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    Delta queen

    The april issue of Work Boat there is a very negative letter about the
    DELTA QUEEN.

    #2
    If it's the one I've read (mentioning the "Gen. Slocum", again?) then this is the most unsubstantiated piece of text I've ever seen about the Delta Queen. It's worse than everything that a certain Representative from Minnesota was ever saying about the DQ; pure lies, stupid, pointless. Let's just ignore it ... We need someone intersted in investing in the Delta Quen and willing to operate her as an overnight passenger vessel. As soon as we've accomplished this task, we don't have to care about such grinches any longer.

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      #3
      *RE: WORK BOAT Magazine/DQ.*
      Hi, Charles & steamboating colleagues:
      Thanks for the 'heads up' on coverage of the DQ in April WORK BOAT. I find the publication is only archived up to February, 2009. Could you possibly give us all a better link? Generally WORK BOAT is a pretty interesting publication. Unfortunately now somewhat negative coverage of the DELTA QUEEN has been appearing here and there locally and nationally. I guess it goes with the old adage about "Kicking a person when they're already down." With the media we have to take the good, bad and indifferent for what they are.

      Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River.

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        #4
        Dale, John Fryant showed me a copy last Saturday. The mention was in a letter to the editor from a retired Coastie.

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          #5
          Dale,

          It´s a letter to the editor and it´s not online.

          Carmen

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            #6
            The letter is full of mistakes, especially when referring to the design of historic paddlewheelers. And where did that "floodable length" thing come from? Having a burr under his saddle since 1973, I can see why he's heated up. But why would Work Boat print such a thing?

            Comment


              #7
              Most of us here do NOT get "Work Boat" so have no idea what is wrong in the letter. It would do us all a great favor to post it, and you can post the errors too, for those that are reading here and might not be "up" on the DQ's true conditions. How about identifying the author, maybe then we'll know more about where he "comes from."
              Thanks!
              S'
              David D.

              Comment


                #8
                David,

                Due to copyright reasons I cannot post the letter.

                Lexie,

                That´s what I had a problem with too. I haven´t heard of that before.

                Carmen

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                  #9
                  It would be nice to pull the thread then, as its like we're being teased, nyah nyah we know something you don't know........ or else tell us what the person wrote, in your own words.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Judy Patsch View Post
                    It would be nice to pull the thread then, as its like we're being teased, nyah nyah we know something you don't know........ or else tell us what the person wrote, in your own words.
                    I am not trying to be that way at all. The guy did mention this "floodable length" issue, and went on to say that a Congresswoman from Missouri (Leonore K. Sullivan, though he did not mention her by name in his letter) threatened to cut Coast Guard funding if an exemption were not issued for the DQ. He also spewed the same old propaganda about wooden superstructures and lack of fire safety, mentioned the GEN. SLOCUM, and intimated the list of fire deaths on riverboats was long and gruesome. Nothing that pertained to modern times or the DELTA QUEEN's situation. My take is that this guy has his shorts in a wad over being overruled in the 1970's on this floodable length technicality.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      His name is Robert Stanley, a naval architect from Bridgeport, Connecticut. He states that he was a Lt. jg in the CG GMMT-5 in 1973 and that the DQ did not meet the floodable length requirements of the time. He called the DQ an "old firetrap tub" and that she has "no relationship to anything traditional about passenger steamship service on the Mississsippi River". He went on the state that most elegant passenger steamers were sidewheelers and that sternwheelers were just junk boats like "tugboats" and freight and passenger haulers, never mentioning the word "packet", which would apply to almost all river steamers of the day, elegant or not. He ended that paragraph with the sentence "You can look it up". (Are you laughing?) He ended by saying that at last the "old tub" has been put out to pasture and is not on any body of water. (Last time I looked the Tennessee River was a body of water.) Does this guy have an ax to grind or what? I sent an email rebuttal to Work Boat, but I tried to be nice, although I did mention that the DQ has outlasted several owners and probably several naval architects. Hope I got in enough quotation marks for this to be posted. I will be glad to send anyone who wants them a copy of the letter and/or my reply.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks Bob and Lexie for filling us in, and special thanks Lexie for a copy of your 'rebuttal' letter to Work Boat. You'd think someone wouldn't want to advertise his ignorance, but then again, maybe he's too ignorant to know he is!

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                          #13
                          Without violating the copyright law, here's most of what was said
                          First, thank you for posting this to me (name withheld on purpose!)
                          We are avoiding the copyright law because I am analyzing the letter and quoting it for reference; a legitimate scholarly practice!

