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-   -   Headed in the wrong direction (http://www.steamboats.org/forum/save-delta-queen/5650-headed-wrong-direction.html)

Jim Reising 12-28-2016 10:15 AM

Headed in the wrong direction
 
Recently there was a video of the President of the American Queen explaining their purchase and plans for the new American Duchess. It will be an all suites, very high end, boat.
That got me to thinking, the American Queen people have done the market research for us as have ACL and that research shows the money is in "boutique" cruising.
Over a year ago I opined on on here would be cheaper to salvage what you want to reuse from the DQ and then tear her down to her steel frame and rebuild. From recent pictures of the boat I am even more convinced that this is true.
Right now she is nothing but a big expensive white elephant that is rapidly rotting away. But she has a good foundation (hull) and good bones (steel frame) which would be a shame to see go to waste. To me it would be foolish to let the boat sit as we try another exemption which like the last two didn't work. I really believe it would be easier to get money out of the government (maritime admin..business for American shipyards, jobs for American merchant marine) than it would be to get Congress to act.
Learn from the competition and rebuild her as the most exclusive river cruise boat ever. She could draw from history, yet be as modern as tomorrow.
Take a lesson from our President elect, he didn't get to be a billionaire building tenament housing.
What do you think?

Russ Ryle 12-28-2016 07:55 PM

Re: Is a different direction right, wrong, or ..... ?
 
Jim and all,

Whether you do it today or tomorrow the DQ super structure needs major renovation to modern standards if she is going to survive any length of time. Doing nothing assures she will not survive much longer.

Hopefully, we still have a situation where her steel bones refurbished with new boilers is a viable platform on which to build a vessel up to today's marine standards and customer expectations.

The challenge will be to keep her overall looks the same or as similar as possible to the original boat.

Best wishes to her and all for the new year and many more to come.

Keep your steam up!

Russ Ryle

David Dewey 12-28-2016 09:53 PM

At this point, then the question becomes is it possible to operate her as a full steamboat, or do you put in some other propulsion system. At that point, you may as well build a new vessel, as rebuilding the existing one would be more expensive.
It may be the time has finally passed the Delta Queen by; the number of folks who are willing, as we are, to stay in a closet for a stateroom is becoming even smaller.
My family faces the same problem with our resort with the 15 cabins built in 1922. They are small, with home-built showers, two-burner hot plates in the "kitchen" and the refrigerator on the back porch (no space inside the cabin for it). My brother has modified the original bedsteads to allow queen-sized mattresses, but that almost fills the room. Also there are no TVs nor Phones in the cabins nor air conditioning. We now have 3rd generations staying here, and that helps a lot--a continuous span of vacations down the generations. The DQ has been out of service now 8 years, so that continuity has been broken.
As much as we who know her love the boat, That doesn't provide the market for future passengers in the quantities that will be required to operate at a profit.
When the Delta Queen was built, folks were driving around in Model As, a car that operates much as a car today (with a manual transmission) and can still be driven on today's roads; but today's cars feature air conditioning, radars to warn of other cars or objects, and some are even self-driving--not to say anything of all the other "creature comforts" folks expect nowadays. Folks with money (which is what it takes to afford these cruises) expect all those extras.
That all being said, It would break my heart to see the DQ torn down to put something else on the hull.
Heck I could be all wrong too!

Ron Anderson 12-30-2016 12:38 PM

If they do they should part it out [I]carefully[/I] and sell the pieces off to us.
I'm poor as dirt (happy contented dirt) but would love a paint chip. A nice red one from the paddle wheel.

Bob Reynolds 12-30-2016 01:01 PM

Of course a paint chip would not hurt anything, but it is my sincere hope that the DELTA QUEEN will NOT be "parted out" at all. A careful de-construction and reconstruction of the boat to be totally compliant and saleable with larger rooms, etc., keeping the original "flavor" of the boat and reconstructing the Texas Lounge, etc. might be the way to go.

David Dewey 12-30-2016 10:14 PM

Of course, it's bye-bye to the historical landmark status by doing all that.
If you go that far, then you won't need the exemption anymore either. We probably could never afford another trip on her either.

Mike Washenko 01-01-2017 02:57 PM

I don't think cutting her up would ever be considered, besides Ma Greene would never let it happen.

Jim Reising 01-01-2017 11:13 PM

What does Ma Greene have to do with it?????? Have you ever talked to anyone who actually knew Ma Greene?

David Dewey 01-02-2017 02:32 AM

Jim, She watches over the boat, still.
Odd co-incidence, I knew a Ma Green in my childhood, and I still have her Model A Ford with license plates, "Ma Green"---I'm the second owner, and have known the car all my life--I even slid down the front fenders as a small tyke (NO! I won't let anyone do that now!)

Jim Reising 01-02-2017 08:34 AM

The legend of Ma Greene is like what Alan Bates said about the 1937 flood.."It get's worse every year". Her legend get stronger every year. In fact I never heard the legend until the boat got Riverlorians.
I knew a lot of people who knew Mary B. Greene and she was foremost a business woman who's main interest was to see that her boats made money. Even as a ghost I don't think she would like to see the boat languish in a Louisiana back water. If she were around today, from what I know of her from people who knew and worked with her, she'd say "Do whatever it takes to get this boat making money".


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