Lets bring the SS United States back to life


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Oct 23, 2000
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I'll put it succinctly: I wholeheartedly agree with and support the concept of bringing the S.S. United States back to life so that she can sail again.
(Sigh!) And yet out there today are all those looney (for the most part) plans to make a "Titanic II" or a "Titanic hotel". Not one major, big plan to bring the S.S. U.S. back to life is yet in the works.
Are we living in another Guilded Age or something?
I just cannot believe all these folks are running around with plans to build all these spooty, silly, gold-plated dogs and cats while the S.S. United States sits at anchor in Philly all forlorn and rusty and waiting for somebody who cares enough to show up and save her. It is just DISGUSTING, and it curdles my blood to no end.
If all the money that would supposedly be spent on those frivilous projects was instead sunk into the S.S. U.S., you could get a world-class restoration project going.
And just what sort of restoration project should be done?
I'd vote that she be restored to her original appearance, and to full operation. With modifications that needed to be made due to modern-day safety standards, and other neccessary upgrades, being done.
In fact, a 1906 steamboat in Minnesota was restored following such a formula.
Sure it has a public-address system now as well as a lighting rod on the smokestack, a GPS, etc., yet she still was restored to her former glory 100%.
Happy to relate: an S.S. U.S. foundation was formed a year or so ago with plans to save the ship, so there's rays of hope enwrapping the famed North Atlantic speedster right now, by God!
I certainly hope the United States sails again someday, restored to her former glory once more.

Richard K.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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I would bet long odds on the ship actually sailing ever again, at least under her own power. She's no spring chicken and you can bet a lot of the subcontractors who supplied parts are either out of business or don't have anything tooled up to manufacture the needed parts or systems.

I'm not trying to throw cold water on the idea, mind you. I'd love to see this ship restored and serving as a museum if nothing else. The United States is an acheivement of American Shipbuilding worthy of a dignified retirement in a manner and place of honor. I hope it happens.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Steve Arnold

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Jun 28, 2000
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As a child in the mid sixties, while on a vacation with my family to New York, we discovered that the S.S. United States would be sailing for France that morning. We went to have a look and were able to get on the ship and explore quite thoroughly an hour or so before the sailing time. It was a very exciting experience, to see this great ship in its prime and later that morning to witness the spectacle and pageantry of it leaving port. It was an unforgettable experience, one that forever created for me the mystique of ocean travel. I see pictures of that ship now, stripped of her fittings, and it is very sad. I would love to think the ship could one day be restored to her former glory.
 
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Dean Manning

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Michael, Steve,

I agree with both of you wholeheartedly. However, Michael is right. The ship is in horrible condition. About a year ago, one of the local Philadelphia stations did a report on the ship. The cameras were taken into different parts, and I must say, it looked absolutely pathetic. I've also seen the ship a few times while driving across the Walt Whitman bridge. Even from that distance, the ship looks pretty sad. From what I've seen, I think that restoring the ship would be almost as much trouble as building a replica. Not that I'm really happy that a replica named Titanic II may be built (see Joe Shomi's post above).

later.

-Dean
 
Jul 9, 2000
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I don't think a replica will ever be built for the many reasons already discussed on this board. And if it is, it sure as hell won't be done for a mere $100 million. Try four times that much and we can talk about it.

I've been through both websites dedicated to the S.S. United States and even just going through the picture gallaries, one can see that she's been pretty thoroughly gutted. Restoration may be a possibility, and certainly a lot of hull work will have to be done. (Can't have trivial embarrassments like sinking at the pier now, can we?)

Does anybody have a couple hundred million burning a hole in their pockets somewhere?

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Sep 12, 2000
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NO! I no longer have my millions, cause I have read the silly posts of one former navy guy here and have lost all discipline and have a whole raft of books to include one last log of some ship that I acquired yesterday evening at Borders. Man those guys love it when I show up!

So can;t help you MR STANDART! with your millions to build that ship. he he

But you can get me a couple of book shelves for Christmas!

Your dear friend Maureen.
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Jul 9, 2000
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Mo said;" But you can get me a couple of book shelves for Christmas!"

Only if you can get me an entire addition to my house to stash my library. Finances are kind of slim, and that trip to Books a Million and Barnes & Noble added three more books to my pile. Remember, you were the inspiration.
happy.gif


I was doing some webserching and I stumbled on a site with some photos of the United States as she is currently moored in Philidelphia. Not a happy set of pictures. She's in rough shape
sad.gif


Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Oct 23, 2000
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It would be expensive to bring the United States back, no question, but I still think it would be worth a shot.
Heck, volunteers from the Minnesota Transportation Museum once completely restored a 1906 steamboat which was a weary old hull in 1990, and then had been turned into a gleaming, fully rebuilt and restored, steamboat when the restoration work was completed in 1996!
I know the engines, boilers, and other power-related stuff on the United States would need rehab, but when you consider that the group restoring the historic Boston & Maine streamliner The Flying Yankee is not replacing the original power plant but rehabbing it, using newly fabricated parts which are just like the originals being replaced, such things are not impossible.
It would add to the pricetag of restoring the United States if the engines, boilers, etc., were rehabbed, of course, but restoration isn't cheap (and it can't be DONE cheaply, too. For a shoddy rehab would be tacky if not dangerous).
Perhaps the ship could be restored in phases, one of which being solely the boilers and engines...
Ah the famous quote that says: "I look at things and say, 'why not?' " (Bobbie Kennedy said that, right?)

Richard K.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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I don't know if Bobby Kennedy said that, but the guy who turned the USS Intrepid into a museum was well known as a mover and shaker who found ways to make things happen. I wish I could remember his name. The S.S. United States could use him, or a man of his energy and vision right about now.

One of the major spoilers is that this ship is so bloody big so we ain't talking chump change just to make her presentable.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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