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Old 01-04-2013, 09:49 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Charlestown, Indiana
Posts: 13
Default AQ Shaft Repair

AQ Shaft Repair
Greetings all. I am packed and headed for New Orleans to join the crew as the American Queen has just landed this morning at the Riverwalk. I will be relieving Capt. John Sutton and he is headed home for a much needed break. It was a fun and challenging first season to say the least. With us managing the droughts, hurricanes and early winter north of St Louis we have used every trick in our collective book this season. Through it all we managed to stay on time and did not miss a single departure. A special thanks to our deck and engine departments for all of the long hours. I had planned on a layup that was not going be nearly tough as what it took to get open last year. Fate has decided otherwise! I will be taking on building a new shaft for the AQ and get her wheel rolling by 7 February. Not even sure if we are going to make that deadline but we are going to work like we are. There is a whole lot of speculation on how and why this one failed. It not the first time a shaft has failed on a steamboat. It is the second time for the AQ. I was not around back when this shaft was designed and do not have much information on its engineering. As we get it off the boat and take it apart I am sure we will get a better idea. At the moment all of my energy is on the new one. We have teamed with John Gilbert and his shop is designing the new one. We are taking a back to basics approach with this shaft. Fewer press fits and keys and more welded big pipe, big steel and heavier construction. We are going use a much heavier center shaft this time. The new center shaft will be a 4140 grade normalized as opposed to the hardened A106 that was there. Its a 30 shaft with a 3 wall thickness. As I get this project going I will try to put up a few photos along the way.

Wish us luck!
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