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SS United States article on CNN.com


MeHeartCruising
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CNN has posted a very interesting article (with a lot of pictures) on the SS United States ocean liner, which was once owned by NCL in the early 2000s.  She was built in the early 1950s.  You can view the article here:  https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/ss-united-states/index.html


She could achieve speeds of 38 knots.  

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Anytime we head to the airport in Philadelphia or the Broad Street area where the stadiums are, the drive on I-95 takes us past her.  Her old-school stacks stand out in the landscape, despite their aged appearance.

 

I bet she was gorgeous in her day.

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11 hours ago, MeHeartCruising said:

CNN has posted a very interesting article (with a lot of pictures) on the SS United States ocean liner, which was once owned by NCL in the early 2000s.  She was built in the early 1950s.  You can view the article here:  https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/ss-united-states/index.html


She could achieve speeds of 38 knots.  

A lot of that article is hogwash, "the first ocean liner built in a drydock"?  Where do they think they were built before?

 

Yes, NCL owned it for a while, one reason was to prevent any other line from having a possible US ship.  Another reason is that KT Lim (CEO of Genting Group, which used to own NCL) had a fetish for the ship, which continued when Crystal cruises tried to buy and renovate the ship, but it was found to be completely uneconomical to bring the ship to modern SOLAS standards.  The SSUS is currently a stripped out hulk, and her machinery has not operated in several decades.  Even when it was working, it burned so much fuel that it is completely uneconomical compared to today's ships.  

 

To me, what made the SSUS unique was it's power plant, and that is now just a pile of rust.  Her interior, which was historical because of its 50's flavor, is long gone.  I hate to say it, but the ship should go to the ship breakers, and be done with it.

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3 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

A lot of that article is hogwash, "the first ocean liner built in a drydock"?  Where do they think they were built before?

 

Yes, NCL owned it for a while, one reason was to prevent any other line from having a possible US ship.  Another reason is that KT Lim (CEO of Genting Group, which used to own NCL) had a fetish for the ship, which continued when Crystal cruises tried to buy and renovate the ship, but it was found to be completely uneconomical to bring the ship to modern SOLAS standards.  The SSUS is currently a stripped out hulk, and her machinery has not operated in several decades.  Even when it was working, it burned so much fuel that it is completely uneconomical compared to today's ships.  

 

To me, what made the SSUS unique was it's power plant, and that is now just a pile of rust.  Her interior, which was historical because of its 50's flavor, is long gone.  I hate to say it, but the ship should go to the ship breakers, and be done with it.

I fully agree, time to make a nice reef for diving on. A fair amount of the interior from one of the bars and a restaurant where located at a restaurant called Windmill Point in Nags Head. It was later auctioned off when it closed 9 years ago....

 

https://www.outerbanksvoice.com/2011/03/01/windmill-point-set-to-go-out-in-a-blaze-of-glory/

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3 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

I hate to say it, but the ship should go to the ship breakers, and be done with it.

 

JMHO, the name of the ship creates a feeling within people. The decaying ship represents the crumbling infrastructure of the country that the ship is named after. The "...we can save it..." mentality is misplaced. 

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33 minutes ago, Two Wheels Only said:

 

JMHO, the name of the ship creates a feeling within people. The decaying ship represents the crumbling infrastructure of the country that the ship is named after. The "...we can save it..." mentality is misplaced. 

What the article does not mention in the cost to keep it at the pier every month. Last time I checked it was $64,0000 per Month to store it. The ship has been laid up in Philadelphia for 24 Years. I would also like to know what kind of salary the board of trustees are pulling in

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2 minutes ago, Laszlo said:

What the article does not mention in the cost to keep it at the pier every month. Last time I checked it was $64,0000 per Month to store it. The ship has been laid up in Philadelphia for 24 Years. I would also like to know what kind of salary the board of trustees in pulling in

 

 

Wow.  What a huge waste of money for a rust bucket.  Let the Navy use it for target practice.

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7 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

I hate to say it, but the ship should go to the ship breakers, and be done with it.

