Renovations being done to the Queen Mary in Long BeachCalifornia


Dec 2, 2000
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As the article said about midway down:
quote:

But to keep the ship at its best for years to come, much more than the initial $6 million investment will be needed, Zappia said.
Don't get me wrong, it's a start and a much needed one, but still only the beginning of what needs to be done. Decades of neglect and mismanagement have taken a substantial toll on the ship's overall material condition. A fancy paint job doesn't make the rust go away or repair corroded plates.

I'll be interested to see how this new outfit deals with all of that.
 

Sean Hankins

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May 15, 2004
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All I can say is stay tuned. There's a lot of talk going on right now behind the scenes of what to do and the best way to do it. I can tell you that the work on the promenade deck looks great. Its very encouraging to see the method they used to restore the deck. The deck has been sanded level, the seems filled, loose planks replaced/refastened, and the deck refinished. They've kept the deck intact as much as possible Lifeboat number 11 has also just been restored and looks brand new. This was definitely not the "patch and paint" approach that too many of us have seen in recent years on those boats. Hotel deck renovations are happening very soon and if those are done to the level that they're talking about, the ship's future may look bright for the first time in a long time.
 
Feb 4, 2007
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It seems to me that with any building, one would want to make sure the foundation (in this case structure) was solid first before doing cosmetic things like the decks, the carpets, the linens, new TV's, etc.

No, one cannot see structural renovations (usually), but one benefits from them immeasurably more than just from cosmetic gloss. I'd like to know that the deck I'm standing on won't collapse due to hidden rust damage that wasn't properly addressed before the decks were polished over.

It's great that the QM is getting some attention, but is it the right sort?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>It's great that the QM is getting some attention, but is it the right sort?<<

It's a start, and redoing the decking at least puts up a barrier to water finding places to get trapped or leak inside. The condition of the hull itself is probably quite sound. A lot of the damage over time has been to the superstructure and fittings...(You don't dare climb into the lifeboats for any reason.)...as well as some internal structures where water has been able to leak inside.

The ship is recoverable and restorable, but it's going to take a lot of ongoing and diligent attention to make it happen.
 

Jerry Nuovo

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Jan 22, 2010
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Here is a article from another Long Beach newspaper about doing some of the renovations to the Queen Mary in .....China of all places.This would require a transpacific tow which is very risky because the Queen Mary is not really seaworthy anymore because her watertight bulkheads were removed from her sometime after she arrived in Long Beach.Should she start to take on water during the transpacific tow to China,without the watertight bulkheads containing the water within one watertight compartment,her hull would then fill up with water making it then impossible for her to stay afloat.Since the City of Long Beach,California owns the Queen Mary,I hope the Long Beach officials say no to the China proposal.Here is the link www.lbreport.com/news/sep08/qmchina.htm Regards,Jerry
 

Grant Carman

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If they were to try and move the ship, she would have to be transported much like the USS Cole was after the bombing. Much like hitching a ride on top of another ship. That would be the safest way.
If that could be done, and have her restored all at once, it would be great. But just the cost of transporting the ship would be super expensive, unless of course it was part of the display agreement with the Chinese Government.

Remember, the Chinese attitude of 2008 is vastly different than the Chinese attitude of 1972. It would be an incredible way of "saving face" to have their government, and some of the biggest industrialists involved. The City of Long Beach might get a far greater bang for their buck.
 

Jerry Nuovo

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Grant, The USS Cole was somehow transported on this special ship called a piggy-back ship.However the Queen Mary may be too large for this piggy-back ship.Unless there is a piggy-back ship large enough to be able to carry the Queen Mary? Regards,Jerry
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Remember, the Chinese attitude of 2008 is vastly different than the Chinese attitude of 1972.<<

Actually, it's not. China is and always has been about China First, China always regardless of what political lines were being spouted. If it makes them look good, all the better. If it doesn't serve their interests, they don't care. Cynical on their part maybe but if you understand this much, you always know where you stand with them.

It's also an honest attitude which I find quite refreshing.
 
Feb 4, 2007
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Yes Mike, without getting too political, I agree with your observations about China, as they are rooted in legislative fact.

I feel it would be a huge mistake to try and move the QM anywhere across any significant body of water. The risk of her loss is far too great, and could be considered negligence. Besides, the QM is officially listed as a National Historic Landmark. I wonder if there are any Federal or State laws which might bar sending a Historic Landmark to a foreign country?

There are many other reasons to NOT ship the QM off to China, but they are political, and are most likely not appropriate for this board.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Jason, the practical considerations are enough in my book to leave the Queen Mary where she is. With all that's been removed, I'm betting the ship's stability curves would be frightening to say the least. Even with the bulkheads sealed and ballast loaded, I wouldn't want to be whoever rides her to mind the towline.
 

Sean Hankins

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Since the contract with Cunard states that the QM cant be used again to trade at sea, it wouldn't be worth the major expense to reconstruct everything needed to go out to the open water. Since the LB naval drydock was filled in, her best option for a dry docking would probably be to bring a floating dry dock into or just outside of Long Beach Harbor. The idea about towing to china is just that....an idea which probably looks appealing at first because of lower labor costs. Once the homework on feasibility is done its highly doubtful that she'll be going anywhere outside of LB harbor.
 

Grant Carman

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My only point about piggybacking her to China, was that you would get a heck of a lot more restoration done for the same amount of money, and if the Chinese can make some profit from her by showing her off for a few months, then why not.

I agree with everyone that it is not recommended to do it due to her stability, etc, but I was only playing devils advocate by pointing out that the piece meal restorations that has happened to her in the past has not served her well. I certainly hope that the new company can do more, but with the allocated amount of $6 million (I think) that's not a lot given what needs to be done.

$6 million will get you a heck of a lot more in China.

And Michael, I agree with you about the attitude. Once again, my point about the 2008 gov't being different, was only in response to rumours that in 1972, the Communist gov't had a role in the burning of the QE, in retaliation against the Hong Kong businessman who bought her. Whether that is true or not, I don't know.


in my humble opinion of course.
 

Joe Russo

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Apr 10, 2006
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Sean, regarding a contract with Cunard. Is this an actual contract or just a stipulation of the sale in 1967? If a contract, is this in perpetuity or would there be a statute of limitations that would have expired by now?
I had heard that Cunard didn't want the possibility of her sailing again for anyone else under any other name. I guess they didn't have the same affinity for the Queen Elizabeth, hence her demise.

As far as towing, I see a redo of Caronia, SS America or true-life Poseidon Adventure in the Pacific. This is no longer a ship, but a building in Long Beach that is no longer sea-worthy. She's had danger of capsizing even in her stationary position, not to mention being a roller even when she had her guts below deck.
As far as a piggyback situation, even if there is a thousand foot ship that is capable of doing this, I would still worry that 40 years of rust and removal of key structural elements would see her not survive the voyage intact. Remember that many decks were removed below for the convention center and are now completely open. She would probably arrive in China in far worse shape only to face a fate like her sister or Normandie.
 

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