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SS United States : United States Lines

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    #46

    Above, the Big U on her sea trials in 1952. Much happier times for the ship and ocean liners in general. The airline had not yet made a large impact but in a few years soon would.


    Above, the ship over 55 years later in her current state, recent as of three months ago. She still lingers today, laid-up longer than she was in service for. While what NCL did to buy her was to avoid US laws, and it was mostly smoke and mirrors, and if they did seriously look at which ship yard(s) would handle her interior then exterior work then she came that much closer to coming back. Any way you look at it, they helped keep the ship stick around to this day, despite it being a sad state of affairs to see her languish like that, maybe all of this is for a good reason.
    Last edited by Captain RJ; December 17th, 2009, 16:46.

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      #47
      Without a personal connection, I must ashamedly admit that I hadn’t previously felt an especially close connection to this thread and subject, (other than simply admiring a beautiful ship, as seen in the photo Majaorca100 posted in #36 for example).

      But today seeing a pair of photos from years apart next to each other, and with the ship at the very same angle, it just got to me.
      Thank you so much for posting those Captain RJ.

      Comment


        #48
        Captain RJ, what a fantastic but very sad comparison. I have just sat here studying the two photos - so very much the same, but yet so different. On the exterior it would seem that very little as changed on her, almost everything still seems to be the same. Just a few little bits missing here and there - the small mast right up on the bow, that seems to have gone now, and what could have been the whistle from the forward funnel?.

        How i would love to get a team of shot blasters together and a team of painters, would be so nice to see her with a few fresh coats of paint.

        I wonder what this old girls condition is really like inside - bilge and void spaces etc? I wonder how true the NCL report of a few years ago really was?, didn't they state that reports put her in pretty good condition structurally? I wonder if that was just talk, or whether it was true? Ah listen to me, I'm dreaming again, dreams of her being restored, and even wilder dreams of her sailing again. Umm, nothing but dreams i fear.

        But seriously, I wonder if the market will ever tire of all of the modern 'cram them in' ships? And if so, i wonder if ships like the Big U will ever find favour again? Maybe dreaming again, but I think that maybe she could, fitted out in the correct manner i dream she will stand a chance. Lets face it, if you were happy traveling 'tourist' class you could opt for the modern 'cram them in' cruise ship. But if you wanted to make a statement and wanted to travel in true first class style, well, what better way would there be to do it than traveling on something as sleek looking as the S.S United States?
        Yes, you could sail into New York aboard a modern cruise ship, but no one will take much notice, and i doubt you would feel that special by doing so. But, if you sailed into New York aboard something as different and unique as the Big U, well, heads would turn, people would talk, and boy, you would know you was doing something very different indeed!

        Ah, ok, i must stop dreaming.
        Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

        Comment


          #49
          Seagull,
          Thanks for the comment. Im glad my comparison awoke something in you that bought you closer to this interesting, and yes sad, saga that is the SS United States. That was my point, i thought doing the same thing I did for the Olympia/Regal Empress on my site www.classicliners.net would be neat.

          Steve,
          Thanks for your comment. I can only guess the mast at the stem might have been something to house a range light (for navigation rules) or maybe the fog horn as it generally should be placed as far forward as possible. I really don't know and only a few might now for sure. But I noticed it too and Im glad you did too.

          She really is void inside, albeit the engines. This very fact for some makes her that much more harder to save, unlike the Rotterdam which had most of her artwork and furniture, etc intact.
          I do know for a fact that NCL had her hull examined and found it sound at something in neighborhood of 92%. I read it, and I think the video/DVD Lady In Waiting might have mentioned it.

