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Land Ahoy

At What Age Does A Ship Become Old?

12 posts in this topic

Hi  There has been plenty debate upon the advantages and disadvantages of new ships versus old vessels on this and other forums but little

is mentioned about the age a ship becomes old.  I don't know the answer, is the QM2 (ten years after launch) now considered to be an elderly lady or do the upgrades added to the ship during major refurbishments extend its longevity

RobBar likes this

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I would think its all in the eye of the beholder, how many people would know how old a ship is without first doing some research, it is the same with aircraft, step aboard a Boeing 747 do you know if it is one recently off the line or is one that is actually 20-30 years old, with modern day refits it would be hard to tell, I would be concerned if the thing was covered with rust and looked like it was due to be beached on one of those beaches in the Indian sub continent.

RiverSong likes this

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I would say that so long as refurbishments are regular it does not really matter how old a ship is, the owners would surely decide when it was not cost effective or if they started losing bookings for that particular ship.wink.png

RobBar likes this

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Hi  There has been plenty debate upon the advantages and disadvantages of new ships versus old vessels on this and other forums but little as mentioned about the age a ship becomes old.  I don't know the answer, is the QM2 (ten years after launch) now considered to be an elderly lady or do the upgrades added to the ship during major refurbishments extend its longevity

 

Queen Mary 2 is due for a major refit very soon when some major changes are due to be made. 

 

Perhaps she is not the best example to use though as she is pretty unique.

 

Perhaps the question being asked should be centred around where are the likes of Thomson, Saga and Fred Olsen going to get their replacements. Their current ships, all second hand or more, are of a size that may be difficult to replace. 

 

Food for thought.

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I would think its all in the eye of the beholder, how many people would know how old a ship is without first doing some research, it is the same with aircraft, step aboard a Boeing 747 do you know if it is one recently off the line or is one that is actually 20-30 years old, with modern day refits it would be hard to tell, I would be concerned if the thing was covered with rust and looked like it was due to be beached on one of those beaches in the Indian sub continent.

 

I would expect the biggest giveaway on age is in appearance....

 

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...and the absence of balconies.

paul1924 and RobBar like this

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As long as they are kept clean, tidy and maintained they are not old. For me it is when they start leaking and creaking where they shouldn't and when they look unloved that they are past their best.

RobBar likes this

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In essence a ship has  a lifetime of about forty years (some have reached 50/60 years ) . certainly the economics  of building the ship and its expected revenue  / expense stream have been worked out prior to building ,.  All ships by reputable lines undergo regular maintenance plus dry docks and extensive parts replacement during their lifetime.

Once a cruiseline determines it is not making monies anymore it will sell the ship to another group who will use it differently

 

All ships are evaluated for safety et cetra/

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Hi  After a little musing on the subject, the only thing I can define new v old ships is the propulsion system used.  I am defining a new ship as any which is powered by a pod system.  I accept I may be incorrect but it's the best I can come up with.

RobBar likes this

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I have tried new and old ships , loved things about them both . Definately agree that as long as they are kept nice with regular refurbishments i would keep cruising on them no matter of age

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I am not a ship expert but not all new ships are fully using an Azipod system as in QM2 uses two pods fixed and two azipods for 360 degree turning

Celebrity is a fill Azipod system and have had trouble over the years , almost on a regular base.

You are correct though as electrical power is used for the pods generated by diesel oil or gas turbine.

I read that some of the older ships have been converted to an integrated propeller rudder system for fuel economy , made by Roll Royce

ANy other thoughts out there

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I think 40 years is about the time most ships get retired. Today there was a debate going on here in Cyprus about Thomson Spirit. She sails from Limassol and back on weekly cruises at this time of the year and also in April. Very popular with ex pats out here on the Island of Aphrodite.

Now today people were discussing on a chat page about the ship.

The reason being,Thomson leases from Louis Cruise Line.

They all got it wrong as it is still owned by Holland America and it is leased to Louis and re - leased to Thomson. Now the ship is 33 years old. I reckon another seven years and she will be retired off. 

Holland America built it as the Nieuw Amsterdam and it suffered bad vibrations from the very start . They sold it and it became The Patriot.

Then they bought it back in the early 2000's and leased it to Louis who in turn lease it to Thomson.

I worked on Holland America at this time and I was at the float out  in ST Naziare France.

 

My favourite liner of all time was retired at 40 that was the SS Rotterdam and also QE2 took retirement at the same age. I am still waiting to reach retirement. 60 is the new 40 I am told. smile.png

RobBar likes this

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