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    New TV Series To Bring Abandoned Boat Back to Life.

    Hi All!

    I work for a major TV production company currently developing a very ambitious documentary series for cable about bringing a grand old riverboat back to life. We are currently seeking a couple important things for the series and hoping you folks on this forum can help.

    First we are looking at abandoned riverboats that can carry a 1000 people or more - could be anywhere in the U.S.

    Second is the restoration crew that bring the boat back to life. Crew needs to not only know how to restore the boats but also have a lot of personality. People that not only have a passion for riverboats but are also not shy around cameras.

    Attached is a photo of the Boomtown Belle in Belle Chasse LA - we have our eye on this one but so far have struck out as to who owns it. I have the VIN number but no owner info.

    If anyone has a suggestion of a boat or a crew - please contact us asap at amcasting3@gmail.com or a private message on this site and tell us about it!
    Attached Files

    #2
    That is one uuuugly riverboat! :-)

    Just the way I like em.

    But ooooh I can't wait to see the program.
    Be sure to let us know if n' when it airs!

    Comment


      #3
      Boomtown Belle

      Can't call it a real riverboat - it was a casino on the Harvey Canal, whose cruising career might have been a month or two. It was infamous for it's captain's excuse for not cruising at night: "It's dark out there." I think when she went out, it was only a few hundred yards. Louisiana caved in faster than any other state to the gambling companies to allow dockside.

      As to the idea of restoring a boat, great, but to say it has to hold 1000 or more passengers basically limits it to one of the ugly discarded casino boats, which as I said, weren't much as boats. Too bad you won't go for a smaller vessel, such as the CASINO ROCK ISLAND, which is fleeted on the Illinois River just above Peoria, at Hamms Holiday Harbor Marina, mile 178.6, still owned by Jumers I believe. She has beautiful lines of a boat and an operating paddlewheel, but I believe her capacity was about 600. She would be a gem operating on the rivers again.

      Comment


        #4
        Andrew,
        Well, you'll need to define what you consider a "Riverboat"--does it have to use a paddle wheel, or can it be a prop boat? Does it require steam power? the 1K passenger requirement would limit you to day boats, not overnight boats, as they were usually in the low 100s, 300 would be a BIG Boat (and I can't think of any survivors offhand).
        You stated, " Crew needs to not only know how to restore the boats but also have a lot of personality." Well, uh, most folks would claim there are far too many "colorful personalities" amongst the riverboaters! :)
        I can think of ONE great boat that would give both your series and boat great coverage--our beloved Delta Queen. A documentation of bringing her back would be very interesting, and her international reputation would give your series great appeal. But then, what do I know?
        Steamcerely,
        David Dewey
        PS there's also two remaining Showboats that could really use a "shot in the arm" to bring them back--there's an interesting history story to tell.

        Comment


          #5
          *Questions/Issues/Expenses to consider*
          Steamboating colleagues,
          Dear Andrew Jacobs, I read with interest, considered, pondered your TV plan to "Bring an abandoned boat back to life." With all do respect, I hope you don't take questions and points of view as objections. Judy Patsch, David Dewey, Ron Anderson make good points. Nobody knows boats like Judy with her study along with being a veteran crew member on the Str. NATCHEZ. Both have experience on the DELTA QUEEN and other boats to their credit. David also has wide experience and views well worth considering. Yet, Andrew, your plan is still a bit foggy in my mind to the point it sends up a red flag. Beyond presenting such a production do you know what you are getting yourself involved in? You made no mention, so far, of your locale or region. What purpose beyond this do you have? Restoring ANY vessle can be a daunting task to say the least. What happens to any said boat following that? Who gets what and who profits--if at all. What is the size of your TV viewing audience? Are you a major U.S. city or a smaller town?

          You made no mention of your TV station. I'm asking what national affiliate do you have with any of the major networks? Who is your producer and what budget is provded?
          1. Do you have a certified marine surveyor on call?
          2. What, if any, legal or financial cases or leans may be on record against the boat you picture?
          3. What involvement would our Coat Guard have in examining, approving any such plan?
          4. Are you thinking you can accomplish such a plan relying just on volunteers or others?
          5. What condition is the boat's superstructure, engines, piping, wiring, fire protection systems?
          6. Where would this work be done and what costs are incurred at a landing, wharf or possible yard during this program?
          7. Who provides the over sight an management?
          8. Would you have on hand a licensed master or mate to lead the project?
          9. Who provides the tools, equipment, paint, materials, possible equipment replacement?
          10. Are you prior considering any fund raising and who does that?
          11. What would any use or marketing scheme be for said boat if even finished?
          12. With any 'volunteers' you have to consider their free time.
          13. With any 'volunteers' taking risk doing that work would you or your producer have insurance coverage for them and the boat itself?
          14. Would you have in time security or a night watchman?
          15. What link to shore electricity or working generators aboard do you have for power during this work?
          16. Would you, or your network, have on call a lawyer [Admiralty Law] or in business law to handle questions, legal matters, control of any funds?
          17. Would this project require filing for an IRS 501(c) 3 status and who does that?

