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Old 01-27-2018, 10:34 AM   #1
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SS United States

Once-majestic cruise ship, the S.S. United States, could be 'America's Flagship' once again | Fox News
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:43 AM   #2
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Is it really worth saving? To me it is more a symbol of poor planning than anything else. It was obsolete when launched and if it wasn't named US I dont think it would get any attention.
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:12 AM   #3
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It's a dilapidated old ship suited for the scrap yard. If the people wanting to save it had to put up their own money it would be long gone.

The proverbial "hole in the water".
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:40 AM   #4
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Bringing her back to life would be a monumental engineering task. The oil fired steam turbines are incredibly thirsty so running costs would be off the charts. If they could be brought to life at all. Repowering with modern diesels could improve the efficiency, but say good bye to 35kts unless you put in a LOT of hp.

I agree that the ship has some pretty lines. But a refit at this stage would probably cost more than building from scratch, and would get a way better ship too. You could copy the lines and add minor tweaks (bulbous bow, thrusters, modern systems, etc).

But even that would be a money losing proposition.

Times have changed, let her go.
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:40 AM   #5
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Lots of wood boats are savable at that age.
They may need to drydock to find out.

So if the first two responders think it’s “toast” I’ll bet they can’t tell if the hull has rusted from the outside in or from the inside out.
Other than the hull plating what else would be toast? She’s in fresh water in PA I would assume. There was an old sailing ship in the south end of Lake Union in Seattle that was 100 years old many years ago. Lots older than the SSUS. Don’t recall what happened to her but she was very much afloat. Most of her wood features were probably rotten or replaced.
I’m not going to “invest” in the possibility of the SSUS being sound however I suspect at this point nobody knows.
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:43 AM   #6
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On a related note, why the heck can not the US compete in shipbuilding?? I understand the labor cost savings in Asia, but even the high cost Europeans are building ships! Here almost none aside from military, oil field boats, tugs, recreational.

How did this happen?
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Old 01-27-2018, 12:18 PM   #7
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On a related note, why the heck can not the US compete in shipbuilding?? I understand the labor cost savings in Asia, but even the high cost Europeans are building ships! Here almost none aside from military, oil field boats, tugs, recreational.

How did this happen?
You say none aside from and then list quite a few. There's a lot of ship and boat building in the US so I'm not sure in what area you're saying we can't compete.

Now there is one area we do have a significant difference and that is in capitalizing and financing a business. We do not have individuals or companies willing to invest in boat or ship building. The Chouest family is a big example of what we need more of. They have many shipbuilding yards and then own ACY and Westport as well. When Edson wanted to see Westport, he was lucky to find a person who could afford it without incurring debt and could afford to keep building it. By comparison, other sales have been to venture capitalists and largely financed through debt.

Much of the money for such endeavors is in China. When huge yacht builders in Europe have been sold, it has been to Chinese industrialists. Note, not venture capitalists, not investment companies. Industrialists for whom it was just another business and didn't stretch them at all. We don't have that type industrialist in the US and we haven't encouraged Chinese investment.

What type ships specifically are you speaking of?
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Old 01-27-2018, 01:28 PM   #8
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You say none aside from and then list quite a few. There's a lot of ship and boat building in the US so I'm not sure in what area you're saying we can't compete.

Now there is one area we do have a significant difference and that is in capitalizing and financing a business. We do not have individuals or companies willing to invest in boat or ship building. The Chouest family is a big example of what we need more of. They have many shipbuilding yards and then own ACY and Westport as well. When Edson wanted to see Westport, he was lucky to find a person who could afford it without incurring debt and could afford to keep building it. By comparison, other sales have been to venture capitalists and largely financed through debt.

Much of the money for such endeavors is in China. When huge yacht builders in Europe have been sold, it has been to Chinese industrialists. Note, not venture capitalists, not investment companies. Industrialists for whom it was just another business and didn't stretch them at all. We don't have that type industrialist in the US and we haven't encouraged Chinese investment.

What type ships specifically are you speaking of?
Specifically, large merchant vessels and cruise ships. Merchant vessels seem to be all Asian, with smaller ones European. I think all the recent large cruise ships have been European (???). Whether the funding for European shipyards comes from Asian investors or not, does not seem to be a big deal to me. It is still an expensive place to do such building, yet they somehow make it work. I'm surprised the cruise ship building business has not gone to Asia (yet???).

I have not done my homework prior to commenting, just going off gut feel. Don't know of such scale (commercial) shipbuilding going on stateside. Certainly capable yards building large military ships, but that seems about it.
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Old 01-27-2018, 01:33 PM   #9
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She would make a nice hotel and conference center like the Queen Mary in California.
I can't see her paying her way in any other venue.
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Old 01-27-2018, 01:46 PM   #10
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As a hotel and conference center she wouldn’t make but a small fraction of what she’s make as a grand ocean liner. Peanuts.
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Old 01-27-2018, 02:43 PM   #11
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The article proposes that they want "to raise enough money to restore the ship and put her back in the ocean, where she can serve as a hotel, a shopping mall or a museum."

