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Big U future still uncertain despite being in new ownership

grsao.com

Deckhand
That is a big Shame i hope they don't scrap the Big U it be nice to see her sail back into southampton again like the old times. Dose anyone Know if she is going to be srapped then.
 

Ally

Deckhand
There is a significant number of people and organisations who are fighting to save the ship. Her future was, in reality, in doubt when NCL sold both Norway & Independence for breaking, that raised many red flags about Big U's future security.

Like the other two ships, people fought to keep them right up until the last moment, sadly with Norway & Independence the fight was ultimately lost.

I feel that since Big U is a ship with such a strong attachment to the States, she could be saved at the eleventh hour, but if the breakers offer the right amount of money to NCL, well as history has already shown, they will take the money and run.

Her time could well be running out if the efforts to save her fail.
 

alphakitty

Deckhand
That is great news Ally. :)

There is also some nice photos of Regal Empress leaving Port Everglades for the last time on that site too. :)
 

Ally

Deckhand
I just hope someone in the US has enough money to buy her and get something done to her, Mary, otherwise she will just deteriorate and end up like the SS Catalina at Ensenada, she rotted where she sat and was eventually deemed a hazard and broken up. So although Big U is safe for now, there is still a chance that she won't be completely safe from a natural death as the rot really sets in on her.
 

Captain Larry

Deckhand
What was once a "work of art" can quickly become, without proper maintenance, an "eyesore". Eyesores do not get preserved. Americans are also notorious for throwing away the old and building or buying the new. At least now we are beginning to recycle. But recycling was sold to America on the basis of the economics, not for any altruistic purposes. When it costs more to recycle something than it is worth, off it goes to the landfill. We also have a very poor sense of history, at least to European eyes. This is kind of a long winded way of saying that I doubt the SS United States will be preserved. Firstly, it is a very expensive process. If someone cannot produce a credible "businss plan" showing that a preserved "Big U" would turn a profit in a reasonable period, obtaining the millions needed for restoration and preservation is highly unlikely. And for the Big U to be a viable commercial enterprise, one would have to consider the value of the space it is taking up and what other enterprises could use that space to produce even more income. Frankly, I am surprised that it has been allowed to dominate the Delaware River bank as long as it has. I'm sure there have been numerous proposals for a "better" use of the property. What I have just typed may be distasteful, to you and to me, but it is undeniably true. You can take any object ever constructed and somebody can make a case for not destroying it, but we have to make choices.
 

Ally

Deckhand
I think you are dead right Larry. As much as the thought of losing her leaves a sour taste, in this economic climate - which no-one can say with any certainty when it will end - the Big U could still fall victim to commercial need over historical dream. There are US companies who buy old ships and they are agencies for those who break ships in India & Bangladesh...the US buyer who was involved with both the Norway and Independence sales was in Cumberland, they have a registered office there in the US. If one of these agencies does buy her...or at least offers top dollar for her, no business will turn it down for the sake of history, whether anyone wants to see her as a commodity to sell or not, that is what she is.

It would be lovely to see the old girl looking all spruced up again...I remember her when she was still in service (just)...but in reality and in this climate of economic bust, I am doubtful that she can be saved as many would like her to be. It's all down to economics at the end of the day.
 

Neil

Deckhand
It is a pity she could not be given a quick lick of paint and then opened up as a tourist attraction with some of her artifacts on display.

She was cleared of asbestos, when towed to Turkey, so there would be no problems with contamination if temporary exhibiton areas were created within the ship.

Photo below of one of her cleared lounge areas -
DSCN1675.jpg
 

Ally

Deckhand
Had it not been such a huge project and such a bad time financially, she could have been restored. Without any of her interiors left, she is just a shell which makes the restoration costs even higher.

I hope she doesn't just rot away at her moorings, she is on her way to that already. I know the conservationists don't want her scrapped but with her external condition and interiors being stripped out completely, as much as I would love to see her back as she was, I fear that its a case of wrong ship ay the wrong time of the year, it would take more to restore her than it cost to build her and the money just is not there, least not this year.
 

alphakitty

Deckhand
Well I hope you are all wrong and she is saved. I know you'd want that too. As long as there is hope, it's all good.

We do have a history of saving our National treasures. Just look at the Smithsonian with the Spirit of St. Louis, electric cars, Model T Fords, etc. or take a trip around Boston. The USS Constitution, Paul Revere's house, lighthouses all over the US, etc. There are many museum's and preservationists that work hard t save our history.

I know it's an expensive proposition, but let's hope that we don't just give up on her.
 

John

Deckhand
$300,000 pledged to help buy The SS United States

Philanthropist H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest has pledged a $300,000 matching grant to help a nonprofit buy a historic cruise ship that is rusting away on Philadelphia's waterfront.

The SS United States is the largest and fastest ocean liner ever built in the country. But it has not sailed since 1969 and has languished at Pier 82 for more than a decade.

More information can be found at $300,000 pledged to help buy historic ship in Pa. - The York Daily Record
 

Neil

Deckhand
As she is unlikely to ever be returned to service it would be nice if she could be converted into a maritime museum dedicated to the US Marchant Marine.

Photo of her in lay up below -
2471_1047983922237_1304867778_30277917_7731833_n.jpg
 
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