          I would suggest that you and your TV--or any network--consider the work now underway with the DELTA QUEEN docked at Houma. Read these discussion threads for links to work on the GOLDENROD SHOWBOAT or the Str. JULIA BELLE SWAIN. These vessels are already waiting for help and your coverage. Any interests, financial help, media coverage on these needy vessels would be highy appreciated. Go for what is already there and waiting. I daresay your producer, camera crew, reporter will be waiting a long time with cameras and microphones in hand to catch any real 'action' with "personalities." Nationally there have been other big boat/ship restoration projects already caught on film from beginning to end. The EPPLETON HALL steamer project in Great Britain has also been covered in detail. Do keep us posted. I could go on and on but will stop at this point. Just food for thought. Again, what do I know?

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

          Comment


            #6
            More on the idea

            Gee, Dale, off the top of your head can you think of any problems with this idea? ;-) Yes it sounds like a nice idea, but then when you get into the logistics.... I have to think back to that Big Movers or whatever it was called that filmed the cutting up and hauling of the pieces of the PRESIDENT to St. Elmo. That show ended triumphantly with the movers meeting their deadline, and the narrative was that the pieces would now be put back together into a hotel. Well, we all know what didn't happen...and the pieces are still there, mostly we think, covered in dirt, rusting away into nothing. Another thought about restoring the BOOMTOWN BELLE, or any gambling boat other than the CASINO ROCK ISLAND: they were built as casinos, not boats, and as such they have no windows, for example. You'd have to cut out sections of bulkheads for those, and make other changes in order to make it into a real boat. David said what I was thinking, the DQ is the perfect boat for such a production as far as name recognition, importance. But obviously she doesn't meet the 1000 pax standard, and most importantly any work on her to put her back into service is going to have to be done with the utmost care and precision, not with just 'weekend warrior' volunteers as this show appears to have. Now as far as restoring her to a hotel status, maybe there is potential. Obviously I think the CRI would be a good fit for the show, but probably the most significant abandoned boat worthy of help is the GOLDENROD, but sadly she doesn't fit the show's concept of a large passenger vessel...

            Comment


              #7
              Tv show re riverboats

              I agree with Judy and will be talking to Mark Dalbis of Atlas Media in Burbank their West Coast Dept later today an will pass the thoughts along on this.Perhaps they could change their 1000 limit an run the documentary on our beloved Delta Queen?Carole Matthews Pompano Beach Just a brief side note American Queen is coming out with one I think it is July 2015 an will try to find out more about it.I think a Delta Queen show would be far more interesting than an old abandoned riverboat.Carole in Pompano Beach Fla

              Comment


                #8
                Talking to office people

                Carole, if you reach that person, please do not paraphrase my postings or use my name. Please refer him to this site to read my postings firsthand. Thanks.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Talking to office people

                  Judy Mark is their casting director.I will not use your name an refer them to the postings.No problem Thanks Carole M Pompano Beach Fla

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I couldn't even begin to fathom why watching an ugly discarded gambling boat on TV be resurrected into another life as what, a gaming boat once gain or an oversized excursion boat, would be of any interest to the viewing public. I seriously doubt that the production company will be successful in finding such a boat that is scheduled to be overhauled. I also doubt that the production company wishes to spend the millions of dollars needed to bankroll such a questionable project any how.

                    The GOLDENROD would be of historical interest and certainly worthwhile, but the owners don't appear to have all of the necessary funds yet to revive the aging showboat. The CASINO ROCK ISLAND certainly is a lovely boat, but her current owners wish to sell her not rehab her. The JULIA BELLE SWAIN would make a nice choice for documenting the work that is being done to bring a laid up steamboat back into service, but perhaps she is too far along in her restoration to be of use. Although I'm sure there is recent video of the work that has been done over the past year that could be used to tell the early part of the story.

