Moss Point Marine To Build Victorian-Style Sternwheel Riverboat

victorianstyle sternwheel

A brand new Victorian-style sternwheel riverboat reflecting the elegance of a bygone era is now under construction at Moss Point Marine, Inc., Escatawpa, Miss., for the Moody Foundation of Galvest o n TGXSS The 152-foot-long Colonel will be able to accommodate up to 800 passengers on historical and jazz dinner cruises of the Galveston Bay harbor beginning in the summer of 1985. She will be able to serve 500 for dinner and will be equipped with catering facilities, bars, bandstands and hardwood dance floors. Her two main salons, the Galveston Room and the Texas Room, which can host separate parties, will each serve 250. The Colonel will feature large windows affording passengers unobstructed viewing while allowing more people to use them. She will also have a large, open promenade deck at the upper level which can accommodate up to 500 passengers. A souvenir shop will also be located on the promenade deck.

The idea for the vessel began with Bobby Moody, a director of the Moody Foundation, while viewing Paris from a sightseeing boat on the River Seine. He envisioned a beautiful sternwheeler which would show tourists the many interesting sights of Galveston Bay while becoming a tourist attraction itself.

With no prior knowledge of paddlewheelers, or their operations, the Moody Foundation made a nationwide review of similar vessels and their operators. The foundation concluded that the New Orleansbased Creole Queen was the best type of boat for Galveston, and its operator, New Orleans Paddlewheels, Inc., was ideally suited to operate the boat, as well as provide technical assistance on design, selection of a shipbuilder, and construction oversight.

The Colonel will be operated by New Orleans Paddlewheels (Texas), Inc.

Mr. Moody said New Orleans Paddlewheels president Warren Reuther is uniquely qualified as he is an experienced, successful riverboat operator, as well as a former shipbuilder.

Mr. Reuther said Moss Point Marine, Inc. was selected to build the Colonel because of the shipyard's demonstrated ability to build high-quality vessels, and the ease of dealing with the yard's management and construction workers.

The Colonel will be 152 feet in length with a 40-foot beam and 8- foot 6-inch depth. She will be powered by two Caterpillar 3408 diesel engines developing 365 hp each at 1,800 rpm. They will turn two stainless- steel, five-bladed 52- by 46- inch-diameter propellers through Caterpillar 7221 reverse/reduction gears.

Fifty-six tons of Carrier air conditioning and heating will keep the Colonel's passengers comfortable year-round. Power for the air conditioning and other ship's services will be provided by two Caterpillar 3306 diesels through Delco 135 kw, 60- cycle generators.

An EMI, electro-hydraulic steering system located at three stations will guide the vessel, and steering will be enhanced by a 100-hp Propulsion Systems, Inc. bowthruster.

The rich Victorian red carpeting will be provided by a mill in Kittyminster, England, and the decorative wrought iron "Bird of Paradise" and "Pontalba" trim will come from a foundry in Birmingham, Ala.

The sternwheeler is named after W. L. Moody Sr., a Confederate colonel during the Civil War. He founded several enterprises including banks and a cotton company in Galveston.

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