David and his Jones Act you would think he was from Ohio or something. I wouldn't worry to much about that. NCL has more then the Jones Act to worry about. The SOLAS 2010 standards for a ship that hasn't run in 30 years is going to be bad enough and will be the most costly part of the refit.
I am not sure what they will do, they will need to replace or put in some machinery. The ship lacks garbage disposal, sewage treatment, and the vast other amounts (hence the Jones Act question) enviromental protection machinery that come with putting a old ship in service today. As Scott pointed out cruising is quite different then a North Atlantic run. The Carribean ports have become sticklers for the enviroment as have the American ports where she is rumored to sail.
I spoke last night with Captain Johan Ooddlsone (a personal friend) who works for NCL as one of it's Skippers and I had a long conversation about Titanic and the Big U. He asked me if I would ever consider sailing that old a ship even with a complete refit. There is some concern amoung NCL that they may have bought into a project that will take them years to pay off. As with all new builds or new aquired ships the company is going to owe more then the ship is worth and making for a few years, but after that the ship will return (estimated) 5 to 10 fold what they put into her.
There are no Jones-White Act requirements to get around. The Big U and Indy are U.S. built vessels. NCL was also basically given a monopoly on the U.S. port-to-U.S.-port business by a recent act of Congress.
The Big U is basically a blank slate to start with. Bringing her up to SOLAS should not be the biggest challenge.
I am so happy about the Big U being saved! I live in Philadelphia, and so can see her anytime I cross the B. Franklin Bridge to go to New Jersey... (She is actually quite close to the Walt Whitman Bridge, one bridge south of the Franklin.. on Delaware Avenue in South Philly...). Since Philadelphia has a ship refitting yard near by, I hope she will be worked on here.. We need the business! YAY NCL!!
Was thrilled to hear the news. I remember while the ship was in VA., I got on-board (with a little talking) and went around a bit. Remember sitting in the theater and looking at a blank screen. I do remember another man there, who kept coming in and out of the ship with loads of parts, for lack of a better word. There was a hugh container near by, full of valves and pipes. He just kept adding his load to the ones already dumped in the bin. To me as a curious 22 year old it looked like the ship was being plundered for money. I did enjoy the experience!!
As soon as a US yard accepts a bid for hull and engine work, an expensive task. Foreign yards are usually cheaper in this aspect. I spoke to a rep at the yard in Phily, and they seemed not interested in the task.
I expect the Big U's hull is in very good condition. She was built to Navy standards with a welded hull.
I would be surprised if her funnels are not a part of the rebuild. They are very distinctive and powerful looking.
I just hope they keep the superstructure and just add on to it. I am worried they will cut it away and build anew from the hull up. My hope is that they would just renovate the current superstructure, add a deck or two, and reconfigure the stern with pools. In addition to the interior changes, of course.
This plan would still leave a recognizable classic liner, with modern refinements.
I have worked on Boston Harbor boats for a few years, and know if a boat or ship is out of service even for a couple years, extensive work needs to be done before its ready to reenter service.
The United States is an enormous liner, and has been out of service for over 30 years- unless she is totally gutted and rebuilt, I dont see how she could be restored to service...
Gutting won't be much of a problem as it's already been done. I've seen any number of photos of empty spaces with just about everything in sight removed. This included the bridge where all the furnishings and equipment have been removed so all that remains are bare steel and foundations. The problem with being laid up as she was is that the United States ended up becoming a giant bin of spare parts and equipment for anybody who needed it.