 

7 hours ago, Laszlo said:

I fully agree, time to make a nice reef for diving on.

 

3 hours ago, Laszlo said:

What the article does not mention in the cost to keep it at the pier every month. Last time I checked it was $64,0000 per Month to store it. The ship has been laid up in Philadelphia for 24 Years. 

 

Sadly, I agree with @chengkp75 & @Laszlo. Those are the only 2 options for this once grand U.S. ocean liner. I cannot believe the SS United States Conservancy can afford to burn through that kind of cash just to keep the ship moored in Philadelphia and continue to rust/decay at the pier.

 

Of the 2 options, I would say make her an artificial reef off the coast of the southern U.S. somewhere, where divers could dive on it and it would be good for "the fishies". This is what was done to my old training ship, the TS Texas Clipper, which was sunk off the coast of south Texas, and now continues to serve as an artificial reef. At least in this way, the ship continues to serve an ongoing purpose and does not wind up being turned into razor blades.

 

 

Edited by farmersfight
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7 hours ago, Laszlo said:

I fully agree, time to make a nice reef for diving on. A fair amount of the interior from one of the bars and a restaurant where located at a restaurant called Windmill Point in Nags Head. It was later auctioned off when it closed 9 years ago....

 

https://www.outerbanksvoice.com/2011/03/01/windmill-point-set-to-go-out-in-a-blaze-of-glory/

Yep.

Living in Kitty Hawk, just up the road, sat many nights in the bar there.  The seats were all marked with plaques such as "Marilyn Monroe sat here and John F. Kennedy sat here."  Not at the same time, BTW.

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22 hours ago, MeHeartCruising said:

CNN has posted a very interesting article (with a lot of pictures) on the SS United States ocean liner, which was once owned by NCL in the early 2000s.  She was built in the early 1950s.  You can view the article here:  https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/ss-united-states/index.html


She could achieve speeds of 38 knots.  

Sailed in a First Class cabin on the SS United States, in the 60’s, from Southampton to New York. Ship maintained speeds in the 30+ knot area irrespective of sea conditions. Crossing took approximately 4 1/2 days. Great to reminisce. CV...4A907090-5996-47AF-AA27-2BE0C36BEEEE.thumb.png.2e6f8ed25f67f3f176a0002e27d54e36.png

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3 hours ago, ECCruise said:

Yep.

Living in Kitty Hawk, just up the road, sat many nights in the bar there.  The seats were all marked with plaques such as "Marilyn Monroe sat here and John F. Kennedy sat here."  Not at the same time, BTW.

Been going to the Outer Banks for 45 years. Windmill Point was one of the best restaurants down there! Now its the Collington Cafe

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I have built many models of the United States, including one in the card room of the Norwegian Gem. I was lucky to tour her in 2000. Very sad. The engine room was impressive.

When I delivered the to Gem in 2008 I met an engineer who was in charge of the SSUS. He said the ship was sound. The power plant was the issue for modernization.

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8 minutes ago, GMCOLT said:

I have built many models of the United States, including one in the card room of the Norwegian Gem. I was lucky to tour her in 2000. Very sad. The engine room was impressive.

When I delivered the to Gem in 2008 I met an engineer who was in charge of the SSUS. He said the ship was sound. The power plant was the issue for modernization.

Yes, the hull is sound, but there are a vast number of issues for modernization.  The power plant will no longer work, so that is one very large problem.  However, as the Crystal Cruises feasibility panel found, it would take hundreds of millions to put the ship back into service.  Passenger ships can no longer rely on one rudder, as the SSUS has, so the entire stern section would need to be cut off and rebuilt to accommodate twin rudders.  Also, the Safe Return to Port requirements for segregated power and propulsion systems would require gutting the engine spaces, so essentially removing a side of the ship to restructure inside.

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I met more officers involved with SSUS project at the Pride of America Plaque Exchange ceremony in June 2005 on the Pride of America. They indicated Hoped to make things work and use the SSUS for cruises along the US coast. At the time getting the POA up and running was their tasking. 