If you've ever been to Korea, you can understand why North America can't compete. It is set up for heavy industry. Let's just say it's not a exactly country full of environmentalists. All of the prime real estate in the natural harbours is allocated to industry.

Major projects all from over the world have their massive components fabricated in Korea and shipped all over the world. Pretty amazing actually; LNG barges, bridges, modules of factories and the topsides of oil rigs. Samsung can build every part of a ship themselves. How can you compete with that?

BC Ferries went to Poland to buy their last few contracts of ships. An unpopular decision, but understandable after the fast ferry fiasco from 20 years back.
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:19 PM   #12
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What a financial disaster refurbishing that old ship would be! All of its interior was long ago stripped.
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:31 PM   #13
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What a financial disaster refurbishing that old ship would be! All of its interior was long ago stripped.
Agree. The article sounds like an appeal to emotion and patriotism (for money).

Maybe Seawise University is looking for a new campus...
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:12 PM   #14
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Having spent a few years on an old cruise ship, I understand the nostalgic/romantic idea of ships of that era. It would be nice to see her restored to something like the Queen Mary out in California. If she was a military ship I'm sure there would be more support for a restoration/preservation movement.
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:12 PM   #15
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It would make an excellent reef but the cleanup costs would be off the charts.
Its going to sink in the dock. The only thing going for it is Phila is fresh water not salt.
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:53 PM   #16
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I live near the pier where she is tied up and see it several times a week. It is stripped inside and in very bad condition. I doubt it could be saved. The article is wrong; it is not in a shipyard, its just tied up to a Delaware River pier.
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:58 PM   #17
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I wonder who is paying the $60/month it costs in dockage fees ?
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Old 01-27-2018, 06:10 PM   #18
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Specifically, large merchant vessels and cruise ships. Merchant vessels seem to be all Asian, with smaller ones European. I think all the recent large cruise ships have been European (???). Whether the funding for European shipyards comes from Asian investors or not, does not seem to be a big deal to me. It is still an expensive place to do such building, yet they somehow make it work. I'm surprised the cruise ship building business has not gone to Asia (yet???).

I have not done my homework prior to commenting, just going off gut feel. Don't know of such scale (commercial) shipbuilding going on stateside. Certainly capable yards building large military ships, but that seems about it.
There are cruise ships also built in Asia, although they're primarily in Europe. And there will be many more. I refer you to this article on cruise ships.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-c...-idUSKBN1A92QU

Cruise ships have just been the work of a very few yards in the world.

There are no cruise ships or container ships to be flagged in the US so no real reason for US builders. Sort of a reverse impact of the Jones Act and while they could be built in the US, no reason for anyone to do so. The few ships TOTE and Crowley use are built in the US.

Despite the majority being elsewhere, there are 10 shipbuilders with 20 yards in the US-Austal, Bollinger, Edison Chouest, Fincantieri, General Dynamics, Huntington Ingalls, Keppel, Philly, Vigor, and Halter.

Now, US Shipbuilding has lost a lot of builders and most of that can be attributed to the Steel Industry. Bethlehem Steel once had nine shipyards.

Builders in every other part of the industry have proven yo can build at a reasonable cost in the US, from Boston Whaler to Westport.

I did extensive analysis about 3-4 years ago on the possibility of moving an Asian builder with primarily US customers to the US. In a well designed facility could have reduced the costs. Look at Ocean Alexander's efforts to build in the US. Even the new Bertram's serve as an example as the Gavio's saw the benefit in building Bertram in the US.
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Old 01-27-2018, 06:17 PM   #19
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Specifically, large merchant vessels and cruise ships. Merchant vessels seem to be all Asian, with smaller ones European. I think all the recent large cruise ships have been European (???). Whether the funding for European shipyards comes from Asian investors or not, does not seem to be a big deal to me. It is still an expensive place to do such building, yet they somehow make it work. I'm surprised the cruise ship building business has not gone to Asia (yet???).

I have not done my homework prior to commenting, just going off gut feel. Don't know of such scale (commercial) shipbuilding going on stateside. Certainly capable yards building large military ships, but that seems about it.
Please do not misunderstand me and be sure there is nothing pretentious in my comment.
Maybe the reason why cruise ships are built in europe is craftsmanship.
As an example French are known for their luxury products and their competencies in luxury cruise ship. I guess it is very different to build a container ship and a cruise ship.

L
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Old 01-27-2018, 06:21 PM   #20
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Please do not misunderstand me and be sure there is nothing pretentious in my comment.
Maybe the reason why cruise ships are built in europe is craftsmanship.
As an example French are known for their luxury products and their competencies in luxury cruise ship. I guess it is very different to build a container ship and a cruise ship.

L

Come on!!! We build the worlds BEST AIRCRAFT CARRIERS AND WE CANNOT BUILD THE WORLDS BEST CRUISE SHIPS???? REALLY???
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