Author Topic: Jan 2021 : Concerns are growing over the future of Queen Mary in Long Beach  (Read 189 times)

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Online Rob Lightbody

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Concerns are growing over the future of a jewel in the crown of Clyde shipbuilding
By Sandra Dick

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18998886.concerns-growing-future-jewel-crown-clyde-shipbuilding/

If you look at the comments section, you'll see I couldn't stop myself wading in...
« Last Edit: Jan 10, 2021, 01:59 PM by Rob Lightbody »
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Offline Thomas Hypher

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It's sad to see the disregard some people have for her, such as the person in the first comment that you reply to Rob. There's a lot of so called "sea blindness" around these days which is appalling for an island nation.

As to whether the City of Long Beach would step in, in the wake of at least a couple of failed operators, I don't hold out much hope. They've had 50 years of benefitting from her with minimal financial outlay on their part (besides the initial conversion/wrecking of course) and they're not going to want to spend the large sums of money apparently needed on her from their own pocket in this day and age and I don't see investors flocking to her cause either. Preserved, static ships are notorious money pits after all and can so easily succumb to unfavourable politics (think FNS Colbert, MV Augustus etc etc).
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Online cunardqueen

I would had it not been for Covid have enjoyed a night onboard and the usual Sunday Brunch. Im well aware if l went looking l would find faults , The comments l feel can be dismissed by clueless idiots. The trouble with surveys is that a survey will without any emotion pick out all the faults. Mindyou a thorough inspection by any Environmental Health inspector could close down any kitchen, if they so wanted. A simple thing like a fridge seal with a crack could if they were so wished do that. However ask them to look at any Chinese kitchen and they will roll their eyes. Some might say its best not to look into any industrial kitchen, But if you do , do so with an open mind and closed eyes.

The lifeboats have in recent times given cause for concern but to refurbish them was costing if l recall about $10K each. In recent years the Towers on the bridge wings have been closed, which is a shame.The recent hull painting relifted the beauty of her and enhanced her look from onshore, Some might say the money could have been better spent elsewhere. A tour down to the engine rooms will show the engines and prop shaft a bit dusty but if you go exploring to the empty boiler room you will see standing water which perhaps you shouldn't really be seeing. some might say you shouldn't be in that area anyway

Queen Mary until covid struck was pulling in the tourists and bringing in much-needed revenue. How she will fare after covid is anyone's guess. Alas covid has already taken a few of the good and the greats of Hospitality  All my visits to Long Beach have revolved round Queen Mary , l dont go to her to see Long Beach, l did once take the free shuttle into town, but really didn't stop long and came back to the ship .
I would like to sincerely hope she will be around for a few years yet, But given her age and her always commented upon the fragile state of disrepair it's anyone's guess.  But there is always hope.   
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Offline Oceanic

Long Beach have rather unfavourably played their hand when it comes to the Queen Mary. She's become an icon to the city and the Californian state, basic preventative maintenance over the years would've saved them from the sticky situation she's in now.

From what I've seen, following tags and accounts on various social media like a hawk, they are doing maintenance where they can; fixing longstanding damage to the wood panelling in corridors, reinforcing the area under the swimming pool, and further rust conversion painting in the savagely gutted areas. However, even with all the current lease holders good will, the core issue remains:

Queen Mary either needs a dry dock for major structural repairs, or to have her hull encased, as with the Japanese pre-dreadnought Mikasa. Long Beach, as Thomas has already stated, has made grand sums on her over the years, it would probably be far cheaper, and less stomach churning for us, if they forked up to either: cheaply fully encase her lower hull in concrete, or, take a note from the SS Great Britain and build a lovely, presentable, sealed dry dock, rather than continuously paying out for odd jobs.

They like to claim that the Queen Mary is an unprecedented conservation challenge; one Google search to find out the as-salvaged condition of SS GB , takes all the wind out of that argument. Not to mention, this challenge is of their own making.
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Online Peter Mugridge

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Encasing the hull in concrete would probably not preserve her long term would it?

If she can be properly supported, the Great Britain / Cutty Sark solution of a permanent dry dock would be best - but they'll have to be very careful indeed to get their calculations right for the supports.  The stress loading will be critical and must be properly balanced to mimic the effects of being afloat.
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Offline Thomas Hypher

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Encasing the hull in concrete would probably not preserve her long term would it?

If she can be properly supported, the Great Britain / Cutty Sark solution of a permanent dry dock would be best - but they'll have to be very careful indeed to get their calculations right for the supports.  The stress loading will be critical and must be properly balanced to mimic the effects of being afloat.

