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Thread: Pictures of Delta Queen in Holma, LA: March 2016

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Paragould, AR or on m/v MAGNOLIA
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    I think Dave is correct as to the problem being the new hull. I seriously doubt that the drydocking in Harvey in 1948 was the culprit.

    As far as the stern rake goes, Alan Bates was consulted on that well after the fact of the new hull and the move from 4 to 2 rudders ahead of the wheel. The stern thruster was added to try to improve the way the boat handled her stern, which even before the new hull was never very good to begin with, and was not helped at all by the new hull. In my humble opinion, short of a new aft hull section in the proper shape (correcting the hogging) with a new stern rake and the move to 3 rudders ahead of the wheel, the problem(s) will not go away.

    Also, someone (Dave Williamson???) told me that they had 3 or 4 new hull designs to pick from, and they had a "best" and a "worst" from what the model tests showed them. Somehow, the numbers got screwed up, and the "worst" of the 3 or 4 was chosen, built and put on instead of the "best". So, for what that's worth....

  2. #22
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    Jul 2006
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    Northern California above Lake Oroville on "Dewey Mountain"
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    Well, I was a bit "tongue in cheek" when I said cool the bearings, but water cooling is a common old-time solution. There is a remote oiling station between the engines in a little room on the right side behind the gauge board wall that the oiler tends to frequently (besides all the cups on the engines' moving parts).
    The "touch test" has been pretty much replaced by the new "point and shoot" temperature gauges. I still use it on a lot of things, but one must remember that it's a "TOUCH" test--not a hold your hand on it test (you do a very quick touch at first until you know if it's really hot).
    I still remember the March '07 trip with a pretty much "newbie" engine room crew, talking with one of the young men who was telling me he was looking for a knock that he just couldn't figure out by watching the engine. I reached up and grabbed the valve reach rod moving back and forth at about eye level. He looked at me shocked that anyone would touch moving machinery. I said, "It's safe, if you know where to hang on, and the knock will telegraph right through the rod." So he reached up and did the same, and his eyes lit up, AH!! I told him that you have to feel the engine as well as listen to it, and also smell is important--and only grab onto a moving part when you know where and how fast & far your hand will be going. "Let her talk to you, she'll tell you what she needs!"
    I wonder what he would have thought of the oilers riding the connecting rods on the big Liberty engine triples? I've seen it, but even I wouldn't do that though! :)
    We do seem to have wandered about a bit in this thread--oh well, most steamboaters love "trampin' " !

  3. #23
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    Jul 2006
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    Northern California above Lake Oroville on "Dewey Mountain"
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    I didn't see Bob's posting before I made my posting.
    Thinking about it, the visual evidence in the main cabin (Betty Blake Lounge) is the doors and walls that were put in during the big refit at Dravo, so the hogging post-dates that. Also, if they are going to correct the hull, which would, I think, make the boat more maneuverable and more efficient; it should be done before they start doing the annual 10% structural improvements as wood flexes more than metal. IMHO, the superstructure wouldn't have survived the hogging if it had been metal. I base this belief on the many wooden buildings I have leveled (My family owns a 1923 resort with 16 period cabins, built without foundations; I've done a lot of leveling! :) ) The wood creaks and groans and settles into the "new location" which is quite often the location when built! :)
    That's a shame about the hull mistake. You'd think someone would have noticed while it was being built and compensated, but that's water under the bridge (hull?).

  4. #24
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    Apr 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Dewey View Post
    That's a shame about the hull mistake. You'd think someone would have noticed while it was being built and compensated, but that's water under the bridge (hull?).
    You're right about the shame of the mistake, Dave. However, we've seen or heard of many mistakes of this type, many by the government, that seemed to "slip through the cracks" and got done the wrong way. I used to think, "Oh, no way would anyone let that happen", but it has happened too many times to too many people (entities) for it to not be a distinct possibility.

  5. #25
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    Apr 2008
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    Louisville, Kentucky
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    A couple comments regarding the stern droop. The pictures taken recently, or any picture taken since the Queen's departure from Chattanooga is going to be a little bit skewed due to the trim of the boat.

    The boat is very light in the bow with absolutely no #2 fuel aboard, and very little Bunker Fuel Oil. She also has very little Potable Water on board. Even with taking on ballast in the forward tanks, her bow draft is only 7' 6" while the stern is at exactly 9'. That's a difference of 18" from bow to stern, which may not sound like much, but given her stern draft marker is about 40' ahead of the jockey bar behind the wheel, it would make her overall appearance look like she was squatting in the stern, but its the entire boat on a slant and not just the stern.

    The resulting optical illusion is that she has an exaggerated sheer in the bow and none or even negative sheer in the stern. When we purchased the boat and also prior to the tow, a marine surveyor and the USCG went through the entire hull, opening and inspecting nearly every single compartment and void space. To their surprise and our satisfaction, the space between the old and new hulls, known as the "void space" looks like a 2 yr old boat...in excellent shape. There was no signs of twisting, buckling or distortion.

    The only stern droop the DQ has today, in my opinion, is a result of the lack of support during the 1990 hull conversion that allowed her stern to drop, and thus removed almost all of her original stern sheer. As others have pointed out in earliest posts, this is clearly seen when looking at the doors in the Aft Cabin Lounge at the very rear where they go out on deck...they don't line up with the frames, or the adjacent door.

    As for the hull, having spoken at length with the former DQSC Executive who oversaw that project, he assured me the rumors of the multiple designs and tank tests are false. There was only one hull design that was actually modeled and tested. Other concepts were on paper, but never made it to the tank testing stage.

    The change in her handling going astern has much more to do with the rudders than the stern rake. The stern rake on the boat is fine, she could have used a more curved transition into the transom, but the rake itself is very much adequate for getting water to the wheel. The rudders however are not as large and triangular shaped like a traditional sternwheel rudder. When combined with the fact she only has two of them instead of four like before, there isn't a good solid wall to deflect the wheel wash when backing. As a result, a lot of water can pass between the rudders and go straight forward against the hull rather then deflected towards either side. The best solution, as suggested by Jeff Boat and Alan Bates back in 1991 (the company took the plans for the current rudders to them for suggestions after complaints by pilots), was to put a third rudder between the existing two and change the shape of them all to a more triangular traditional sternwheel rudder.

    I believe Alan's quote was something a long the lines of "well there's your problem, you have a sternwheel boat, but it doesn't have sternwheel rudders" according to Chief Kenny Howe.

    Over the years since, pilots have learned how to handle her in the current configuration and she sailed successfully with them for 18 years, so they can't be too bad. The trick I hear is to start backing on a straight rudder and only turn them once you start moving astern. If any changes were to be made going forward, it would be to the shape of the existing two rudders, nothing as drastic as modifying the hull, which is still in excellent condition.

  6. #26
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    Apr 2006
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    Mile 639 is where I grew up
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    Thank you Phillip for the excellent explanation. And also for the good news from the Marine Surveyor and the USCG. All we need now is that dang exemption!!!!!

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