I've read alot of information about the Blue Ribbon winner, the S.S. United States in the last few weeks. What I can't understand is why the American public allows her to rust in Philly PA. Made by a generation of Americans that won the war and gave us the prosperity that we enjoy today. Her designer Francis Gibbs, put his all into building this speed demon (43 knots) which no large passenger ship has yet or ever surpass. If we let the scrap dealers get her, we will lose another example of American know how and what we as a county can do when we put our minds to a task. We don't have the resources to build a ship like her today. If we can save many great warships, we can save the Big U.
Her "other" use has been superceded by technology as well. She was built specifically for easy conversion to a troop ship (which is why many of the details of her construction, including her top speed and hull design, were classified information for many years). I don't believe she was ever profitable while serving as a transatlantic liner - popular, yes, but not profitable.
If the ship has a future it will more probably be as a maritime museum or commercial venue rather than a working vessel. There is a foundation actively working on the preservation and restoration of the ship, and I've attached the link below.
She is NOT RUSTING!!! She was built of aluminum and as a result is not rusting. I see her almost everyday and it breaks my heart! We taxpayers blew $400+ million dollars on the two hulks in Mississippi, and here we have a real ship that for 1/3 the $ we could have a true masterpiece sailing.
When she left NIT Norfolk, Va(I beleive after 20 years) we heard different things......would be refurbished...sent to India to become razor blades, etc.. Saw here almost daily for a few years...Saw her fighting to escape after a night NorEast storm caused her lines to break (Steel cables applied after this), but she was re-captured by Moran and McAllister tugs and returned to her cell. Whatever beauty she once possessed was not evident when I observed her on Pier 2 Northside Norfolk International Terminals. Thanks to her security guard I went aboard her a couple times....broke my heart just as her heart was broken and her body gutted. Lost touch with her after she was forced out of NIT. Is She worth saving? I don't think so. But I do wish people would make up their mind as to what to do with her....either refurbish her (this will not happen) or make the damn razor blades. Whatever happens, I hope this proud ship does'nt suffer the same humiliation of eviction for not paying her rent, and Port expansion, at her new home as she did at Norfolk.
I went on the SS United States with my parents from New York to Le Havre when I was 12 years old. I still remember the sailing after all these years. My parents still have pictures of the ship when we were on board. Oh those were the days.