                    The DELTA QUEEN, in my humble opinion, would be the logical choice. Her owners are media savvy, and would probably welcome such exposure. She is a one of a kind piece of Americana with an incredible history. She already has much name recognition. Capt. Mike Williams is an excellent spokes person, and he exudes love of the vessel. The owners of the DQ have a financial plan as well as a business plan in place with an eye towards the future. There is political intrigue with the vessel, so that would be of interest to the potential audience. The publicity would more than likely not hurt the DQ's chances in Washington either. And I'm sure there are other reasons why the DELTA QUEEN story would give these Hollywood producers more bang for their bucks.

                    Oh, and, Carole, if you talk to any of those Hollywood types again feel free to mention my name! And just what is the AQ coming out with in July?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      TV SHOW abandoned riverboat

                      Frank I will mention your name if it comes up an as far as the AQ in July my friend Shannon Rouse a former guest relations employee on the AQ said they have told her about the documentary an asked if she might be on it. She said it has not been filmed yet an she will get back to me when she has more information. She lives in Memphis where the AQ is based.Nice lady.Thats all I know except they said they are shooting for a July air date. When I have more information I will of course post it.When I talk to the casting director from Atlas Mark Dalbis I will indicate the general consensus of the steamboat.org posters they should be putting the iconic 88 year old National Treasure on the documentary instead of an old abandonded riverboat.PS Keith they are trying to reach you for your comments. Carole Pompano Beach Florida

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Looking East

                        At the risk of offending my dot org pals I would also suggest one of the Bob-Lo day boats that ran in Detroit. Both are current in states of preservation/storage/arrested decay. I recall COLUMBIA is in Toledo and STE CLAIRE may be in Detroit. They are propeller vessels and not overnight boats.

                        We now return our normal focus to the Western Rivers.

                        Wesley

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi Judy - i'm sure we'd consider a smaller riverboat under the right circumstances. But in this case - the bigger the better. This needs to be a BIG undertaking. That's one of the elements that will make this TV worthy!


                          Originally posted by Judy Patsch View Post
                          Can't call it a real riverboat - it was a casino on the Harvey Canal, whose cruising career might have been a month or two. It was infamous for it's captain's excuse for not cruising at night: "It's dark out there." I think when she went out, it was only a few hundred yards. Louisiana caved in faster than any other state to the gambling companies to allow dockside.

                          As to the idea of restoring a boat, great, but to say it has to hold 1000 or more passengers basically limits it to one of the ugly discarded casino boats, which as I said, weren't much as boats. Too bad you won't go for a smaller vessel, such as the CASINO ROCK ISLAND, which is fleeted on the Illinois River just above Peoria, at Hamms Holiday Harbor Marina, mile 178.6, still owned by Jumers I believe. She has beautiful lines of a boat and an operating paddlewheel, but I believe her capacity was about 600. She would be a gem operating on the rivers again.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Hi Dale -

                            That's a lot of questions! Let me see what answers i can provide.

                            As a TV production company - we already produce shows for History, Discovery, Travel, Nat Geo and more. We've been producing documentaries and documentary series for over 25 years. We've worked with local, state and the federal goverment. We've partnered with NASA, The Secret Service, the U.S. Military and the NYPD. We may not know exactly what we're getting into - but it's our job to figure that out.

                            This project is currently in the development stages. That means there is no network attached. Networks rarely develop their own programming. They buy it from companies like ours - who come up with ideas, concepts, etc and create the show. So that is what we are currently doing - creating the show.

                            Who gets the boat after it's restored? Whoever pays for the restoration (or otherwise owns the boat) will probably make that decision.

                            We don't a Marine Surveyor at this point. But we don't have a boat either. So no problem there.

                            We are already talking to the Coast Guard.

                            Volunteers are welcome. But we will be looking to professionals to do the restoration.

                            Your next several questions depend on the boat... Too soon to answer. Some of the questions after that i would defer to the company doing the restoration.

                            As a production company - we always have lawyers to make sure we are within the bounds of the law. The networks have plenty of lawyers of their own.

                            We are talking to one of the owners of the Delta Queen later today. It's unlikely we would end up doing this project about the DQ for a variety of reasons. But the primary reason is that the DQ restoration is already underway and it's still in pretty good condition. For this project we want to START the restoration. We want to see it from beginning to end and have it be a HUGE undertaking.