          Your a dreamer, that could be one way to label it, or maybe your just hopeless romantic or perhaps just hopeful that they will restore her cuz it a piece of history that bears the country she was born. A symbol that should not be remembered by pictures and such alone. Your dreams and hopes of some day seeing her sail, will, I can tell you from personal experience this would be shot down by those who have much interest in the ship as you and I and at the same time know a great deal about her history and maybe even sailed on the ship at some point. These are more realistic people I suppose but at the same time do not have the right attitude when it comes to this topic in my opinion for it is that attitude that helps supports that idea that she is doomed for you know where.
          The cost to restore her in the kind of service you mention is really costly, the number of $500 million- $1 billion has been thrown around. And making her a static attraction would be most difficult as those type of ventures are while not as costly but are very difficult to keep going. Its sad that a piece if history has a price tag but that is the cold hard reality of it all. She is running on borrowed time for the moment for Im sure her current owners do not want to continue paying for the dock fees.
          The Conservancy group that bought us the DVD works hard to raise awareness and find ways to keep here in the states. They are an amazing group of people really. Seeing the Big U myself, what is also amazing is that many people pass by the ship on the highway as there is one right next to the ship. In the hour I was there, 4 or 5 vehicles stopped by to either take pictures or just slowed down to look at this large ship that looms over the fences and also wear the colors of the country in which they reside. One I actually talked with and he wound up being a former passenger who sailed onboard a few times when he was younger. He made the venture from his home town to stop by for the first time since then to see her in the neglected state. I happen to be there for that and it was kinda of interesting. Imagine the amount of people who stop, look, wonder and read about this ship in a years time let alone the amount of time the ship has remained in Philidelphia which has been many years, although not in the same spot. (She also was docked in Virigina for some time and made a crossing to Turkey in 96/97) It would be nice if someone with boat loads of money did something surely worthy of their money. Does Warren Buffet like ships like he likes trains?
          Last edited by Captain RJ; December 17th, 2009, 18:00.

          Comment


            #50
            It would be nice if someone with boat loads of money did something surely worthy of their money. Does Warren Buffet like ships like he likes trains?
            Isn't he from Nebraska??? Not many ships there, but trains aplenty.
            Maybe that has something to do with his interest in trains?

            Comment


              #51
              He is a commentary that I found on the ship.:

              http://translate.google.com/translat...R_KOD%3D133526


              An interesting article.

              Comment


                #52
                United States painting from the 1990's:

                With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com
                Old forum: http://captainsvoyage.7.forumer.com/
                Join us: Save the "Kong Olav" on facebook

                Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

                Comment


                  #53
                  Here I have found a truly rare photo with my father and United States in Southampton from 1957. In the left side just visible above the tug boat you can see RMS Queen Elizabeth getting a good scrubbing down in King George V Graving Dock.

                  Infamy, Infamy.... They've got it in for me! Said The Laughing Assassin.

                  Comment


                    #54
                    When I see images such as these, I'm filled with envy for not having had the pleasure of seeing these giant ocean liners at the height of their time.
                    With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                    Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                    Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com
                    Old forum: http://captainsvoyage.7.forumer.com/
                    Join us: Save the "Kong Olav" on facebook

                    Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

                    Comment


                      #55
                      I saw the United States a couple of times as a wee lad. Mighty impressive lady to see up close on the dockside. I saw most of the liners in the 1960s through connections to Southampton dockside personell.
                      Infamy, Infamy.... They've got it in for me! Said The Laughing Assassin.

                      Comment


                        #56
                        Originally posted by SaintsFCFan View Post
                        I saw the United States a couple of times as a wee lad. Mighty impressive lady to see up close on the dockside. I saw most of the liners in the 1960s through connections to Southampton dockside personell.
                        I envy you big time! How cool that must have been for you.
                        I can only remember seeing the S.S France and the Canberra. The France i saw from a distance, but i have plenty of memories of seeing the Canberra on the Solent - mainly from aboard one of the ferries.
                        Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

                        Comment


                          #57
                          In what must be years, The New York Times had an article featuring an old American Icon and ocean liner, the SS United States.


                          http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...0states&st=cse

                          While we all would love the idea, its a pipe dream. One that I hope will come true.
                          Love the idea to help finance it, find rich people! With all that stimilus money going to those banks, here is one cause worthy recipient.

