Help save the S.S. United States
The S.S. United States is a one of a kind piece of
American history. It holds the transatlantic speed record
for crossing in just over 3 days. The ship hosted many famous
people and even carried the Mona Lisa because of its speed and reliability.
Built with 65% U.S. government support, the ship was eclipsed by
air transport at the height of service and was pushed out of business in 1968 after only 14 years of operation.
Donations have kept the ship afloat at the dock.
But the she needs preventative maintenance and repairs.
The S.S. United States is the last of the Great Steam Liners.
Recently Inspectors for Crystal Cruses found the hull is
in good condition. Just needs Paint.
The Hull is 2 3/8 inch thick stainless steel.
The decks and inner walls are high strength, light weight aluminum.
For this reason the ship is very stable. She floats like a top.(*)
I think it should sail again. It's a symbol of our
collective work as a nation. And I believe that's worth saving.
Before coming to Philadelphia, previous owners stripped down the
interior to make way for refurbishment. The Interior is now
Yellow primed Steel framework.
Occasional walking tours are available for $150 to members.
But google 'images' and youtube give a good tour too.
Deck Plans of
The SS United States. (aligned)
Songs for the restoration. (wssus youtube channel)
Currently the S.S. United States is run by a small non-profit which gives about 80% of charitable donations to a marine terminal. Half of that goes to the state of PA which owns the dock.
The non-profit sends $60,000 per month, (about $10 Million so far). And fundraising takes up virtually all the their time, preventing maintenance, limiting return of emails or calls (except to high paying cash donors).
This also thwarts acceptance of competent management of the ship. (I asked.)
As of December 2018 the Conservancy budged just a hair, and
sloffed off some management responsibilities to a real estate
firm with no experience in ship operations. In fact a ship is not
considered real estate at all. It is rightly a piece of high-tech
machinery. (high tech because very few people understand or
remember how to operate it.)
The new firm RXR will "begin to explore options". Not a moment
too soon as the ship has been idle at the dock since 1995. Yet
the ship is not a building. A management company would only
collect the cash and perhaps fill soap dispensers. Very handy if
they could do it for me economically.
While RXR does 'develop' properties, the SS United States has
been closely examined by industry experts for decades and no
deal was found. It simply isn't a cruise ship, casino or
shopping mall. It's a unique asset. They need an inventor.
Few people EVER invent anything. Putting pretzels on your
baloney sandwich doesn't count.
Is the latest deal just a stall tactic? Is it just propaganda ?
Now they can 'say' they have management. But are they managing the
ship? There appears to be no maintenance in the history of the
conservancy. All money appears to be pocketed in return for dock
access and continued fundraising. Laudable needs. But it ends
right there because the ship can never function a without MY
PERSONALLY TAKING CONTROL OF IT and running it.
The one thing they can never let go of. They won't even discuss
a real deal. Zero. Nothing.
It is unknown weather the management company is retained
(receiving some of the donations) or if 'the conservancy' is
simply expressing willingness to talk with only them. The
tiniest possible step forward, but to exclude all possible
talent except the few friends who arranged the so called
"deal". Is Steve Jobs hiding out at RXR ?
I will check on this in the new year. Hopefully adding some new
people will open the ship up to deal making. But that just pits
RXR against whoever has the knowledge and understanding to run
the ship. So its nearly impossible. It doesn't earn anything,
can't be reached and needs tens of millions in paint and service.
But it's still floating.
I think saving the ship is tantamount to saving America.
Let's see if they're willing to Make the SS United States Great
again, without further abusing the historic vessel.
It's hard to get anything other than historical information.
But that doesn't 'preserve' or 'use' the ship. It needs wider support.
The S.S. United States needs a renaissance statesman, a technologist,
to provide proper management, product development, media management and new methods of coordination. I do that. But you can't just tell a non-profit
what to do, they would go half way and be lost.
(And thats what happened, hireing a management company before they have a way to run the ship.)
Is the candidate familiar with American Heraldry? Steam Tables? Organizational Dynamics? Methods of Architecture? Product innovation? Publicity? It takes all- skills.
And SS United States ship can only function correctly if it's managed for the right reasons.
Social, Historic, Economic and Spiritual. It takes 'all domains' of knowledge. It's what I do.
None of the donors have had the 'cash' to make it a private venture.
Its just too much investment AND maintenance. So the ship must open to the
public. For that, it will need a suitable location. But the State owns
the docks, which are run by private contracts. They are the arbiters of the
ship's fate. Not the conservancy. *
As a promoter, I have worked out the public profile and operations.
I have solved most of the financial hurtles. The Current dock could make more money if the ship left. (Cargo ships off-load thousands of containers at hundreds of dollars each, far outstripping the 60,000 monthly dock fee.
But relocating the ship requires more than just water and a dock.
It requires the right lease agreement. And I have that worked out.
It has to be free.
A local port company has tentatively offered space.
But the new location needs to be vetted.
Water, Electric, Security and parking are needed.
And there are moving costs.
The current budget will need to cover these things.
But decision makers are hard to reach.
All parties need to recognize the S.S. United States is a great advertizement.
This amazing monument will advance trade in the Delaware Valley.
It will promote the city and inspire the nation.
And the people have the unused piers to make it possible.
The Ship for its part will generate a strong involvement from the public.
And donations will finally go toward maintenance. Sustainability is vital.
Once the ship is functioning,(bringing in visitors) the nation could easily chip in a few pennies per citizen per year.
Finally, the S.S. United States will need development of its organization and practices. It needs a separate full time office of management for the ship, not just fundrasing.
It needs a unique champion.
Here's a brief management overview.*
And economic schematic.*
The Ship cannot fulfill her original purpose as a passenger liner because air planes are fast, Cruise ships have different structure and amenities. And container ships are specialized vessels.
So The S.S. United States needs a new purpose. That must be designed, just as the ship was designed.
It requires an exceptional, multi faceted talent, long term skill and commitment. But those problems are solved.
What remains is to get the parties to recognize that they have a resource, and need the management to develop it. They have a government but need the good will to engage it.
With so much going on, I hope you will send a message of support.
Email or donate.
(Even 1 dollar means something to politicians !)
What are America's historic symbols worth to future generations?
What is your voice saying?
A nickle?, 5 dollars?, 500,000?
If you already give, just email to say hello.
Tim (Sept. 2016)
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And pick up some Ubies!