Stella Polaris sinks while under tow


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Jul 9, 2000
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There's a recent photo of the ship at the top of http://www.maritimematters.com/shipnewspics.html along with some other vessels that have made the news. The Maritime Matters entry on the ship is at http://www.maritimematters.com/scandinavia.html

This section notes that the hotel functions were closed down seven years ago and that couldn't have helped much with any sort of cash flow, and I don't think her previous owners would have parted with her had she been making money. Anyone care to bet that the material condition of this vessel left a lot to be desired because of this?
 

David Wheeler

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Mar 27, 2005
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I would imagine that the hull was in poor condition after many years of deferred maintenance, which is why I cringe when ever I hear a rumor of the Queen Mary being sold to some far off destination.

I hate to see the Stella Polaris lost in this manner, but would rather see her on the bottom as a diving destination than slowly succumb to the torches of the breakers.
 
Jul 14, 2000
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I strongly agree with David W. When the final bell tolls for these great ladies, I say turn them into diving/reef reclaimation zones off the coast somewhere. This not only benefits the sea life, it allows people to continue to be inspired by their size, beauty and history long after their passenger days are gone.
 

Lucy Burkhill

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Mar 31, 2006
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Hi,
I've just been looking at the pics of the Stella Polaris. I'll have to admit I was unaware of the existence of this ship before reading this thread - sorry, that's not quite true, as I had heard the name before, but had no idea what the vessel actually looked like. I was surprised by the fact that she was so historic and beautiful.
This truly is a great loss. I imagine that there can't be that many vessels still around which date from that period.
Dave and Yuri, you both raise interesting points about the manner in which these once-great liners should meet their end. Certainly, sinking them in order that they will eventually become a reef exclamation or diving zone does seem less brutal and gruesome than the breaker's yard, however, one could argue it does not necessarily preserve their beauty, as decay, and salvage by diving expeditions eventually turn them into ugly corpses. Guess it's the lesser of two evils!

Regards,
Lucy
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>which is why I cringe when ever I hear a rumor of the Queen Mary being sold to some far off destination.<<

From what I've been able to gather, the Queen Mary is in very poor condition. Somebody may well end up buying her but whatever the reason for it, I doubt the idea of towing her anywhere has a lot of appeal. For one thing, the gutting of her engineering spaces has taken away a lot of the weight that would be needed to keep the centre of gravity down to where it should be. Capsize is a very realistic possibility if the tow runs into any weather worse then what it would take to cause ripples on a millpond.
 
Dec 3, 2005
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I wonder if anyone took pictures of the sinking. I recall something like this happening to the Britanis and it was well photographed.
 
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Wayne Keen

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"From what I've been able to gather, the Queen Mary is in very poor condition."

I remember several years ago reading a site of a lady who was apparently somewhat of a thorn in the side of those in charge of the ship. She had a lot of pictures of badly corroded places. It would seem not at all unlikely that moving her might cause her to come apart at some seams.

Wayne
 
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I guess it isn't news to this choir, but a static ship is nightmare to maintain eternally. Queen Mary is no exception. The laity think that such structures are permanent based on our own longevity. Just because she's a landmark, it doesn't mean her time is not fast approaching. It's my guess that this is why we have not seen a boom of nostalgic ships turned into permanently moored hotels. The idea is nice, nostalgic, even elegant, but in practice? Uh uh.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>I guess it isn't news to this choir, but a static ship is nightmare to maintain eternally.<<

Hardly news at all to anyone who has ever made a living at sea, or tried to keep a museum ship up. A lot of people simply have no idea just how much chipping, grinding, and painting it takes just to keep corrosion from taking hold and doing the ship dirty.

The last time I went to see the USS Yorktown (CV-10) I had an opportunity to chat with one of the officers of the museum. He mentioned to me that he had a total of twenty people to do the work on all four vessels that were part of the Patriot's Point museum. Quite a difference from the hundreds or even thousands of crew available to take care of business when the ships were active naval units. Museums don't have assets like that, and sitting in salt water doesn't help matters in the least, but somehow, they still have to keep up.
 

Matthew Lips

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Without wanting to sound like doom-and-gloom, does this mean that one fine day the Queen Mary will simply sink at her moorings?

I guess all of the above could apply to the United States (the ship, I mean!) as well.
 
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I imagine it's like the prostate cancer of ships. It's not whether or not it will happen, it's will they live long enough for it to happen.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>does this mean that one fine day the Queen Mary will simply sink at her moorings?<<

If Long Beach doesn't come up with the money and people with a sound business plan to make things happen as they should to take care of the ship, I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised. I suspect long before that happens, the vessel would be declared unsafe for any sort of operations. An old hull, even neglected can last a surprisingly long time if only because it's made of sterner stuff then the superstructure, but it can't last forever.
 
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Timothy Trower

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When was the last time since becoming a hotel ship -- if ever -- that the Queen Mary was drydocked?
 

Daniel Wright

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Jun 8, 2006
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The last time the Queen Mary was in Dry Dock was when they were converting her to a hotel. I bet even with the Cathodic protection system that hull has to be in poor shape. It's been almost 40 years since she came to long beach.
 
Dec 3, 2005
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Do they ever send guys down under her to check? I imagine it'd be an adequate way to inspect if they don't want to haul her into drydock. I recall tankers getting inspected by underwater ultrasound machines because they were too big for drydock.
 
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lewis beacham

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To be perfectly honest with you I
dont know why they gutted the engine rooms on the Queen mary in the the first place

Though I do have reason to belive that they were going to put a museum where the boilers were because they thought that the boiler/engine rooms would not be a popular tourist attraction.

Well Guess what the museum failed and the most popular place on the ship is the last remaining engine room!!!!! Is'nt that typical they fork out all of that money for nothing!!!!

So if anyone does intend on moving the Queen mary (Which I hope they dont) they would have to put some sort of balast in the empty spaces of the boiler rooms such as water tanks or mud.

All the best
From Lewis
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>To be perfectly honest with you I
dont know why they gutted the engine rooms on the Queen mary in the the first place <<

The short version is that they were planning to put some exhibits down there but these plans were stillborn. As to moving the ship, I think Lewis is right about the requirement for ballest just to keep the ship upright. I don't know if anybody has attempted to crunch any of the stability curves lately, but I'll bet the centre of gravity, metecentric hight and righting moment would be scary.
 
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