S.S. UNITED STATES Fate

We could only hear answers at the Press Conference regarding the fate of the Luxury Liner S.S. United States but it sounds like a new ‘deal’ is happening. Some comments indicated the hull was at 92% of original (thanks to lead paint no doubt) and that only the EPA could stop this new deal. In the back ground was a Chrystal Cruises logo. I haven’t looked but I suppose the inside of that ship is potentially a regal palace!
BUT:
A US flag can hardly afford to operate a world class cruise ship these days and can you imagine what it’d take to haul the asbestos out of her? install a fire system? add all the wires for internet and etc. access? convert it to electric? etc. etc. Or maybey they’d keep it the same sort of for a ''vintage/classic experience" read: about half a trip!! Yea, I’d like to see it go but will some optimist here explain how this could possibly happen? Remember the last US cruise company (patriot cruise) and that ex-french ship? (the patriot) It’d be cheaper to buy something like that wouldn’t it?

The ships been gutted. Most of the ass-bestos were likely removed when she was gutted in turkey. All it sounded like we’re plans, that’s happened before. Scrap the old girl and die with dignity.

I’m not an engineer but I doubt that plant has been maintained in a way that in can be resurrected, if it’s even still there.

With the economy of shipyards I bet you could restore it cheap now compared to 5 years ago, but I see no economic possibility.

I have already written to Donald Trump. The SS UNITED STATES would be perfect for renovation as the new Presidential Yacht.

I thought he had his eyes on it for a mass-deportation ship though? I could have gotten bad info from Faux news though.

I’m doubtful as to the feasibility of their business model. The United States is an ocean liner, not a cruise ship. Modern customers want a cruise, with cruise ship amenities, not an ocean liner. I expect the novelty angle will wear off quick.

Edit

I just looked up the her speed records and at her record eastbound and westbound speeds it would take more than a full 7 days to go from berth in NY harbor to Bishop Rock off Cornwall, UK, immediately turn around and go back to berth in NY. That means it would need to be a 10 day excursion to England in order to have time to enjoy England for a day or two.

I’ve done the cruise ship experience…check that one off the list. Nothing but a glorified casino boat and with some exceptions the meat and potato crowd. Although I wish I could have experienced the ocean liner era, today’s cruise ship target customer would be bored after a day.
At best the SSUS will be a retro static display with high end shops and offices.

[QUOTE=salt’n steel;178363]I’ve done the cruise ship experience…check that one off the list. Nothing but a glorified casino boat and with some exceptions the meat and potato crowd. Although I wish I could have experienced the ocean liner era, today’s cruise ship target customer would be bored after a day.
At best the SSUS will be a retro static display with high end shops and offices.[/QUOTE]

Like the Whampoa(although it wasn’t a ship in another life)?

While, I believe I know the answer to this, What do you all think the Chances are of HER EVER Flying The US Flag again?

zero, well maybe one in a thousand

all nothing but pie in the sky dreams which ain’t gonna happen…especially as a steamship

however this is what the NYT has to say about all this nonsense (with a rendering!)

[B]S.S. United States, Historic Ocean Liner of Trans-Atlantic Heyday, May Sail Again[/B]

By JESSE PESTAFEB. 4, 2016


A rendering of the proposed redesign of the S.S. United States, whose top speed was kept secret. Credit Crystal Cruises

The S.S. United States has just been tossed a life preserver.

In its 1950s heyday, the historic ship — the world’s fastest luxury liner — dashed across the Atlantic carrying royalty and immigrants alike to American shores. But for nearly a half century now the “Big U,” as the ship is known, has been docked, collecting barnacles and rust after jet travel lured away all the customers.

Now, however, there is a chance the S.S. United States may sail again, after Crystal Cruises, a luxury travel company, signed a purchase option for the ship. Just months earlier, preservationists almost had to scrap the Titanic-size vessel as their funds dwindled.

For Crystal it would be the latest addition to an ambitious and sometimes unconventional collection of luxury travel offerings — including excursions by personal submarine, and plans for a “cruising in the sky” luxury jumbo jet. It could also be among the most difficult.

A makeover of the ship could cost from $700 million to $800 million, according to Crystal’s chief executive, Edie Rodriguez, potentially a little less than building something similar from scratch. Under terms of the agreement, the company will cover the approximately $60,000-a-month cost of caring for the ship for nine months while it does a feasibility study.

“It’s not going to be easy,” Ms. Rodriguez said of the project. But while one could argue against it “from an opportunity cost perspective,” she noted, “some things are iconic.”

Crystal will need to figure out how to renovate a ship built for a bygone era. A technological marvel of its age, the ship entered service in 1952 and sailed with three orchestras on board. It was also specially designed to be a fast troop carrier if needed.

The 2,000-passenger Big U, about as long as the Chrysler Building is tall, still holds the record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic, which it set on its 1952 inaugural round trip between New York and Europe. Its top speed remained a secret for decades during the Cold War.

More recently, the vessel has struggled to find a purpose. With a gift from a Philadelphia philanthropist, a conservancy bought the ship a few years ago from the cruise operator NCL, which was close to scrapping it. But fund-raising has been a struggle, and late last year the preservationists themselves had to think seriously about scrapping their prize.

“The prospect of the ship’s return to seagoing service was a dream we’d basically given up on because of the technological challenges,” said Susan L. Gibbs, executive director of the S.S. United States Conservancy, the group that owns the vessel.

