I have a Question
Perhaps someone can answer this.....when the bill passes the house, does the 10 years start when the bill becomes law or when the boat is granted it's COI and is allowed to start carrying passengers?
The reason I ask is, the more I think about and the more I see how long other boats take to be converted or overhauled.....think JBS or the Dowes new boat...I estimate it will take at least two years to get the DQ going. That doesn't leave a lot of time left on her exemption.
*DQ's 10% structural changes/COI*
*DQ's 10 % structural changes/COI*
Jim, you pose a question I hadn't ever considered RE: DQ's COI and when officially it begins. First, 'after' any exemption bill is passed, the company would need a total, in-depth marine survey for answers what the boat needs in a lengthy renovation, repair project and not people looking for the answers they want to hear. I have no idea what a full marine survey team would cost but 'guestimate' no less than $50,000. Then the letting of contracts for repairs, renovations, rehab work begin waiting for parts, repair components, letting of contracts, work commencing, total hull inspection hauled out on the was or in dry dock. Jim not far off with the boat needing a good two plus years of work, getting up and running. The work needed, I hear, is not just "cosmetic."
Any COI would be more legal than political. No vessel, plane etc. can move one inch until again surveyed by either the Coast Guard or the Federal Air Administration and those departments won't change any findings or recommendations even if the U.S. Congress orders them to do so. The process doesn't work like that. The one who would know more would be Capt. Bill Judd who is a well-regarded marine surveyor in his own right. What the requirements would mean having the DQ's superstructure replaced each year on a 10% basis a real problem--and again no 'deals' cut with congress or the Coast Guard over that. How some of these rumors got circulated around a good question. Lots of 'talk' and rumors from 2nd and 3rd parties in the DQ initiative with lots of wishes, maybes, possibly etc. We're now up to November 12, 2017 with December and the new year 2018 just around the corner--with all that entails. Again, what do I know? If anybody does and has exact facts and information in hand with the authority to speak would they please step up to the microphone?
R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati
Dale, you make some very good points in your posting to my question. The reason I think it will take a while for the boat to get running again is all the red tape they will have to go through. For example, one thing we know for sure is the boilers have to be replaced. Those original boilers were designed into the boat, the foundation plates are an intregal part of the hull. Once they decide on and buy new boilers, they will have to get a naval architect to draw up plans for the foundations for the new boilers. Those plans, I'm sure, will have to be submitted to and approved by the Coast Guards technical branch in Washington before the first welding arc is struck. As we all know Washington is not known for its quick decisions. That's just the first step, after that are piping plans, fire suppression plans, and since they are changing an intregal part of the boat maybe even stability calculations will have to be redone. The list goes on and on.
I may be speaking out of turn here. While you and Dale do pose some valid questions, Jim, I also know the management team of the new company have taken all these things into account. You are correct that things move slowly in Washington, but I surmise the management has already consulted with the USCG on the main things that would be required. Some of it will be relatively easy, some not so much so. As far as the original boiler foundation plates being an integral part of the (old) hull, the boat now has a new hull, so that should not be the issue it might have been had the hull not been double-skinned several years ago.
I will admit I have had my own doubts as to the real chances of the DQ running again. I still have questions, like y'all do. But I also have some faith that the owners know what they are up against. Yet, they persevere and remain optimistic. I don't know all the details, and suspect you don't, either. I prefer to remain optimistic -- let's see if we can get the exemption passed, and hope and work for the best. I think it can happen. Will it be easy? No. Will there be other problems pop up along the way? Most assuredly. In the meantime, I'm going to support the effort, and will support the enterprise in any of the ways I can. I don't have much money, but do have some expertise, which I will offer to the new owners, for whatever it may be worth.
Yes, every project needs those who point out flaws, ask questions. I believe the owners are aware of what they are up against. Let's sit back and see what happens. If I am asked for a contribution of opinion, I will gladly give it, and do so in the most honest, thoughtful and positive vein I can.
these are all great ideas.....keep them coming so I can write them down.
*BIG needs/DQ boilers*
Sorry for being so tardy in opening .org to catch up. The DQ boilers, as we all know, are original to the boat (c. 1925-'27) installed in the construction. Old Jim Burns, charged with the project, searched here and there to seek out the finest materials and fittings with the bottom line on the cash ledger book staring him in the face. The original 'DELTA Boat Project,' as it was called, dated back to a big 'California Transportation Co.' picnic in 1922 when 'talk' began to develop after good food and, no doubt, drink. Jim searched the U.S. Navy storage facility up in the bay finding the two then new, unused World War I ['The war to end all wars'] U.S. Navy destroyer water tube boilers along with other fittings and equipment. And so the boilers were dropped in serving until the DQ laid up. Marion Frommel's 'Buckeye Boat & Boiler Co.' here in Cincinnati, among others, worked on those boilers as needed for years replacing tubes etc. when needed. Years ago I saw Marion and crew doing that job in winter layup and it was something to view replacing tubes with dirt, soot, rust, lots of cussing and portable heaters fighting to keep the inside of the boat somewhat warm with no steam raised. No doubt the Coast Guard found other 'things' to deal with up to present codes--and they will not bend in their findings even if "Congress orders them." 'Somebody' opined, "They can cut the lower hull and drop the boilers out from below." This complicated by the mounting steel plates and now the 2nd double hull requiring layup in possibly a dry dock--and that costs big money $$ 24/7. That 2nd hull now not new with, no doubt, a full hull inspection due as it comes once every five years. Then somebody broadcast around here that, "If they can tow the DQ up to Louisville, KY, the Coast Guard district there will be more understanding and lenient." Oh, really?
