captain;103793]People should know that the QM is a fluke that has never been profitable. If it was not 1968 again that ship would be scrapped just like all the other classic liners of the past. Why do you think she is the only survivor?

Just because she was a flagship does not make her a treasure and I also believe that someday a good many of the WWII museum ships will also be turned back over to the Navy for lack of money. I cannot see how we need so many WWII battleships (MISSOURI, WISCONSIN, NEW JERSEY, IOWA, NORTH CAROLINA, MASSACHUSETTS, ALABAMA, TEXAS), WWII carriers (INTREPID, YORKTOWN, LEXINGTON, MIDWAY, HORNET), umpteen WWII submarines & destroyers and 4 merchant ships. As mentioned both the USS OLYMPIA and the PEKING are both on their lips and you hear talk about them going to scrap or being scuttled! Too many ships chasing too few dollars! SSUS cannot compete in that limited marketplace.[/QUOTE]

Philadelphia is trying to give away the Olympia. According to this article, the ship needed 10 million in repairs.

http://www.islandpacket.com/2012/11/28/2293712/local-group-makes-finals-to-bring.html

[QUOTE=catherder;103779]We have museum ships aplenty: USS Intrepid- which only gets the visitors she gets because of her location in New York- and USS Ranger in Alameda, which is largely ignored.

We have the battleship Wisconsin just ten miles from where I sit now. And the USS New Jersey in where, Camden? How many people do you think go to Camden for any reason? Camden is a war zone.

Then there is the USS Constitution in Boston, and there are others here and there. Some are public vessels and some are in private ownership and supported by…visitors.

Asking the public to fund another museum ship when they are being asked to tighten belts is not realistic.[/QUOTE]

Well, you have kind of hit upon the reason why the “UNITED STATES” will not be preserved.

As I told a reporter friend of mine in Baltimore several years ago while he was doing an article about the possible loss of “US” and “OLYMPIA”, this country is more into preserving warships, not merchant vessels.

Speaking of belt tightening. Perhaps the grifter and his clan that reside in the White House these days could tighten theirs a bit. You know, setting an example and all that.

Then perhaps we might have a few extra bucks to save truly historic ships like the “US” and “Olympia”.

[QUOTE=capnfab;103800]

Then perhaps we might have a few extra bucks to save truly historic ships like the “US” and “Olympia”.[/QUOTE]

Olympia is a warship. A cruiser, in fact, the oldest preserved steel hulled warship in the US.

[QUOTE=catherder;103802]Olympia is a warship. A cruiser, in fact, the oldest preserved steel hulled warship in the US.[/QUOTE]

I am quite aware of what “OLYMPIA” is.

I, for one, hope that something happens and the US can be spared. I was rooting for NCL when they bought it with plans of refurbishing it unfortunately the recession hit at the same time and the plan never went through. I hope if it must be scrapped parts of it like the funnels and the bridge can be spared. It would be a real shame to se such a beautiful ship getting cut up on a beach in some 3rd world shithole.

I saw a documentary on the US on PBS a few years back. They did underwater testing of the hull and it was only 9% wasted. They said if put back in service the ship would still have years of use of of her.

[QUOTE=heavyseas;103791]One of my friends sailed on it and he says she would straighten your hair out on three boilers. Does anyone know if she still holds the record for crossing the Atlantic?I was wondering how much longer she would sit there.[/QUOTE]

Officially the Blue Ribband has been passed on because other ships have crossed the Atlantic with faster average speeds. HOWEVER, having said that, the SS United States is STILL the fastest purpose-built commercial passenger vessel to have ever crossed the Atlantic ocean, and so in my opinion she is STILL the current holder of the Blue Ribband.

Edit: Sorry C.Captain, I just realized I said literally everything that you just said. Glad to know I’m not the only devoted maritime historian out there!

[QUOTE=Bayrunner;103804]I, for one, hope that something happens and the US can be spared. I was rooting for NCL when they bought it with plans of refurbishing it unfortunately the recession hit at the same time and the plan never went through. I hope if it must be scrapped parts of it like the funnels and the bridge can be spared. It would be a real shame to se such a beautiful ship getting cut up on a beach in some 3rd world shithole. [/QUOTE]

Or worse. The fate of the “AMERICA”:

From the thread about “PEKING”. Maybe it’s worth repeating:

"As you have noted, ship preservation revolves around money, but I have a bigger concern.

