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    Headed in the wrong direction

    Recently there was a video of the President of the American Queen explaining their purchase and plans for the new American Duchess. It will be an all suites, very high end, boat.
    That got me to thinking, the American Queen people have done the market research for us as have ACL and that research shows the money is in "boutique" cruising.
    Over a year ago I opined on on here would be cheaper to salvage what you want to reuse from the DQ and then tear her down to her steel frame and rebuild. From recent pictures of the boat I am even more convinced that this is true.
    Right now she is nothing but a big expensive white elephant that is rapidly rotting away. But she has a good foundation (hull) and good bones (steel frame) which would be a shame to see go to waste. To me it would be foolish to let the boat sit as we try another exemption which like the last two didn't work. I really believe it would be easier to get money out of the government (maritime admin..business for American shipyards, jobs for American merchant marine) than it would be to get Congress to act.
    Learn from the competition and rebuild her as the most exclusive river cruise boat ever. She could draw from history, yet be as modern as tomorrow.
    Take a lesson from our President elect, he didn't get to be a billionaire building tenament housing.
    What do you think?

    #2
    Re: Is a different direction right, wrong, or ..... ?

    Jim and all,

    Whether you do it today or tomorrow the DQ super structure needs major renovation to modern standards if she is going to survive any length of time. Doing nothing assures she will not survive much longer.

    Hopefully, we still have a situation where her steel bones refurbished with new boilers is a viable platform on which to build a vessel up to today's marine standards and customer expectations.

    The challenge will be to keep her overall looks the same or as similar as possible to the original boat.

    Best wishes to her and all for the new year and many more to come.

    Keep your steam up!

    Russ Ryle

    Comment


      #3
      At this point, then the question becomes is it possible to operate her as a full steamboat, or do you put in some other propulsion system. At that point, you may as well build a new vessel, as rebuilding the existing one would be more expensive.
      It may be the time has finally passed the Delta Queen by; the number of folks who are willing, as we are, to stay in a closet for a stateroom is becoming even smaller.
      My family faces the same problem with our resort with the 15 cabins built in 1922. They are small, with home-built showers, two-burner hot plates in the "kitchen" and the refrigerator on the back porch (no space inside the cabin for it). My brother has modified the original bedsteads to allow queen-sized mattresses, but that almost fills the room. Also there are no TVs nor Phones in the cabins nor air conditioning. We now have 3rd generations staying here, and that helps a lot--a continuous span of vacations down the generations. The DQ has been out of service now 8 years, so that continuity has been broken.
      As much as we who know her love the boat, That doesn't provide the market for future passengers in the quantities that will be required to operate at a profit.
      When the Delta Queen was built, folks were driving around in Model As, a car that operates much as a car today (with a manual transmission) and can still be driven on today's roads; but today's cars feature air conditioning, radars to warn of other cars or objects, and some are even self-driving--not to say anything of all the other "creature comforts" folks expect nowadays. Folks with money (which is what it takes to afford these cruises) expect all those extras.
      That all being said, It would break my heart to see the DQ torn down to put something else on the hull.
      Heck I could be all wrong too!

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        #4
        If they do they should part it out carefully and sell the pieces off to us.
        I'm poor as dirt (happy contented dirt) but would love a paint chip. A nice red one from the paddle wheel.

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          #5
          Of course a paint chip would not hurt anything, but it is my sincere hope that the DELTA QUEEN will NOT be "parted out" at all. A careful de-construction and reconstruction of the boat to be totally compliant and saleable with larger rooms, etc., keeping the original "flavor" of the boat and reconstructing the Texas Lounge, etc. might be the way to go.

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            #6
            Of course, it's bye-bye to the historical landmark status by doing all that.
            If you go that far, then you won't need the exemption anymore either. We probably could never afford another trip on her either.

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              #7
              I don't think cutting her up would ever be considered, besides Ma Greene would never let it happen.

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                #8
                What does Ma Greene have to do with it?????? Have you ever talked to anyone who actually knew Ma Greene?

