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  • Can This Ship Be Saved?

    Posted by David Foster on October 1st, 2009 (All posts by )

    The SS United States, a fast and beautiful passenger liner, was built in 1952 and operated in commercial service until 1969. She is now in danger of being scrapped.

    Lots of pictures in the slideshow at the link; also, some of the comments are interesting.

    More about the ship at Wikipedia, and here is an organization which is attempting to save this vessel.

     

    4 Responses to “Can This Ship Be Saved?”

    1. shannon Love Says:

      Not really sure it should be saved. Time marches on and we have several preserved examples of the height of the classic ocean liners. Do we really want to spend a lot of money keeping yet another floating museum that really doesn’t preserve anything special? If I was to put my money into preserving something, I would try to preserve something inelegant and unpopular like an ore hauler or an oil tanker. Future generations might be more interested in how we moved our material wealth about than how we spent our vacations. After all, we’re more interested today in clipper ships that hauled tea and other cargo than the passenger ships of the same era.

      It’s always sad to see something great end whether its a piece of technology, a building or even a natural feature but change has to happen. We should be thoughtful in what we preserve.

    2. Dan from Madison Says:

      Neat slide show. Nobody is more sentimental than me with these things, but it would take an immense amount of money to restore that thing to make it a floating museum or to restore it to service. I think the best use at this point is scrap in the India yards. As Shannon said, time marches on.

      We have scores of ships that men actually died on in WW2 that were sold for scrap to many different nations. To me those vessels are (were) much more important than this passenger liner.

    3. Mitch Townsend Says:

      I think its speed tells us why it will not be sailed again. There is no real reason for a fast cruise ship these days, with air travel getting people around much faster if they’re in a hurry. Cruise ships now are more destinations than they are transportation. This ship, if restored to its original configuration, would be extremely expensive to operate due to fuel consumption. Even changing the power plant to something less muscular would not solve the whole problem: the hull was designed for high-speed cruising in the icy North Atlantic. Smaller engines would still be pushing a very heavy ship and using plenty of fuel. As narrow as it is (again for the sake of speed), it would be difficult to lay out the interior so as to put enough passenger cabins in.

      It is a beautiful ship, though.

    4. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Just as long as no tax money is spent on it.