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Bob Reynolds 08-07-2006 11:03 AM

American Queen
I met the AMERICAN QUEEN at about 6:30 this morning at mile 26 on the Upper. They were upbound (deadhead) to Wood River, IL where the boat will be laid up at Mike's, Inc. along with the PRESIDENT. Spoke with Capt. John Sutton who said "he" was going to do some things about he Master on her? He said they were going to overhaul all three diesels on her. The boat looked pretty good -- one stack up, one stack down, and the wheel was tied down, not turning.

Jim Davis 08-07-2006 12:30 PM

Hey Bob,
To answer your question about Sutton being the Master of the AQ, no. He is our port captain. About the wheel being chained down, well didn't need to turn it for this trip. Z-drives handling the vessel very well. The AQ will be winterized for the layup. All liquids drained and sollutions put into place to prevent pipes and toilets from bursting. It will go through layup in STL area, while the DQ and MQ will do their layup in Mobile, AL. The dry dock, once located in NOLA that handles these vessels have been moved there. The shipyard in NOLA is doing so much new work that they are not interested in lifting the boats for their hull inspections.
It is just speculation, but I figure that when we finish the last cruise of the season, we will depart NOLA that evening and bust over to Mobile before the navigation crew is dismissed or as they say, terminated.
Jim Davis

Darin Schuld 08-07-2006 12:41 PM

So, Wood River is the ultimate destination. It seems that this is the most popular choice for slumbering current and past passenger vessels. When she get there, I'll have to go and take a look at her, if it is possible to see. I was hoping that the boat would be tied up south of Downtown St. Louis, so it would be visible from the excursion boats.

Richard Weisenberger 08-07-2006 04:27 PM

[B]Diesels?[/B] I was under the impression that all three of the Queens were steam powered paddlewheelers, especially since they all have steam whistles.

Bob Reynolds 08-07-2006 06:23 PM

Thanks, Jim, I didn't know he was Port Capt. I knew about the wheel/Z-drives; was merely posting that the wheel was not in use for the edification of those here on the board.

Bob Reynolds 08-07-2006 06:29 PM

Hi, Richard. The AQ is and always has been a hybrid boat. The steam plant is usually operational, and she has engines from the USCE Dredge KENNEDY. Being such a large boat, the diesel-electric Z-drivesadd both power and speed to the baot while underway, and greatly improve the handling of the boat in close quarters. It is my understanding the steam engines/paddlewheel will push the boat, but not very fast.

Judy Patsch 08-07-2006 08:22 PM

On her trial run in NOLA, she made 2mph on steam/paddlewheel alone. Her main power is the z-drives. On her first UMR trip in ?95/96, she wasn't a steamboat at all, as her paddlewheel shaft had cracked near Memphis and they had her wheel tied up, as it is now apparently. They didn't have any spotlights on the wheel up here, and probably most people didn't even notice it wasn't turning. She made normal time on diesels alone. Her steam whistle is blown only on rare occasions. For most of the signalling, the airhorn is used instead. I believe at least in the beginning, if not now, the General Jackson had a steam whistle too, but she is definitely no steamboat, all diesel propulsion. They had a small boiler hooked up to the whistle.

Victor Canfield 08-07-2006 09:53 PM

I was on the sixteeen day maiden voyage,or the first paying passenger trip. When we departed Saint Francisvile we headed up river. After traveling a few miles up river the Z drives were turned off to find how fast she would go only using the wheel. The boat was able to do about four miles per hour.

Nick-Taylor 08-07-2006 11:06 PM

Northbound in the Mississippi current? four miles per hour isn't bad just using the wheel... Considering the Lower has I think 5 mile an hour current... dead water she could do 9 which is very good time on the river. Well, it is for towboats.

Also... Judy... when she broke her wheel... was that the same trip when she hit the sandbar?

Judy Patsch 08-08-2006 04:22 AM

No, the sandbar was on the Ohio River her first year. The cracked shaft happened later at Memphis on a NOLA-Memphis cruise, but offhand I can't remember if it was the same year or the next.

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