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                  #9
                  Jim, She watches over the boat, still.
                  Odd co-incidence, I knew a Ma Green in my childhood, and I still have her Model A Ford with license plates, "Ma Green"---I'm the second owner, and have known the car all my life--I even slid down the front fenders as a small tyke (NO! I won't let anyone do that now!)

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                    #10
                    The legend of Ma Greene is like what Alan Bates said about the 1937 flood.."It get's worse every year". Her legend get stronger every year. In fact I never heard the legend until the boat got Riverlorians.
                    I knew a lot of people who knew Mary B. Greene and she was foremost a business woman who's main interest was to see that her boats made money. Even as a ghost I don't think she would like to see the boat languish in a Louisiana back water. If she were around today, from what I know of her from people who knew and worked with her, she'd say "Do whatever it takes to get this boat making money".

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                      #11
                      I remember a story Bob McCann told me about Mary Greene (she hated being called Ma Greene). The GORDON C. GREENE was leaving Natchez right at dinner time. There was a strong upriver wind and the river was very rough. The pilot drove the boat around to get it headed toward NOLA. When the boat got sideways in the river it started rolling pretty violently. Green water was coming over the main deck and washing all the way across the boat. Mary Greene ran up to Bob and said"hurry let's get dinner before she sinks."

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                        #12
                        Same with all the other ghost stories, Jim. They weren't around when I was riding 1973-83, but now you'd think the DQ was a ghosts' hotel according to the number of 'sightings' happening in the last couple decades... The one Mary B. Greene story I did hear was about the towboat Mary B. hitting the DQ in the area of the new Mark Twain bar, but other Ma Greene stuff developed after my prime passenger days. I dealt with lots of phony ghost stories about the B-K house during my residency there, and never once encountered an apparition. But that stuff sells, I guess.

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                          #13
                          *Those continuing 'Ma' Greene legends*
                          Morning, Steamboating colleagues:
                          Jim, Judy right above on those continuing 'Ma' Greene legends that pop up every so often. I posted this on .org several times over the years but uncertain they pop up on the below 'Similar Threads.' I never met/knew Capt. Mary B. Greene, Mrs. Gordon C. Greene etc. but my grandmother did know her back as far as 1904. In fact, grandmother gave Capt. Mary a couple of blooming plants in pots from our family as Mrs. Greene loved blooming and cut flowers. And yes, the Greene family lived in nice houses, drove cars, wore shoes, sent their children to school just like other families also negating some of the prevailing 'Mark Twain' and rustic views of them. Many old timers still around said to me, "Sure, we knew the Greenes and the Greene boys [Tom & Chris] in school, sports, music knowing they were in the river business but nobody then thought much about it."

                          The oft used 'Ma' Greene result years back of a newspaper man doing a story on her. From then on the 'Tugboat Annie' persona stuck. Capt. Mary, and the family, took it in stride then and down until recent years but not without biting their tongues hearing it. Her closest friends living in Hyde Park here and on the boats were able to call her 'Mame.' Mary Becker Greene hailed from a family of dentist up in Fly, Ohio years back later moving to Cincinnati with our family being patients of her brother Dr. John Becker and later his son Dr. John Becker, Jr. and Anita Becker their sister and Greene cousin. Jane Greene and I attended Hyde Park's Withrow High School with Jane's cousin Becky Becker. OK, stories of 'ghost' [Capt. Mary's ghost] did circulate later becoming PR fodder for TV programs, company PR sales. The Greene family not one putting too much stock in such nonsense or the "occult" as they termed it as their standards much higher. That was a long time ago now.

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

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                            #14
                            True story.
                            When the Port of Call restaurant was getting ready to open in Kimmswick some of the things they wanted for display were the Greene family pictures from the Betty Blake lounge. They went to get them and Ma's had disappeared, there was no way she was leaving her boat.
                            In my humble opinion she would never allow it to be cut up either.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Jim Reising View Post
                              If she were around today, from what I know of her from people who knew and worked with her, she'd say "Do whatever it takes to get this boat making money".

                              That certainly sounds like the Mary B. Greene that I heard my dad and Robert H. McCann talk about, and not just some ghostly figure.

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