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What Have Each Of Us Done

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    What Have Each Of Us Done

    I started a new thread here, so we wouldn't get lost down in other threads what we each are doing at this point. Remember I'm the cheerleader and my job is to keep us motivated. (Unfortunately, the boss will be back next week and I'll probably have to step aside and give up my position to someone who isn't holding down a full time job)!

    1) I've been on the phone again this morning with my local reps office. The gal today seemed much more interested and asked lots of questions, but when I mentioned Union, she kinda went "ohhhhh".

    2) I've called the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The gal there referred me to the Maritime Preservation Information Sheet, but I didn't see anything helpful. She did ask me to send her an email, which I did along with an attachment of my letter to the Congressmen on MAL's list.

    She also suggested maybe we could petition to get the DELTA QUEEN on the "Most Endangered" list - which doesn't come out until May. And I suggested to her that she get on as there was a wealth of information there along with our petition.

    3) I've called the National Park Service - who is the keeper of the National Historic Landmark List. That gal took my name and number and said she would have someone call me right back.

    4) Yesterday I also brought our plight to the attention of a large local Marine Service, who I will be meeting with this weekend to discuss what if anything they can do or help with.

    What I still intend to do:

    1) I will be writing a letter to a very wealthy man in Indiana who helped save the West Baden Springs Hotel recently for his thoughts, suggestions and support.

    2) I will be contacting the Louisville Courier Journal who ran a story about the exemption coming up back a month or so ago.

    Yes, it feels like a death in the family. I didn't eat much yesterday and didn't sleep much last night. And then this morning, I made the mistake of reading some of Captain Mike's log. That brought tears BIG TIME. Click on and read the June 25, 2002 entry. You don't have a pulse if you can read that and it doesn't bring a lump to your throat!

    Good luck. GO! GO! GO!
    Last edited by Jo Ann Schoen; 08-03-2007, 02:15 PM.

    Just a note that the National Trust is currently under-funded. They were one of the federal granting org's that we went to for help with the BARBARA H.

    I have a friend at the National Park Service headquarters in D.C. who is in a good position in the Historic Structures Division, which covers National Historic Landmark Vessels. I contacted him right away when I heard about the DQ's plight. He is in Asia at the moment, but I got an email from his blackberry saying that he would relay the issue to his office. They will of course be concerned about what will happen with the DQ, as it is a National Historic Landmark Vessel.

    Regarding the National Trust, Save America's Treasures, and other federal granting org's, my friend in D.C. simply said: "All money is in IRAQ"....

    So this is unfortunate, but in the DQ's case, she doesn't have the type of dire needs that a federal grant would be used for. The DQ's hull is fine, and she is operating is superb condition. However the National Park Service will keep tabs on her situation with regards to historic preservation. For instance, they would be concerned if the DQ was moth-balled for an extended period.

    Getting Congress to review the failed SOLAS exemption, and put it back on their agenda is paramount.


      This is exactly why the SOLAS issue will be able to be overcome--we are NOT asking for any money from congress! What we are asking for is just a clerical issue that has been complicated by the Union. I believe we must now go after the Union as well as congress. If they can see that punishing MAL does the Nation NO GOOD, and could give then some very bad publicity AND does take jobs away from an AMERICAN CREW, maybe we can turn this around.
      I have no idea who to contact, if some of our honored members can post that, you can bet that there will be a rapid letter-writing campaign. I MUST STRESS that the letters to the Union HAVE to be POSITIVE, asking for their support in this issue, we do not want to berate them at this point. Let's not make Garmatz's mistake of the "Poison letter” (although, that mistake is, IMHO, what finally got the original exemption passed—but it was the mistake of the “enemy!”)
      David D.


        Getting Congress to review the failed SOLAS exemption, and put it back on their agenda is paramount.

        Steve, Your point is right on the money. This is a lobbying issue and should not be overwhelming. Finding the right person with the Washington lobbying skills would be the hardest part and may take money to hire them. Lobbying efforts on issues continue to the last second when it comes to voting on a bill (at least on the state level).


          DQ not in good operating condition

          I think that there is an important issue that is not being considered. The Delta Queen is not in good operating condition at this time. I was on the boat 19-26 July where the monkey rudder cable broke, we had two groundings due to problems with the steering hydraulic system, and other failures. We missed three of our four stops. (Getting bused from Demopolis to Birmingham on a bus that caught fire was another unpleasantry.) I understand from a traveler on the next leg (and someone on this forum has confirmed that already) that there was a further rudder breakage, another grounding, and other engineering problems. These things happen. I have records of other problems with the Delta Queen going back 20 years. These things have always been dealt with by knowledgable engineers. Our beloved Delta Queen needs a good deal of maintenance work by people who know what they are doing. If these repairs and regular maintenance, which may well be expensive, are not kept up, the boat will probably lose its Certificate of Inspection from the Coast Guard, which will make the SOLAS exemption issue moot. At the same time, the Coast Guard needs to recognize the unique engineering issues on a boat of this type, which many of the young inspectors are really unfamiliar with, and give some allowances for reasonable repairs that do not affect obvious safety standards. Perhaps MAL is not interested or in a position to sink a lot more money into bringing her back up to speed. How can we help with this?


            All vessels need regular maintenance. For commercial ventures like the DQ, it is up to the owners to maintain the vessel in operating order. There will always be the occasional mechanical problem on any vessel. The DQ has and will pass Coast Guard inspections with proper maintenance. The bigger issue is making sure that the SOLAS exemption is in place so that the fruits of routine maintenance will be worthwhile, and the vessel will be allowed to operate legally as an overnight passenger vessel.

            You do have a point that it may take a new owner to appreciate the extra maintenance needs, but a new owner will also need the SOLAS exemption first and foremost.....


              SOLAS still an issue

              Certainly, the SOLAS exemption will be an issue that needs to be addressed, but I don't think the Coast Guard was pleased with all the problems that it saw on the DQ in the last two weeks (or the quick-fix short-term solutions that were undertaken out of necessity), and I wouldn't be surprised if they, with the pressure they have to maintain vessel safety, decide to make a tough decision. I will try to investigate this further.
              At the same time, I think we need to establish whether or not there really WAS any action (or inaction) in Congress on the exemption. I certainly can't find any evidence of that to this point, though I'll need to dig deeper. But, I can imagine that the SOLAS exemption expiration was a convenient time to call it quits on devoting more and more financial resources to maintaining an aging steamboat with serious or soon-to-be serious problems. The announcement seemed to come awfully quickly after this last spate of problems and after telling us that we need to appeal to our Congressmen.


                Doesn't sound like an age related problem, rather a lack of preventive maintenance. This is ongoing regardless of the age of the machinery and to be expected. There have been times in the past that the old DQ has had people on her that didn't know her ins and outs and this sounds like one of those times. This is not the first time new owners have gotten cocky and thought they didn't need the experienced, oh, let's say, firemen, and brought in new people, only to find that they couldn't even get away from the dock. History repeats itself.


                  How do I find Capt. Mike's log?


                    It's here:



                      I was on the "Queen of the West" this past May. We had steering problems, enough so we had to return to Portland to fix them and then begin our trip again. We did complete our trip with all stops. I also read about someone who rode the same boat last month an missed some stops because of mechanical problems. The "Queen of the West" was not built in 1926, yet has had problems. Problems seem to be possible with machinery, regardless of age. I do understand that age make "TLC" more necessary, but youth is no guarantee of lack of problems.