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Old 11-27-2017, 08:50 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,570

*Boiler foundations/DQ 'rebuild*
Morning, Steamboating colleagues,
Jim, your memories of Alan Bates in his design of the stellar NATCHEZ on the mark. Alan, though right-thinking in his work, was one who never liked hearing the word "No." The pressing issue so far not answered is how the DQ could operate with the requirement to have "10% of the superstructure replaced each year" if there would be an exemption--and no 'deal' can be cut with the Coast Guard over that. I've heard lots of 2nd and 3rd hand reports on what will and won't be done but with no supporting evidence from the direct sources involved. The same statement has been circulated around here RE: "The DQ could be up and running by summer if the exemption would be granted before the end of this congressional session." We are now in the waning days, hours and minutes with congress. Just look at the work on their desks now. Unfortunately, statements circulated that "work on the DELTA QUEEN is mostly cosmetic" rings hollow with many. One Coast Guard mentioned in his report that "The DELTA QUEEN is an operation based in antique technology."

The concept of "stripping down" the DELTA QUEEN superstructure to the hull while retaining some elements goes back many years to the regime of Betty Blake/Bill Muster. Letha Greene wrote me a detailed account of this in one of her letters stating "They'll learn soon enough." Later this was presented at an annual S&D of Pioneer Rivermen meeting in Marietta, Ohio with mixed reviews. Another plan offered with drawings was a totally new boat built on the lines of the present European river cruise vessels. The whole integrity of the boat even then would have been totally altered. Today the hull itself would also be in question. Depreciation of any vessel is based on the hull. The cost would be prohibitive even if allowed in addition to the boat losing any historical designation. And again, no answer to now nothing being 'grandfathered' with additional needs for 'handicapped/easy access' with an elevator, 'easy access' cabins similar to what I see each year on the big 'blue water' cruise ships. One who would know more would be our Capt. Bill Judd. Again, what do I know?

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