With our beloved DELTA QUEEN facing a huge rebuild, I imagine the owners would like to be able to roll back the clock to the time when it was possible for a boat to pay for itself before it was built.
Back in the Golden Days of river transportation, on several occasions, when freight rates were high, owners would take possesion of a newly completed hull from Howard's shipyard. They would tow the hull to Louisville and load it down with freight. They would tow the loaded hull to New Orleans, unload it and then reload it with northbound freight and have it towed back to Louisville. After it was unloaded at Louisville, they would take it back to the shipyard for completion....the boat having completely paid for itself before it made its first trip as a grand steamboat.