That would be an awesome experience to be able to venture under QM, if Cutty Sark is anything to go by (much recommended to visit just for that alone)! However I'm not sure QM has the structural strength post conversion to deal with the new structural stresses that would cause - mightn't her hogging problem reappear if she's suspended and not supported by the seabed (if she sits on it at times like at low tide?) or by the water she floats on otherwise? What struck me about Cutty Sark's hull when visiting her last year is how much ribbing it is made up of, and I'd imagine SS Great Britain isn't much different. Also what would happen to QM's propeller box arrangement if it were out of the water, and particularly if they filled her "lagoon"/basin in with concrete - let alone the remaining propeller.
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Online Peter Mugridge

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However I'm not sure QM has the structural strength post conversion to deal with the new structural stresses that would cause - mightn't her hogging problem reappear if she's suspended and not supported by the seabed (if she sits on it at times like at low tide?) or by the water she floats on otherwise?

That's exactly the risk - supporting her properly in a neutral manner.

However - if she's currently alternating between sitting on the sea bed and floating free twice a day, that in itself is a serious risk; the repeated hogging and sagging from that is likely to be of a greater extent than in a sea swell and the consequent repeated flexing of her hull will be causing damage in itself.

Think of what happens if you repeatedly slowly flex a soft drink can, even just from gentle thumb indentations...
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Online Rob Lightbody

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I've never heard anyone say she rests on the seabed in 35 years of following her. I'm sure she's afloat at all times.

Her main problem is the huge structural alterations that were made to her that reduced her integrity, one mistake that i believe Dubai have not made with QE2.
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Offline Thomas Hypher

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I've never heard anyone say she rests on the seabed in 35 years of following her. I'm sure she's afloat at all times.

Her main problem is the huge structural alterations that were made to her that reduced her integrity, one mistake that i believe Dubai have not made with QE2.

I wasn't sure either way if she does or not having heard different things or maybe just getting mixed up - glad she is afloat at all times from a structural stress point of view.

Dubai have not made the same mistakes with QE2 thankfully, which was also confirmed in the most recent documentary, in order to avoid the same problems as QM.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 12:13 AM by Thomas Hypher »
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2, in her new life, in Dubai back in January 2020.

Offline Oceanic

I wasn't sure either way if she does or not having heard different things or maybe just getting mixed up - glad she is afloat at all times from a structural stress point of view.

Dubai have not made the same mistakes with QE2 thankfully, which was also confirmed in the most recent documentary, in order to avoid the same problems as QM.

I’m glad QM’s sorry state isn’t totally in vain then, the Dubai team seem to have gone to great lengths to prevent her hull corroding in particular. I suppose all these headlines of doom, gloom and costly repairs would be enough to scare any big corporation into action to avoid the same thing!
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Online skilly56

Two years ago my wife & I spent three very enjoyable days/nights on Queen Mary before flying home to NZ.
We did the boiler rooms/turbo genny rooms/engine rooms/shaft tunnels/steering flat tours and I was a little concerned at the condition of some, but then one has to think of her age. She is still afloat.

The idea of encasing the hull in concrete has one serious draw-back. Any moisture that manages to come between the hull plating and the concrete, when heated in the sunlight, will cause very accelerated corrosion of the hull plating, but if she is no longer afloat then this is not going to cause a buoyancy problem, but it will allow moisture ingress once the hull plates have corroded through.

Some ships I have sailed on have only required one area of hull plating to be replaced early on in the ship's life - that is where the engine room dirty oil tank uses the hull plating as one boundary of the tank, and that tank is located close to the waterline. Because the dirty oil is heated to 80 - 85 degrees C before passing through the purifiers, this heat is also present in the boundary hull plating of the tank. While all the other surrounding hull plating can be in excellent condition, the sea water side of this hot oil tank will be pitted & corroded in only a few years.
Older ships burning HFO can also experience this problem to a small degree as the heating coils in the F.O. double bottom tanks also warm up the hull plating. New bitumen tankers don't have this problem as they are required to have double-skinned hulls, so the hot plates are isolated from the hull plates.

To encase QM in concrete could actually create more problems than it solves.


Offline June Ingram

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Very well explained Skilly.

Remember the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa. It was built at a time when cement encased the steel structural components. With salt, moist air, and cracks from aging in the concrete, the bridge was doomed to collapse. And without sufficient repair, it was just a matter of time.
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