                            Originally posted by R. Dale Flick View Post
                            *Questions/Issues/Expenses to consider*
                            Steamboating colleagues,
                            Dear Andrew Jacobs, I read with interest, considered, pondered your TV plan to "Bring an abandoned boat back to life." With all do respect, I hope you don't take questions and points of view as objections. Judy Patsch, David Dewey, Ron Anderson make good points. Nobody knows boats like Judy with her study along with being a veteran crew member on the Str. NATCHEZ. Both have experience on the DELTA QUEEN and other boats to their credit. David also has wide experience and views well worth considering. Yet, Andrew, your plan is still a bit foggy in my mind to the point it sends up a red flag. Beyond presenting such a production do you know what you are getting yourself involved in? You made no mention, so far, of your locale or region. What purpose beyond this do you have? Restoring ANY vessle can be a daunting task to say the least. What happens to any said boat following that? Who gets what and who profits--if at all. What is the size of your TV viewing audience? Are you a major U.S. city or a smaller town?

                            You made no mention of your TV station. I'm asking what national affiliate do you have with any of the major networks? Who is your producer and what budget is provded?
                            1. Do you have a certified marine surveyor on call?
                            2. What, if any, legal or financial cases or leans may be on record against the boat you picture?
                            3. What involvement would our Coat Guard have in examining, approving any such plan?
                            4. Are you thinking you can accomplish such a plan relying just on volunteers or others?
                            5. What condition is the boat's superstructure, engines, piping, wiring, fire protection systems?
                            6. Where would this work be done and what costs are incurred at a landing, wharf or possible yard during this program?
                            7. Who provides the over sight an management?
                            8. Would you have on hand a licensed master or mate to lead the project?
                            9. Who provides the tools, equipment, paint, materials, possible equipment replacement?
                            10. Are you prior considering any fund raising and who does that?
                            11. What would any use or marketing scheme be for said boat if even finished?
                            12. With any 'volunteers' you have to consider their free time.
                            13. With any 'volunteers' taking risk doing that work would you or your producer have insurance coverage for them and the boat itself?
                            14. Would you have in time security or a night watchman?
                            15. What link to shore electricity or working generators aboard do you have for power during this work?
                            16. Would you, or your network, have on call a lawyer [Admiralty Law] or in business law to handle questions, legal matters, control of any funds?
                            17. Would this project require filing for an IRS 501(c) 3 status and who does that?

                            I would suggest that you and your TV--or any network--consider the work now underway with the DELTA QUEEN docked at Houma. Read these discussion threads for links to work on the GOLDENROD SHOWBOAT or the Str. JULIA BELLE SWAIN. These vessels are already waiting for help and your coverage. Any interests, financial help, media coverage on these needy vessels would be highy appreciated. Go for what is already there and waiting. I daresay your producer, camera crew, reporter will be waiting a long time with cameras and microphones in hand to catch any real 'action' with "personalities." Nationally there have been other big boat/ship restoration projects already caught on film from beginning to end. The EPPLETON HALL steamer project in Great Britain has also been covered in detail. Do keep us posted. I could go on and on but will stop at this point. Just food for thought. Again, what do I know?

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

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hi Frank!

                              Thanks for your input. We are looking at the Goldenrod. And we are talking to one of the owners of the DQ today. It's a longshot as the DQ is already well along in it's restoration process. For this project, we need to start from square one!


                              Originally posted by Frank X. Prudent View Post
                              I couldn't even begin to fathom why watching an ugly discarded gambling boat on TV be resurrected into another life as what, a gaming boat once gain or an oversized excursion boat, would be of any interest to the viewing public. I seriously doubt that the production company will be successful in finding such a boat that is scheduled to be overhauled. I also doubt that the production company wishes to spend the millions of dollars needed to bankroll such a questionable project any how.

                              The GOLDENROD would be of historical interest and certainly worthwhile, but the owners don't appear to have all of the necessary funds yet to revive the aging showboat. The CASINO ROCK ISLAND certainly is a lovely boat, but her current owners wish to sell her not rehab her. The JULIA BELLE SWAIN would make a nice choice for documenting the work that is being done to bring a laid up steamboat back into service, but perhaps she is too far along in her restoration to be of use. Although I'm sure there is recent video of the work that has been done over the past year that could be used to tell the early part of the story.

                              The DELTA QUEEN, in my humble opinion, would be the logical choice. Her owners are media savvy, and would probably welcome such exposure. She is a one of a kind piece of Americana with an incredible history. She already has much name recognition. Capt. Mike Williams is an excellent spokes person, and he exudes love of the vessel. The owners of the DQ have a financial plan as well as a business plan in place with an eye towards the future. There is political intrigue with the vessel, so that would be of interest to the potential audience. The publicity would more than likely not hurt the DQ's chances in Washington either. And I'm sure there are other reasons why the DELTA QUEEN story would give these Hollywood producers more bang for their bucks.

                              Oh, and, Carole, if you talk to any of those Hollywood types again feel free to mention my name! And just what is the AQ coming out with in July?

                              Comment

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