No doubt today's special ordered boilers 'could' be assembled in sections after removing the old. But how? No doubt cutting out the sides on the lower deck and then sliding, inching in the new. In the old days a steamboat's life was rather limited. Sure, they replaced boilers but boats weren't expected to have a life that long. Boats & ships are like the TV program 'This old house.' The more you look and poke around the more you find. Time needed with a full marine survey, list of 'must do,' requesting bids with return estimates, setting up the job with materials ordered--and that takes time. So much for wonderful, romantic, old-time steamboat life with "red wheel flashing in the summer sun, everybody schmoozing." Again, what do I know?
R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.
In any drydock I've ever been in, the clearance below the bottom of the hull would be far too short to drop much of anything out. Those original boilers are tall -- they reach from the bottom of the (old) hull to several feet above the main deck. Hull depth is at least 14 feet, so the boat would have to be sitting AT LEAST 15 feet above the floor of the drydock to drop them out that way. I'm thinking more along the lines of cutting them up, taking out piece by piece (big pieces). But I'm not a shipyard superintendent, either, and those guys are pretty good at coming up with ideas.
Capt. Reynolds is right as to space available under a vessel on drydock. I've spent way too many hours crawling on my belly to hull gage a vessel. Now a marine ways set up might be the way to go, on the ways there is usually 5-6 ft. of clearance. It might be possible to excavate an area to get that boiler length out. However I'd go with Capt. Bob, cut them up.
*DQ boilers/Emission laws/Exemption time.*
Morning, Steamboating colleagues and a Happy Thanksgiving 2017!
IF and WHEN any exemption is discussed and passed, I think Capt. Bill Judd would be the perfect one to spend time again "crawling on [his] belly" underneath with all that iron hanging above him to "hull gague'." Then Bill can go to work from the smoke stack top all the way down inside to survey this and that with his list growing longer and longer. No problem, right Bill? "Possible to excavate an area" no problem either but it WILL cost big bucks. This why steam all but a dead issue for any present day modern cruise boat with the bottom line $$$ figures in view. But first things first with our U.S. Congress now in the waning days, hours and minutes of the year 2017. And DRATS! those sneaky congressional lobbyist lurking in the wings and around every marble statue in the U.S. Capitol Building to squash this and that. Can't those guys back off?
Remember, there will be the U.S. Coast Guard, and other interests like insurance underwriters, OSHA and other pests looking over shoulders at plans with red pen in hand to X out this and that. And then all the new smoke emission and fuel rules to deal with even for modern diesel tows and other vessels. Might be a good idea to study installing engines with LPG gas up to environmental standards similar to what is facing the steamship BADGER on Lake Michigan. Then the factors of all that will not be 'grandfathered' as the boat lost its COI. What about requirements for 'easy access' with an elevator, cabin baths with showers equipped with safety bars etc. A daunting project but there are those with enthusiasm, big dreams, hopes for the future and we can't take that away from them with support. We shall see. Again, I know what I don't know--but I do know money.
R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.
In my original question....which was not answered,,,,I never mentioned the DQSC's management. They are doing a good job and they know much more than I do the obsticals they are facing. I was addressing a "DQer" who said to me that if the bill passed soon, the boat would be running next summer.
The only reason I mentioned the boiler foundation was I remember being in Alan Bates office as he was designing the NATCHEZ and the Coast Guard was giving him fits on foundation and supports for the boilers. Which seemed to be a matter the Cost Guard took a real interest in. He was wanting to put the boilers down in the hull to keep the main deck from having to be so tall, but to get approval it would require a redesign of most of the hull frame work and would have been very expensive.
My opinion and my opinion only, I still say it would be cheaper and easier, to salvage pieces they want to reuse, and strip the boat down to the steel frame and rebuild it with fire retardant materials just like the Greene Line wanted to do originally, but that would have meant having no business for a year or two and they just couldn't survive that.
*Boiler foundations/DQ 'rebuild*
Morning, Steamboating colleagues,
Jim, your memories of Alan Bates in his design of the stellar NATCHEZ on the mark. Alan, though right-thinking in his work, was one who never liked hearing the word "No." The pressing issue so far not answered is how the DQ could operate with the requirement to have "10% of the superstructure replaced each year" if there would be an exemption--and no 'deal' can be cut with the Coast Guard over that. I've heard lots of 2nd and 3rd hand reports on what will and won't be done but with no supporting evidence from the direct sources involved. The same statement has been circulated around here RE: "The DQ could be up and running by summer if the exemption would be granted before the end of this congressional session." We are now in the waning days, hours and minutes with congress. Just look at the work on their desks now. Unfortunately, statements circulated that "work on the DELTA QUEEN is mostly cosmetic" rings hollow with many. One Coast Guard mentioned in his report that "The DELTA QUEEN is an operation based in antique technology."
The concept of "stripping down" the DELTA QUEEN superstructure to the hull while retaining some elements goes back many years to the regime of Betty Blake/Bill Muster. Letha Greene wrote me a detailed account of this in one of her letters stating "They'll learn soon enough." Later this was presented at an annual S&D of Pioneer Rivermen meeting in Marietta, Ohio with mixed reviews. Another plan offered with drawings was a totally new boat built on the lines of the present European river cruise vessels. The whole integrity of the boat even then would have been totally altered. Today the hull itself would also be in question. Depreciation of any vessel is based on the hull. The cost would be prohibitive even if allowed in addition to the boat losing any historical designation. And again, no answer to now nothing being 'grandfathered' with additional needs for 'handicapped/easy access' with an elevator, 'easy access' cabins similar to what I see each year on the big 'blue water' cruise ships. One who would know more would be our Capt. Bill Judd. Again, what do I know?
R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.