Saturday, July 26, 2008

The last of the real steam-paddle boats retires

The "Delta Queen", the last operating proper steam-paddle boat in the U.S., is to go retire - sad news for historians of technology and boat lovers. The boat owners are unable to get a Congressional exemption from some of the navigation rules that apply to both river-going and ocean-going ships (the Delta Queen has some inherent structural problems due to its wooden superstructure). The Delta Queen has a modern fire sprinkler system, and has never caught on fire. Since 1904, Congress has been ignorant of developments in boat safety .