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Old 12-08-2015, 05:45 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,573

*European regs on passenger vessels with wood?*
Steamboating colleagues,
Jim, you raise one or more interesting questions RE: "those countries with similar laws to the U.S. etc." and I certainly don't know all the answers. One certain thing is that European boats/ships must also conform to SOLAS [Safety of Life At Sea] including river bound vessels. No doubt there are some here who do know. Franz and Carmen may be two familiar with existing laws on German or other rivers. This question asked here some time ago. Many European countries also have a form of our U.S. Coast Guard with similar stipulations, requirements; so nothing new under the sun.

The mention of the DELTA QUEEN operating on South American rivers was whispered, bantered about even years ago in my memory. Who knows? *You can start your quest for updated information by going on your computer Internet web site search and type in: 'Safety of Passenger Ships - Transport - European Commission' with further links. Checking on present regulations on South American Rivers not so easy.

Believe-it-or not, some years back 'word' was circulated that certain interests out in California thinking of having the DELTA QUEEN returned to passenger service there--and this is no joke. The logistics, costs, laws preventing such surfaced. The Sacramento River also not the same river it was in the days of the DK/DQ with massive reventments, channels away from the old river with ocean freghters sailing up, docking in Sacramento and other river ports there. There would be darned little to see out there on even the '7-Day' schedule I read about. I'm certain it all died a'borning. Then somebody in California sent me a communication with "concerns why the old hulls of the CHRIS & TOM GREENE steamboats here "couldn't be saved...used to build new cruise boats on." I just let that pass in review. Your computer search engine will also bring up history/types of overnight cruise boats on Australian Rivers. Former Nile steamboats nearly all gone now but for one with the fleet there sleek, modern. It's all now pure economics, efficiency, creature comforts.

Any prospect of the DELTA QUEEN being crated up, towed or loaded on a big ship transport a pretty hard stretch now. The cost and insurance now would be prohibitive in addition to adapating any vessel for said service. Laws are strict in Europe and even on Chinese rivers with overnight passenger cruise boats. There are in Europe a number of older steam day excurion boats on sounds/bays in England and on German/Swiss Lakes. Also in Scandinavia. I traveled on more than a few Swiss sidewheelers and on the Danube--but not with overnight cabins. Most of the boats are 'foundations' [i.e. history] with supporters, volunteers. A number of fine Swiss sidewheel boats have been altered, modernized with steel or aluminum with modern fire suppession, sprinkler systems. The once large fleet of Russian wood sidewheelers now retired with modern boats up to standards being efficient, economical using diesel or diesel electric drive. And I've seen/been aboard a few in Russia on the Dneiper in the Ukraine, Don and Volga rivers. Yet, some vintage steam excursion boats similar in kind to the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE do run. Cost efficiency there [Europe] just as important as here. I'll put out some 'feelers' on my end and keep searching the webs and related government agencies abroad. Not an easy task. Capts. Bill Judd, Bob Reynolds and others may have a lead. Again, what do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.
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