                          In the Mailbag letter in the April 2009 issue of WorkBoat, a letter by Robert Stanley is titled, “The Delta Queen is not a traditional passenger boat.” This editorial comment seems absurd, considering she was patterned after a series of successful Sacramento River passenger boats.
                          Mr. Stanley opens with the comment, “. . .the Delta Queen has no relationship to anything traditional about passenger steamship service on the Mississippi River.” This statement has two fallacies in it; the first being “steamship service” which never existed on the inland rivers, although steamboat service did. The second error is claiming that there is nothing traditional about the Delta Queen. She has a standard stage, a pitman powered wheel, deck access cabins, and a rooftop pilothouse, all common features with traditional steamboats.
                          He then launches into a paragraph citing a brief, but misleading history of the Queen. To quote; “The old firetrap tub was built in Scotland as a kit, brought by ship to the Sacramento River in California, then assembled into a cruiser.” He does not establish why he considers the DQ a “firetrap,” I suppose it is because he declares it so. Fortunately I know better, having seen firsthand the elaborate measures that have been taken to insure the boat and passengers will be safe from any fire that might start. In fact, fires have occurred, and the systems have put them out with little damage to the vessel. The boat’s over 80-year safety record is impeccable. In addition, the Queen was not purchased as a kit; the hull was purchased and assembled, but the engines, boilers, and superstructure were all added or built in Stockton.
                          He then mentions that both the Queen and King were made for and run on the Sacramento River, as though that makes the Queen not desirable on the Mississippi. This smacks of regional prejudice.
                          His next paragraph is so wrong in so many ways that I must quote it in its entirety in order to refute it; “But she had no resemblance to the traditional passenger steamers that plied their trade on the Mississippi in the previous century. Those elegant passenger steamers were usually sidewheelers, not sternwheelers. Sternwheelers usually were tugboats for pushing barge flotillas or freighters, or combination freighters with passenger accommodations. You can look it up.”
                          OK, I did look it up, and the DQ started life as a combination boat, carrying both passengers and freight, so that would fit the “traditional” definition. And a “tugboat for pushing barges” is a towboat, not a tugboat, as any river person can tell you. This calls into question Mr. Stanley’s actual understanding of the river systems and their history. And to say that only sidewheelers were palaces is also prejudicial and false.
                          His next paragraph digs into the Coast Guard’s concern for their fire regulations, and that there have been” many disasters involving flaming passenger steamers on the Mississippi River and other waterways.” And then he brings up that infamous disaster as to why the coast guard has this concern; “In particular, the General Slocum in New York’s Hells Gate helps explain why the Coast Guard has this peculiar fixation on fire regulations.” This conveniently ignores the fact that the DQ and her crew consistently pass all Coast Guard fire inspections with high marks.
                          And finally, we get a clue as to just what this whole letter is about; “But there is an unknown story, suppressed by the Coast Guard brass, about my attempt in 1973 as a lieutenant j.g. in the Coast Guard G-MMT-5 to run off the Delta Queen for another reason—she did not meet the floodable length requirement then in use.” Ah HA! It’s ‘Paul Harvey Time’—the rest of the story apparently is his failure to “do in” the DQ when he had some power to do so. Apparently he does not know that since that time, the DQ has had a second hull, with many compartments, built around the original, adding to her safety features.
                          Continuing with his story; “There was a certain congressman from Missouri who point blank told the Coast Guard brass to leave the Delta Queen alone or face severe funding cuts. Apparently , the threat was considered to be very real, and my report to the Coast Guard brass was buried.” Well, maybe, but just perhaps the “brass” recognized that the situation was grandfathered?
                          His closing paragraph; “At last, the old tub has been put out to pasture where she belongs, not on any body of water. Any attempt to bring her back to service on U.S. rivers is misguided and should be quashed (sic).” shows his personal distaste for our beloved DQ and where does he think the DQ is now? Maybe he is one of those that thinks a boat that is not moving is safer than one that is moving?
                          Unfortunately, this mis-guided letter will also misguide others.
                          S'
                          David D.

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                            #14
                            Perhaps WorkBoat will publish my letter and get a few things straight. I don't know what that mag's readership is, but it is probably mostly sent to those directly involved in the maritime business, and is free. That is how I get mine, but I have to fill out a form stating what my maritime business is, which one could fake, of course. Another freebee I get is MarineLog, which is informative about what's being done in the world of vessel design, innovation, technology, a sort of shipyard outlook, a peek at what lies in the future. And it can get pretty amazing. It also covers what's already out there and issues that concern the business of shipping, such as piracy and the demand for qualified personnel. These subjects are seldom covered in depth by the general media, which frequently gets things wrong, anyway.

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                              #15
                              You are right, Lex, about the mainstream media getting things wrong. The marine publications do a lot better, but are still not perfect by any means, as we can see. Even some in the marine industry are either misinformed or have some ax to grind in their letters to editors, i.e., Walter Blessey and this guy who wrote to Workboat.

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