                          Comment


                            #58
                            Seatrade Week
                            January 15, 1993



                            The SS United States continues to make headlines in Turkey, where
                            enviromentalists are worried about hazards that could result in refurbishment
                            work on the asbestos-laden ship.

                            Turkey's Enviroment Minister Dogancan Akyurek, announced last week the asbestos from the veteran cruiseship can not be disposed of in Turkey. This news has not dampened the irrepressible Kahraman Sadikoglu, principle owner of the US, who reaffirmed to Seatrade Week he would remove the asbestos in Turkey, disposing of it elsewhere if necessary. He says he signed a $620,000 contract with Dutch asbestos removal specialists.

                            Sadikoglu is a major shareholder in Marmara Marine, the US registered company that bought the ship last April and brought it to Turkey. Plan is to operate the ship on cruises to the US, and Sadikoglu is hopeful of signing a party charter later this month, thus triggering finance for the $160m refurbishment, which would boost the flagging orderbooks of Turkish yards.


                            *This $620,000 figure was an amazing deal given what the figure could have run had US rules and regulations been applied. In terms of the removal process the owners got an incredible dream. But, as many suspected some of the material removed was not done so in an comfortable manner. Cut wall sections ended up in various homes in and around the shipyard. One section of interior (asbestos) wall was used an an outside fence. Some of what was removed did get bagged up properly. But many of those bags never left the shipyard, exposed to the elements and ended up being opened up again. It was years after the ship left Europe that the a large chunk of the asbestos was removed from the yard. Even the onboard clean up was done abit crude, with just straw broomsticks to clean up the aftermath. And the $620k also included painting the waterline and screw removal (and thankfully those were not sold for scrap..unless they could not be?). It appears the removal process was an inexpensive process for her owners and a profit maker for the demo company.

                            When the ship returned to the US there was an effort to tax Marmara for the work done to the ship. I don't have the dollar amount nor can confirm they had to pay a tax in the end.

                            Comment


                              #59
                              Thanks for that wonderful flash-back in time redlinekid!
                              With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                              Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                              Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com
                              Old forum: http://captainsvoyage.7.forumer.com/
                              Join us: Save the "Kong Olav" on facebook

                              Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

                              Comment


                                #60
                                Here is an update from Ted who had attended the SS United States Conservancy meeting in NYC:

                                Last night I attended an SS United States Conservancy presentation to
                                Manhattan Community Board 4 (West Side) with the New York City Economic
                                Development Corp. attending.

                                The main presenter was very articulate about the possibility of bringing to
                                ship to New York and he outlined where she might berth, and this was the
                                trust of the meeting. The Community Board and NYC EDC then responded as to
                                what location might be feasible and what would not be.

                                The Manhattan West Side locations, with the most promise, are Pier 86,
                                adjacent to the Intrepid (and the liner's original berth) and the north side
                                of Pier 76, a former USL cargo pier and opposite the Javits Convention
                                Center. The center was originally designed with the idea of constructing a
                                bridge over West Street to the piers.

                                Before anyone goes shooting down any likelihood of anything happening
                                because of the money issues, this presentation was tiptoeing over some new
                                ground.

                                There was general agreement that the ship could not dock anywhere on
                                Hudson River Park Trust land, which wants nothing maritime, just open space and
                                recreation. The south side of 92 is a no go because the EDC wants to keep
                                that berth open for the occasional fourth ship that calls at the PCT.

                                Governors Island was mentioned in passing too.

                                Uses for the ship discussed were hotel/meeting
                                spaces/restaurants/school/museum.

                                That's All Folks
                                Ted in NYC
                                Looks like the Big U might join the SS Rotterdam towards becoming a hotel ship. Something I hope the MS Kungsholm, MS Augustus, and the MS Sagafjord will also become as well.
                                Last edited by redlinekid2; January 17th, 2010, 10:09.

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