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Redlinekid2 05-13-2013 02:31 AM

Is it now safe to say the the classic oceanliners are extinct?
From 2000 to the present, we have witnessed the onslaught of the classic oceanliners. With the SS Oceanic quickly gone, there are so little to choose from as far as preservation goes. I suppose that we can blame the Asbestos insulation for its demise, in the case of the SS Norway. Who was to believe that the installation of the Asbestos would prevent a would be savior from obtaining some of the classic oceanliners of the post WWII. The SS Rotterdam was certainly a learning curve for all of use as the cost of removing the Asbestos caused the initial budget of the ship's renovation to go from 6 Million Euros to over 250 Million Euros.

I sometimes wonder how things might have been for the SS Norway is the asbestos was never onboard the ship to begin with?

Dave 05-13-2013 07:43 AM

They all do seem to be gone. However found this yesterday.

jack2007 10-30-2013 02:50 PM

What about the SS United States ?
Since 1996 she has been docked at Pier 82 on the Delaware river.

Dave 10-30-2013 03:24 PM

The ship has it's conservancy, but the news never seems to move much beyond a lot of cheerleading.

LisaP 10-30-2013 09:03 PM

The Conservancy is doing some good work. Yet, we all know that the ship will never sail again. I hope the ship is saved, somehow, and in a more meaningful place to her past passengers than what happened with QE2. At least we have QM2, a modern ocean liner.

I'm about to start a book on the ship's architect, William Francis Gibbs, and how he brought the SSUS into being. I'll post my thoughts once I've completed the volume. It's received rave reviews from others.

Cruise Law 02-10-2016 07:25 AM

William Francis Gibbs and the S.S. United States
You have chosen a truly fascinating life to write about, Lisa. William Francis Gibbs was a visionary when it came to ship design. Whenever I read about shipboard fires that end with no casualties and only minor damage, I think about this man and his attention to safety at sea. This was evident in his fastidious attention to ensuring that the S.S. United States should have no wood on board, save for its special Steinway piano.

One can only wonder if his attention to safety wasn't influenced by two tragic fires that occurred during his lifetime, involving the General Slocum in 1904 and the Morro Castle in 1934. Both ships were consumed by flames, with their wood, paints, and fabrics fueling the devastation and producing deadly fumes. The Wiki page about William Francis Gibbs covers many of the well-known facts about him, such as the monumental conversion of the liner Vaterland into the troop transport Leviathan without the benefit of designer's blueprints.

But I've read elsewhere, and I don't remember in which of the out-of-print ocean liner books it might have been in, that he walked around with a piece of wood in his pocket to knock on for good luck. I've also read that some of the passions of his life were fire trucks, theater, and of course, ships. This passion showed in all the superlatives of the S.S. United States. The ship could steam at 20 knots going astern, around the same speed that many large ships cruise at going ahead. I had the good fortune of speaking with one of the engineering officers from the "Big U" years ago and he told me the ship could pull away from post-World War II era destroyers on the open ocean without so much as breaking a sweat. This was all courtesy of the incredible 240,000 horsepower power plant Mr. Gibbs chose for the ship.

Reading about the recent developments with Celebrity Cruises, I hope the United States will offer fun at sea for many families while providing them with the opportunity to touch an icon from an incredible era of ocean travel.

Good luck with the book!

Tim Akpinar

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