Long Beach considers options for Queen Mary, including sinking the ship (Los Angeles Times via Yahoo)
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Those were some of the options considered Tuesday by the Long Beach City Council, which formally took control of the ship last month after the company that held the ship’s lease and the surrounding land filed for bankruptcy protection.
The council took no action at the study session to discuss the future of the 87-year-old vessel but most of the council members spoke in favor of preserving the ship as it is — a floating hotel and tourist attraction — or turning it into a historical monument under the control of a federal agency.
Docked on the city’s shore since 1967, the former ocean liner has long been a challenge to operate. A 2017 study recommended that as much as $289 million worth of renovations and upgrades were needed to keep parts of the ship from flooding. According to documents filed recently in Bankruptcy Court, the Queen Mary needs $23 million in immediate repairs to prevent it from potentially capsizing.
The council was presented with three options to consider: preserving the ship for the next 25 years at a cost of $150 million to $175 million; preserving the ship for the next 100 years, which would require moving it to a dry dock for repairs at a total cost of $200 million to $500 million; or retiring and dismantling or sinking the ship at a cost of $105 million to $190 million.
Poster Note: Back in 1973 when the City of Long Beach, CA purchased the Queen Mary from the United Kingdom, the general consensus was the city paid too much. Those people who said the city paid too were correct.
A friend of our family worked in the Long Beach Naval Shipyard, here is the inside information. The Queen Mary was worn out and not seaworthy. It leaked from multiple locations, many areas were so badly rusted the paint was the only thing holding it together, also the all the cabins used as hotel suites and many other parts of the ship needed to be completely redone. The four smoke stacks were rusted so badly it was a challenge to replace them, they could not be lifted out with a crane. That was 47 years ago.
Today, once again, it will cost $23 million to keep the Queen Mary from capsizing, meaning the bilge pumps can no longer keep up. Here is another, 47 years ago the Long Beach Naval Shipyard did all the repairs to the Queen Mary. Yes, there were time and cost overruns. To do the 100-year plan, the Queen Mary will need to be dry docked. Now here is another inside secret, the Long Beach Naval Shipyard fixed more than Navy ships and the Queen Mary. The shipyard also fixed civilian ships and ran a positive income.
Here are a couple of pictures of the Long Beach Naval Shipyard back in the day
The Long Beach Naval Shipyard with the USS Ranger in dry-dock, circa 1993
Google Earth Long Beach Naval Shipyard with the USS Ranger in dry-dock, circa 1994
Long Beach Naval Shipyard (NSY) Long Beach, California (GlobalSecurity.org)
The Long Beach NSY, which closed in FY97, was located at Terminal Island between the cities of Long Beach and San Pedro and approximately 23 miles south of the Los Angeles International Airport. The Shipyard closing came on top of an estimated 17,000 jobs lost in 1991 due to the reassignment of 38 ships based in Long Beach to other west coast home ports.
The property was first leased to the Federal government in 1935, but most construction occurred during World War II. The shipyard was closed in 1950, then reactivated in 1951 for the Korean War. By 1952, an attack carrier and destroyer escorts had transferred there. The shipyard also hosted minesweepers and MSTS* ships. Supply and fuel depots at the site were reactivated in 1955. Additional ships were ported at the shipyard, and other ships were refurbished for transport overseas. In 1974, base realignment downgraded the shipyard to a naval support activity, and dozens of ships were transferred elsewhere. However, the base was again upgraded to a Naval Station in 1979. During the 1980s two battleships were refurbished at the shipyard.
The Long Beach NSY industrial area encompasses 119 acres of the total 214 owned. There are 120 permanent, 39 semi-permanent, and 6 temporary buildings, for a total of 165 buildings. There are 17 different shop work areas and 2.4M SF of covered building space. The shipyard had three graving docks, and five industrial piers. There are 12,307 linear feet of total ship berthing space. Crane capacity ranged from 25 tons to 67 tons (portal) and from 25 tons to 112 tons (floating).
The Long Beach NSY was equipped with facilities and skills to perform all non-nuclear structural, sheetmetal, boiler, rigging, electronics, electrical, lagging, ordnance, sandblasting, welding, machining, woodworking, painting, pipe fitting, and other work pertaining to the overhaul and repair of surface ships. Dry dock No. 1 was designated the West Coast nuclear powered aircraft carrier (CVN) emergency dry dock. The shipyard possessed complete design, engineering, and planning capabilities to support its industrial work.
Now here is the major problem with the 100-year plan, the nearest dry dock for a ship the size of the Queen Mary is in San Diego. The ship is not seaworthy and now has modifications which present a major problem.
Long Beach Naval Shipyard, circa 2002
Long Beach Naval Shipyard, circa 2005
Long Beach Naval Shipyard, 2021
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July 22, 2021 at 3:13 AM #436339
July 24, 2021 at 3:03 PM #436822alcinaParticipant
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That’s a shame. When I was a kid, we frequently visited the old Pierpoint Landing — loved feeding the seals! — and then we’d often head over to the QM just to gape at it. When Shoreline Village was built many years later, we made occasional visits to hear my aunt play music there on the weekends. Several years back, my sister and I spent a couple of nights at the QM hotel, which was actually quite comfortable, and surprisingly cheap at the time. No doubt it was old and faded, but it totally outclassed the Carnival Cruise we were on a few days later (my first and definitely last cruise). The QM had all sorts of displays about the history of the ship, and the rooms seemed to preserve their original design, though it was unfortunate — but completely understandable — that the saltwater tap on the bath was disabled.
"The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them." -Julius Nyerere, First President of Tanzania
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