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SS United States : United States Lines

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  • ombugge
    replied
    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?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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.

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  • Steve.B
    replied
    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.

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  • Seagull
    replied
    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.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied

    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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  • pakarang
    replied
    I think she, the France, might have been scrapped or reused as some kind of accommodation.

    It's just a guess though, but she had also spent some considerable time laid up already. A few more years, and I don't think she would have had a chance to re-enter service again. Her steam plant would, if she had been purchased a few years later, most likely have been scraped I would guess.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    That's a good question! I think probably longer. Or she wouldn't even have survived the 80s. Who knows...
    I know that it's highly repetitive but there hasn't been a single day - since the first awful Alang pics have surfaced - I haven't thought of the France/Norway being sad and still unable to realize that she is really gone.

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  • Steve.B
    replied
    Originally posted by Schreihals View Post
    Hmm, the sad but true answer is that she has been left to rot as she is such a great and famous ship. If she wan't she would have been scrapped long ago.
    I mean, I would have given a lot to allow the France/Norway to rot for years rather than being gone forever. :-(
    I think you are very correct, I think her name and history is the only thing that as kept her away from the scrappers. I wonder how long the S.S France would have survived if she had not been bought and converted into the Norway?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hmm, the sad but true answer is that she has been left to rot as she is such a great and famous ship. If she wan't she would have been scrapped long ago.
    I mean, I would have given a lot to allow the France/Norway to rot for years rather than being gone forever. :-(

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  • Steve.B
    replied
    I can only agree with all the comments about that fantastic photo of her.
    Looking at her racing through the water in her prime makes it so hard to believe that she is now in such a state. Seems almost unreal that it is the same ship.
    How was something as great as that left to rot for so long? It gives me the inclination to find out more about the years that immediately followed her retirement from service. Just seems so unreal that she was simply tied up and forgotten about. She is like a ship lost in time.

    I wonder if i would be right in guessing that maybe the secrets regarding her propulsion may have had something to do with her not finding a brighter future earlier on? Could those secrets have prevented her being sold on for somesort of future use?

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  • pakarang
    replied
    I find myself returning to this image over and over again: it is one of the very best images I have ever seen of this wonderful creation and vessel.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Dane--"***y" is the first word that came to MY mind as well.

    Now THAT. IS. A. SHIP!

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  • pilotdane
    replied
    What a ***y ship!

    Long, low lines and hardley a straight line. No flat sides like a car carrier with balconies stuck on the side.

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  • pakarang
    replied
    That is indeed an outstanding image!

    Love the clarity and detail.

    Could this image have been taken at the start of her career sometime since she looks so sparkling new?

    Another extremely interesting aspect of this image and ship is how the wake along the ship-side runs: a very narrow band of turbulence and that it doesn't seem to leave the shipside before the stern arrives. A clear indication that the hull is optimized and streamlined: so as the ship is built for high speed and incredible efficiency. We could see the same thing when the Norway (France) made speed.

    Compare this image to one of the modern cruise liners: you will find a lot of turbulence along the hull, a wide band of it, and you will also notice that the waves created by the ship leaves the ship side at much larger angles.

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  • SaintsFCFan
    replied
    Oooooooooutstanding!!!!

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