But Crystal, which is expanding its lineup of vessels, saw potential, Ms. Rodriguez said. She and the company’s chairman, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, decided that it would be a “crime” if the ship were melted down.

Crystal is owned by Genting Hong Kong, which holds a stake in NCL, the ship’s former owner. Mr. Lim is also Genting’s chief executive, which makes this his second experience with the S.S. United States.

Crystal said it planned to turn the ship into an 800-passenger luxury liner that will travel the world and perhaps even resume occasional service between New York and Europe, the classic route it served along with ships like the R.M.S. Queen Mary, the S.S. France and other great liners of the mid-20th century.

The Queen Mary is now a stationary hotel in Long Beach, Calif. The France was renamed the S.S. Norway, then was scrapped.

A concept rendering of the S.S. United States makeover shows a ship with its signature twin red, white and blue stacks and the same number of decks, a spokesman said, in contrast with the top-heavy silhouette of some modern cruise liners.

The decks, however, are extended and expanded to accommodate rooms with balconies, something the original design never had.

Crystal’s interest in refitting the ship, while quixotic, is not entirely without business logic.

If the ship proves to be sound, it provides the head start of a hull in place, a potential cost advantage. The ship also happens to be the rare ocean liner that was built and flagged in America, which can make it easier to service some American routes where foreign-flagged vessels can face limitations.

Still, there are big challenges. It is a steam engine ship, (that’s the “S.S.” in the name), and the geriatric equipment would have to be swapped out. The last time the ship moved under its own power was more than 40 years ago.

Furthermore, some engineering areas contain toxic PCBs. It is a common problem for ships of the period, but one that means the Environmental Protection Agency will take an interest.

Asked what might kill the deal, Ms. Rodriquez cited environmental obstacles that could be raised by the E.P.A. and gave an example familiar to any homeowner. A budget of $100,000 for an addition, she said, can balloon to $200,000 “because you couldn’t get permits, because of the foundation.” That, she said, would be a “showstopper.”

[QUOTE=z-drive;178369]zero, well maybe one in a thousand[/QUOTE]

here is an interesting conundrum…for the SSUS to become foreign flagged would require approval from MarAd but would you want to be the pencil pusher who signs off on the former flagship of the US merchant fleet which bears the name of the Nation to someday fly some other country’s flag? Can you imagine the outrage (at least here) that the SSUS not be US flagged?

This is a pipe dream and not the first one for many people don’t get too excited

[QUOTE=c.captain;178378]here is an interesting conundrum…for the SSUS to become foreign flagged would require approval from MarAd but would you want to be the pencil pusher who signs off on the former flagship of the US merchant fleet which bears the name of the Nation to someday fly some other country’s flag? Can you imagine the outrage (at least here) that the SSUS not be US flagged?[/QUOTE]

I took the question to mean would it ever be operational again, not would it be flagged foreign.

you know better but why can’t you sell a privately owned vessel to whoever to reflag as they wish? Is there some marad ownership still? I don’t understand the situation I guess. Tons of old US shit get sold off foreign and nobody cares.

Edit, now I know:
http://www.marad.dot.gov/ships-and-shipping/strategic-sealift/foreign-transfer/

The short answer is MARAD really doesn’t give a shit and as long as money’s going towards their model collection and KP, everything else ain’t but a thing.

[QUOTE=z-drive;178383]Edit, now I know: [/QUOTE]

here’s the mindless civil service pencil pusher who will gladly sign away the last vestige of any pride we once might have had

Contact

Deveeda Midgette
Vessel Transfer Officer
202-366-2354 or 202-366-2323
202-366-5904(fax)
deveeda.midgette@dot.gov

I hope they reflag the Big U in Bolivia or Mongolia…with where America’s maritime greatness has gone, why not?

Passed through Philly today and could not resist a quick visit to this old girl. Seemed more appropriate as July 4th approaches. One graceful looking man made shape that is. Maybe they should just drive some sheet pile around it right where it sits and let it decay slowly over time. Unfortunately that would be as good a monument to the current state of our industry as one could imagine.

Approaching from the South.

Rust in peace Big U

Rust in peace Big U - Good one KPCheif :slight_smile:

I was thinking about it and remembered it has been almost exactly 20 years since we met her at the Delaware Capes and brought her upriver to Packer Avenue in South Philly.
I was captain on the old Eric McAllister, strapped up on the starboard quarter for the ride upriver.
Photo by me.
](http://s120.photobucket.com/user/capnfab/media/Dinosaurs/us01a_zps59d2a56b.jpg.html)[/IMG]

[QUOTE=c.captain;178378] Can you imagine the outrage (at least here) that the SSUS not be US flagged?[/QUOTE]

Here is probably the only place it would even be noticed. Does anyone reading this actually think there are more than a small handful of Americans who know what “flag” means or what the US Merchant Marine is and was and why?

We didn’t get to this point because our politicians give a shit about an industry that doesn’t feed them hundreds of millions in campaign bribes. When we have patriots like McCain working overtime to sink the rest of the fleet why should some farmer in Iowa care what happens to the U?

I was in the US this weekend, visiting family. My step-dad sailed on the SS United States as a passenger when he was a kid. I called up some YouTube videos for him to see how she is now and learn about the talk of fixing her up. He got emotional. He’s quite ill, now. I wish she was up and running now. I’d pay a lot to take him on one more Atlantic transit.