*BIG needs/DQ boilers*
Steamboating colleagues,
Sorry for being so tardy in opening .org to catch up. The DQ boilers, as we all know, are original to the boat (c. 1925-'27) installed in the construction. Old Jim Burns, charged with the project, searched here and there to seek out the finest materials and fittings with the bottom line on the cash ledger book staring him in the face. The original 'DELTA Boat Project,' as it was called, dated back to a big 'California Transportation Co.' picnic in 1922 when 'talk' began to develop after good food and, no doubt, drink. Jim searched the U.S. Navy storage facility up in the bay finding the two then new, unused World War I ['The war to end all wars'] U.S. Navy destroyer water tube boilers along with other fittings and equipment. And so the boilers were dropped in serving until the DQ laid up. Marion Frommel's 'Buckeye Boat & Boiler Co.' here in Cincinnati, among others, worked on those boilers as needed for years replacing tubes etc. when needed. Years ago I saw Marion and crew doing that job in winter layup and it was something to view replacing tubes with dirt, soot, rust, lots of cussing and portable heaters fighting to keep the inside of the boat somewhat warm with no steam raised. No doubt the Coast Guard found other 'things' to deal with up to present codes--and they will not bend in their findings even if "Congress orders them." 'Somebody' opined, "They can cut the lower hull and drop the boilers out from below." This complicated by the mounting steel plates and now the 2nd double hull requiring layup in possibly a dry dock--and that costs big money $$ 24/7. That 2nd hull now not new with, no doubt, a full hull inspection due as it comes once every five years. Then somebody broadcast around here that, "If they can tow the DQ up to Louisville, KY, the Coast Guard district there will be more understanding and lenient." Oh, really?

No doubt today's special ordered boilers 'could' be assembled in sections after removing the old. But how? No doubt cutting out the sides on the lower deck and then sliding, inching in the new. In the old days a steamboat's life was rather limited. Sure, they replaced boilers but boats weren't expected to have a life that long. Boats & ships are like the TV program 'This old house.' The more you look and poke around the more you find. Time needed with a full marine survey, list of 'must do,' requesting bids with return estimates, setting up the job with materials ordered--and that takes time. So much for wonderful, romantic, old-time steamboat life with "red wheel flashing in the summer sun, everybody schmoozing." Again, what do I know?

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