Current state of Queen Mary Bankruptcy

Ryan Thompson

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Dec 6, 2005
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The last time the QM was drydocked was so long ago. The treatments have advanced a lot since then, right? If it were drydocked and repaired/restored again, wouldn't it last indefinitely?

The proposal I read last year in Sea Classics magazine would have the ship in a permanent drydock so that salt water corrosion and leakage would no longer be a concern. My bet is that ultimately, a similar containment will not only have to be built around the Queen Mary, but a number of other museum ships as well.

If this happens, it would also allow for the removal of that awful looking propeller viewing box, since people would be able to see the propeller in person. Hell, it would maybe even allow for the reattachement of the other propellers, or exact cast copies of them, at least. (The other propellers *are* gone, right?)


Seems like if she absolutely needed to be in drydock, it might make more sense to build a temporary cofferdam around her and reinforce the trusses that she rests on.

So the QM is actually resting on supports and not floating the water? What kind of truss supports are they? I'm curious. I never knew about this.

A cofferdam. Would the rock walls be too close to the ship for that? Looking at the rock wall in the photos, and making an educated guess, isn't it sort of a pyramid-type stack? If the rocks have been dropped in one on top of the other, they'd naturally form a sort of triangular shape when viewed in profile. Would the lower edge of this triangle be too close to the QM to drive vertical beams down do create a cofferdam? Cofferdams love mud and sand.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>If it were drydocked and repaired/restored again, wouldn't it last indefinitely? <<

Nope. Salt water and salt air are both the relentless enemies of steel and they never give up. The only way to keep the problem under control is through constant attention. A vessel in service is always and constantly being repaired and repainted to do this but sadly, ships kept as museums seldom recieve such lavish attention and they suffer accordingly.

>>I've seen that as well and it may be the best solution.<<

Actually, this may well be the only solution for the long haul, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if other museums start to move in that direction. Some already have. The USS Albacore is on land as is the USS Cod. The same applies to the ships in http://www.hnsa.org/ships/stewart.htm
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>That's interesting. Is the deterioration a fraction of what'd it'd be in water?<<

I would suppose that it would be, but I don't know of any studies that have been done on this. The one problem I can see is the possibility of ground water seeping in to do the hull dirty but it would take a long time to do it. It's worth noting that sunken vessels such as the CSS Hunley encased in mud have turned out to be very well preserved when dug out and raised. The USS Monitor which enjoyed no such protection, is in very poor shape.
 

James Smith

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Dec 5, 2001
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quote:

So the QM is actually resting on supports and not floating the water? What kind of truss supports are they? I'm curious. I never knew about this.
Everything I've ever seen states that the Queen Mary is actually afloat, and does not receive any exterior support. Perhaps Joe's seen something I haven't?

--Jim
 
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Kyle Johnstone

Guest
Two of Queen Mary's propellers are nearby,
one graces the entrance to the Long Beach cruise terminal, the other is discarded.
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Kyle Johnstone

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The underside of one of her lifeboats
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In person one can clearly see holes
 

Joe Russo

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Apr 10, 2006
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Yes, I read that the ship actually floats, but there are trusses underneath her to keep her in place. I believe it was on a tour of the ship since I'm not finding it online.
 

Sean Hankins

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May 15, 2004
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Aw that picture of the ships wrapped in land is just wrong! :)

If the QM is taken out of the water I'd like to see it done along the lines of the SS Great Britain http://www.ssgreatbritain.org/ She sits in a drydock and has a layer of glass around the waterline area with a few inches of water on it to give the illusion of being afloat. Of course this is on a much smaller scale with the Great Britain.

Kyle, nice pictures thanks for posting them. I wonder what happened to the last missing propeller. One of the shops onboard sells small replicas of the ship said to be made from one of the props so I suppose thats it.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Of course this is on a much smaller scale with the Great Britain.<<

I don't know if that's even going to be practical with the Queen Mary because of her sheer size. She ain't exactly a bathtub toy. Still, I think that eventually, she's going to have to be taken out of the water.
 
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Timothy Trower

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Given her size, I'd say that the water is going to have to be taken away from her.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Given her size, I'd say that the water is going to have to be taken away from her.<<

That appears to be the plan with the battleship Texas. What I'm wondering is how they mean to support the hull. It looks to me as if they're going to have to build a drydock along with the keel blocks to properly support the structure.

God knows where they're going to get the money for it. Same with the Queen Mary. Projects like that are hardly cheap!
 

Ryan Thompson

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Even if some shipwrecks have been shown to be preserved in mud, I think the embedded-in-ground idea would be bad the QM. The SS Great Britain sits above a glass sheet -- it looks like is keel is sitting right on it. Would it be more realistic if a glass field were built at the actual waterline? It could even be texture glass to get people onboard a more realistic feeling. Or, if you really wanted to go all-out, a glass field like 6 inches below the waterline, and then the 6 inches above it would be a shallow water tank. Just a thought. The QM would sit in a faux scenario of where its at now.

Is there only one propeller attached currently?
 
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Timothy Trower

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"Is there only one propeller attached currently?"

Yes. The other three were removed during drydocking. As the photos above show, at least two of them can be accounted for. Why the spare lying on the dock hasn't been sold for scrap is anyones' guess, though.
 

Sean Hankins

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May 15, 2004
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"I don't know if that's even going to be practical with the Queen Mary because of her sheer size. She ain't exactly a bathtub toy. Still, I think that eventually, she's going to have to be taken out of the water."

Building a drydock where she sits now might be the best solution but I agree that adding the glass and water illusion isnt practical for her being over 1,000 feet long. As long as her hull is sound this would still allow her to be in the water and then serviced when needed. Going down into the drydock when empty of water could be a ticket draw in and of itself.

It would be expensive to build this but it would also be expensive to wrap her in dirt which seems so undignified for a ship that was (and still is) touted to be a luxury liner.
 

Ryan Thompson

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Dec 6, 2005
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S**t = sheet, my bad.

Sitting up completely out of water sounds like a good way to go. If they went with something beyond a permanent drydock, how hard would it be to actually bring up the ship up so it actually sits on trusses on the lot along side where its currently berthed? Is that prettymuch an impossibility?
 
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Timothy Trower

Guest
Jim,

Thanks for the information on the missing propeller. Now that I think of it, I have one of those keychains -- my wife found it for me several years ago. Additionally, I remember that metal from the funnels was also recycled into trinkets and such, but I've no other details than that.