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Thread: Why Not Here

  1. #1

    Default Why Not Here

    10 or so years ago, after I had made a trip on the Rhine River, I asked "Why not here"? It looks like,as I predicted, it is happening here. The AQSC is building their 4th boat and ACL is building their 5th and 6th river boat. They all seem to be doing very well; they wouldn't be adding capacity if there wasn't demand for it.
    What do you think of ACL's new design? I happen to really like it. At least they are not boxes piled on top of each other, with a dinky fake paddlewheel hung on the stern and a couple of completely out of proportion smoke stacks stuck somewhere on the roof. They look like boats people expect to see today. I believe this is the future of overnight river boat design.
    As more and more boats start plying out rivers, the cities and towns will realize that their riverfronts are a real asset and will begin improving them.
    I wonder why no one has started running the old River Lines route San Francisco-Sacramento?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,648

    Default

    *RL route 'Frisco to Sacramento*
    Morning, Steamboating colleagues,
    Jim, good question above RE: "old 'River Lines route San Francisco to Sacramento." I just 'caught' your posting tooling around this morning. I don't know a lot, but this is what I know. Several years back I received a long distance phone call from a gentleman in California ['Frisco area if I recall]. He mentioned some big scheme out there to "Return the DELTA QUEEN to California and run her on week cruises from San Francisco to Sacramento etc." I sucked in my breath, listened with his full narrative playing out. At times a well placed question is better than an answer. "And what are passengers going to see there on a full week cruise?" I asked. "Oh, there's towns along the way...side trips to the California wineries." I mentioned that the present Sacramento River nothing like it was up to now. The river has been greatly channelized for deep water ships, revetments not even running along the old route. Also an overnight 'night boat' run the DK/DQ did then couldn't be stretched into a full week. I also asked how the DELTA QUEEN would be returned? "Oh, people will buy her and tow her back like they did in 1947," the reply. I avoided asking who these people were who wanted to buy her. I mentioned no way she'd be allowed to be towed like that today even if she could be purchased. "Do you know what Coast Guard and other shipping laws would be like? Do you know cost of a high lift transport ship. Do you know the high insurance rates? What about work on the boat herself in dollars?" My list went on and on. There was dead silence along with an evident tone of frustration and anger. Again, like so many times previously, a huff with not even a "Thank you...kiss my foot" or what with the phone receiver slammed down. Another case of misguided old time, romantic, warm and fuzzy steamboat euphoria. That's only one story along those lines I've had in recent years.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Ellettsville, Indiana
    Posts
    136

    Default re: The times these days have changed

    Morning Dale and all,

    Yep, all of our rivers have change since 1947. Just look at the effect the higher lift dams build in the 1950's and 1960's had on the Ohio. Compare a 1947 pilot's chart to that of today.

    The bigger changes effecting the viability of steam boating today has been in the overall economics of the activity today. Thankfully the Belle and the Natchez are still economically sound enough to keep their steam up.

    And then there is the regulations nightmare.

    Keep your steam up!

    Russ Ryle

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,648

    Default

    *Sacramento/Deep water port.*
    Morning, Steamboating colleagues,
    Thanks, Russ, for your posting. To add more to my above: The channelization of the Sacramento River now has the city up there a deep water port with fair sized freighters, cargo ships sailing up and down. large plants, refineries etc. I flew over in a plane looking down amazed.

    I wouldn't go so far as to say the towns along the Sacramento aren't nice--but no way the scenery or interest we have on our Ohio, Mississippi, Illinois, Tennessee etc. etc. How this man I talked with thought they could milk out a 7 seven day cruise beyond me. Again, he gave no information on this 'plan' he discussed, how he was involved and I didn't ask any additional probing questions. No doubt he was sincere and we can't take away visions and plans people have. Yet, the sense of reality, expenses, feasibility was way over his head with steamboat romance. He was only one of several calls I had from California RE: these DQ projects. More on that in time.

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

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