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Little yellow steamboat at Nashville in the 70s

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Old 11-05-2006, 10:08 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Paragould, AR or on m/v MAGNOLIA
Posts: 1,418
Blog Entries: 4

Thanks, Franz & Judy. The "weird" double pilothouse came about in the 1960's. Capt. Tom, as I mentioned, was rather frugal. He built the MEMPHIS SHOWBOAT as a passenger barge to get pax away from noise and vibration, a really rather ingenious plan. He used the MEMPHIS QUEEN II to push the SHOWBOAT. As originally configured, the pilothouse on the MQ was not tall enough to see over the SHOWBOAT, so he just stuck another one on top. You could still steer from the lower pilothouse when I worked for them, though there were no throttles there.

I had also mentioned that Jake had a tugboat named TOM MEANLEY, about 350 total horsepower. This was a model bow tug that had ancient Caterpillar engines in it. They used this tug to push the SHOWBOAT when the MEMPHIS QUEEN had a trip scheduled at the same time as a SHOWBOAT trip, and they had a remote control set-up to the tug from a pilothouse on the SHOWBOAT. You had to connect hydraulic and air hoses between the tug and the SHOWBOAT. It was a very ingenious system, but the tug was grossly underpowered for the job, and to make matters worse, Jake never wanted to run the engines over about half, as he was afraid they'd tear up. How the Coast Guard ever approved that plan I will never know.
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