As we proceed deeper into the personal electronic or social media age, will the day soon come where there is no interest in these vessels that sailed the seven seas or even the ones that worked around our various harbors?

Here in Baltimore, we have two vessels that are virtually ignored by the public and the local government(s). The 1906 Baltimore built Steam tug “BALTIMORE” rots away just steps away from the hundreds of thousands that visit Baltimore’s Inner Harbor yearly.

The Baltimore built Liberty Ship “John W. Brown” sits down on Clinton Street, surrounded by Ready Reserve ships and the salt piles of the Rukert Terminals Company. Hardly a destination for visitors even if they knew the ship was there.

While it is true that you can’t save every retired merchant ship or Naval vessel of historical significance, preserving our maritime heritage is important and a noble effort. Well, at least it’s important to me.

But, will future generations really give a crap about these expensive to maintain museum pieces?

Sadly, I think I already know the answer."

[QUOTE=capnfab;103808]From the thread about “PEKING”. Maybe it’s worth repeating:

"As you have noted, ship preservation revolves around money, but I have a bigger concern.

As we proceed deeper into the personal electronic or social media age, will the day soon come where there is no interest in these vessels that sailed the seven seas or even the ones that worked around our various harbors?

Here in Baltimore, we have two vessels that are virtually ignored by the public and the local government(s). The 1906 Baltimore built Steam tug “BALTIMORE” rots away just steps away from the hundreds of thousands that visit Baltimore’s Inner Harbor yearly.

The Baltimore built Liberty Ship “John W. Brown” sits down on Clinton Street, surrounded by Ready Reserve ships and the salt piles of the Rukert Terminals Company. Hardly a destination for visitors even if they knew the ship was there.

While it is true that you can’t save every retired merchant ship or Naval vessel of historical significance, preserving our maritime heritage is important and a noble effort. Well, at least it’s important to me.

But, will future generations really give a crap about these expensive to maintain museum pieces?

Sadly, I think I already know the answer."[/QUOTE]

Don’t they do harbor cruises with the John Brown every summer? I’d always wanted to do a day trip but every time I go to Baltimore I can’t make the time. I drive right past her when I visit SS Wright, too, I can just about reach out and touch her when going up the driveway.

[QUOTE=Bayrunner;103804]I, for one, hope that something happens and the US can be spared. I was rooting for NCL when they bought it with plans of refurbishing it unfortunately the recession hit at the same time and the plan never went through. I hope if it must be scrapped parts of it like the funnels and the bridge can be spared. It would be a real shame to se such a beautiful ship getting cut up on a beach in some 3rd world shithole.

I saw a documentary on the US on PBS a few years back. They did underwater testing of the hull and it was only 9% wasted. They said if put back in service the ship would still have years of use of of her.[/QUOTE]

I have to admit it was nice to see a large corporate organization take an interest in the vessel but certainly not NCL. I cringe at the thought of the SS France V/Norway. It was good that they made her commercially viable once again after such a short career in her intended use, but what they did to her in order to make her suit their own purposes was a disgrace and an insult to such pure beauty. Under no circumstances would I support seeing glassed in verandah decks stacked up atop the SSUS.

It’s no surprise to me that testing of her hull revealed that it was in good shape. During her initial construction she may have been what essentially amounts to a “cruise ship” in wholly incorrect layman’s terms, but she might as well have been the fifth Iowa Class battleship. Keel to masthead she was absolute top of the line, government funded, real-deal, G.I. Joe, gung-ho merchandise. They built some nice stuff back in the day.

[QUOTE=catherder;103809]Don’t they do harbor cruises with the John Brown every summer?[/QUOTE]

The “Brown” only gets underway a few times a year.

They have the annual cruises around Labor day (down the Bay to Annapolis and back) and the popular Veterans Day event which is only 4 hours in duration.

[QUOTE=capnfab;103812]The “Brown” only gets underway a few times a year.

They have the annual cruises around Labor day (down the Bay to Annapolis and back) and the popular Veterans Day event which is only 4 hours in duration.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I wasn’t sure- I’ll go look at the website.