Then CEO Colin Veitch was also pushing the project. Back then the ship yard Superintendent at the ceremony was realistic on the challenges to bring the United States up SOLAS versus building a new ship.

It was an interesting encounter for a model ship builder like me to experience.

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I can remember seeing her anchored in Hampton Roads many years ago - maybe late 70s or early 80s?

 

I had a great uncle who worked a Newport News Shipbuilding and helped build her. I have the print given to all the shipyard workers hanging over my mantel. I’m sad she can’t be restored, but seems like it’s time for her to find another use. 

1E8F93C4-35D7-41B6-A979-B11EFE55A731.jpeg

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I'd still love to see her used in NYC somewhere as a Queen Mary type operation, but even that doesn't seem likely or feasible especially in this financial climate.

 

There are plenty of us ocean liner geeks that would be thrilled, but just not enough others, I'm afraid.

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14 hours ago, vacruizer said:

I can remember seeing her anchored in Hampton Roads many years ago - maybe late 70s or early 80s?

 

I had a great uncle who worked a Newport News Shipbuilding and helped build her. I have the print given to all the shipyard workers hanging over my mantel. I’m sad she can’t be restored, but seems like it’s time for her to find another use. 

1E8F93C4-35D7-41B6-A979-B11EFE55A731.jpeg

 

Very cool print! (I have a lot of maritime art in my den/study).

 

Marty (aka farmersfight)

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10 hours ago, F27TW said:

I'd still love to see her used in NYC somewhere as a Queen Mary type operation, but even that doesn't seem likely or feasible especially in this financial climate.

 

There are plenty of us ocean liner geeks that would be thrilled, but just not enough others, I'm afraid.

 

This is actually a good idea. Instead of scrapping her or sinking her to make an artificial reef, restore her as a hotel or B&B (as you mentioned, like the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA).

 

If the SSUS Conservancy can burn through serious cash just keeping her moored in Philadelphia, it seems like they could raise the $$ necessary to restore her and turn her into a hotel or B&B (and start getting some return on investment). Yeah, it would be appropriate for her to be located in NYC.

 

I'd stay there!

 

Marty (aka farmersfight)

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10 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Even the Queen Mary may be going to scrap, as essential repairs to keep her afloat that are well overdue are in the $5-7 million range, and she doesn't make a profit to begin with.

Might be more than $5-7 million. That’s been the annual loss for the operating company. And the City of Long Beach played “Shoot the Messenger”.

https://lbpost.com/news/queen-mary-tl

Look at the list of failed companies.

Of course, with the modifications made to keep the QM in place, it’s probably going to cost millions to scrap her!

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12 hours ago, ronrythm said:

Might be more than $5-7 million. That’s been the annual loss for the operating company. And the City of Long Beach played “Shoot the Messenger”.

https://lbpost.com/news/queen-mary-tl

Look at the list of failed companies.

Of course, with the modifications made to keep the QM in place, it’s probably going to cost millions to scrap her!

 

Yeah, maintaining a historic ship is a much different "animal" than maintaining a newer hotel on land. Not looking good with the annual losses of $5-7 million.

 

Even costing millions to scrap her, this may be a case of "cutting your losses". I'm afraid some of us may be shaving with pieces of the Queen Mary in the not too distant future...

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On 12/21/2020 at 7:09 PM, Crown Vic said:

Sailed in a First Class cabin on the SS United States, in the 60’s, from Southampton to New York. Ship maintained speeds in the 30+ knot area irrespective of sea conditions. Crossing took approximately 4 1/2 days. Great to reminisce. CV...4A907090-5996-47AF-AA27-2BE0C36BEEEE.thumb.png.2e6f8ed25f67f3f176a0002e27d54e36.png

We sailed on her in the early 60's too. My father was in the army stationed in Europe and he was the transportation officer in his unit. He said my mother had a fear of flying so he arraigned for first class tickets for the family. I remember that everything was just perfect  and feeling that this first class is kinda nice.

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