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I had asked this on Host Doug's cruise ships over 40 posting but after I thought about it I decided it should have been a new subject. I keep hearing that 2010 is the end for the older classic ships. Is it not possible for them to be retrofitted to meet these standards? If not why?

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by 56 chevy cruise:

I keep hearing that 2010 is the end for the older classic ships. Is it not possible for them to be retrofitted to meet these standards? If not why?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes and no, and as for why... It's a very, very, long story. It's after midnight NYC time and I'm too darn tired to answer right now icon_wink.gif .

 

To give a brief overview... It is safe to say that any ship built 1980 or later should be able to meet all safety regulations in the forseeable future with minimal modification. Ships built between 1965 and 1980 could go either way, depending on subtleties of their construction that I will explain when I'm not half asleep. Before 1965... I'm honestly not sure but there are almost no large ships left that age any longer. I think some pre-1965 ships might be OK but I'm not 100% sure of that as nobody has been able to give me a straight answer. (Maybe I should write the IMO - but then I'd probably get back the sort of incomprehensible bureaucratic gobbledygook I've seen way too much of already while investigating this.) As I said, more tomorrow when I have the energy to tackle this question.

 

Doug Newman

Cruise Critic Message Boards Host

e-mail: shiploverny AT yahoo DOT com

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Sorry for the late reply... I was rather busy yesterday and didn't have time to reply then.

 

To understand this whole situation (or at least to try to - I don't understand it fully so I doubt I could explain it so that anyone else would) we have to go back to the history of SOLAS.

 

The SOLAS convention was first convened in response to the TITANIC disaster. The first SOLAS convention was adopted in 1914; subsequent conventions were adopted in 1929, 1948, 1960, and 1974. Since the 1960 convention, SOLAS has been the responsibility of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

 

SOLAS 1960 brought about new fire safety requirements for passenger ships. There were two main ways to comply with SOLAS 60's fire safety requirements; these were called Method I and Method II. (The French also devised a Method III, which was something of a combination of both that nobody seems to be able to fully explain.) SOLAS 60 took effect for all new ships built after 26 May 1965.

 

Method I essentially said that a ship needed to be built entirely of fireproof materials. Method II said that the ship could use combustible materials, but had to have sprinklers to compensate for them. Interestingly, which method to use became in many ways a national preference (and as I said the French seemed to have their very own Method III which is some sort of combination of both). The Brits and Scandinavians, for instance, did not want to give up their woodwork and mostly went for Method II but Americans (who had already made fireproof construction de rigeur years before) and Italians amongst others tended towards building Method I ships, though by the 1970s Method I began to prevail even in more traditionally-minded countries.

 

When SOLAS 1974 was introduced, ships had to be built entirely with noncombustible materials, but sprinklers were still not mandated though many ships built to SOLAS 74 did have them. (Examples of ships that did NOT have them were HAL's NOORDAM and NIEUW AMSTERDAM and Royal Caribbean's SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS-class ships.) Essentially, Methods II and III were thrown out and Method I became the sole acceptable method for compliance. However, as usual, ships built to older standards did not have to comply; only newly-built ships did. SOLAS 74 came into effect for ships built after 25 May 1980.

 

In 1992, a new amendment was introduced to SOLAS 74 that would require that all new passenger ships be fitted with fire sprinkler systems and also with low-level emergency lighting systems. These amendments took effect for ships built 1 October 1994 or later.

 

At some point in the 1990s (probably at the time of these 1992 amendments, though I'm not positive as I haven't got a full copy of SOLAS), it was also required that ALL passenger ships would have to comply with the fire safety requirements of SOLAS 74, no matter when they were built. While ships built to SOLAS 60 Method I or to earlier versions of SOLAS 74 would require relatively small changes (installation of sprinkler systems and low-level lighting systems, which cost probably a few million dollars per ship), ships built with combustible materials (e.g. to SOLAS 60 Method II) would have to be completely rebuilt without combustible materials. Since this is not economically feasible, most of these ships will out of necessity be removed from service by the time the new regulations come into effect. The sprinkler regulations come into effect in 2005 and many newer ships without sprinklers have been or will be retrofitted, but the regulations concerning combustible materials in existing ships do not come into effect until October 2010. This is often mislabelled "SOLAS 2010" even though it is just an amendment to SOLAS 74.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Doug Newman

Cruise Critic Message Boards Host

e-mail: shiploverny AT yahoo DOT com

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by 56 chevy cruise:

Thank you for taking the time to answer this complicated question.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No problem. That's what I'm here for!

 

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Maybe before 2010 someone will come up with the technology to save some of these ships.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I doubt it. The combustible material requirement is very difficult but suffice it to say that short of completely gutting a ship it would be almost impossible to fullfill.

 

Doug Newman

Cruise Critic Message Boards Host

e-mail: shiploverny AT yahoo DOT com

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, it won't apply to many ships that most of us would be familiar with, it seems to me. I can't think of a lot of ships built pre-1980 that are still in service in the North American market - there's really only the QEII and Norway in that I can think of. MSC and Royal Olympic may be in a bit of a sticky situation, though :eek:

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Well, it won't apply to many ships that most of us would be familiar with, it seems to me. I can't think of a lot of ships built pre-1980 that are still in service in the North American market - there's really only the QEII and Norway in that I can think of.
NORWAY is gone from the North American market anyhow. QE2... I don't know. Carnival has stated that the 2010 changes will not cause them to retire any of their ships - but that was carefully worded so that I can't rule out the possibility that it just means that they don't plan on keeping her that long anyhow.

 

But no, it won't affect that many North American-market cruise ships; most of the older ones are already gone. However speaking globally there are still a fair number of pre-1980 ships with question marks next to their names.

 

MSC and Royal Olympic may be in a bit of a sticky situation, though
Royal Olympic have much stickier things to worry about, like what they do in August (this year, 2004) when their bankruptcy protection runs out!

 

MSC, by 2010, should have long disposed of their older tonnage. I would say that within two or three years we will probably not see any ships in the MSC fleet that were built before 1998 (former MISTRAL) at the earliest.

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Ah, ok, I thought they were running some older ships, based on what I saw a few years ago.
They have three older ships, MONTEREY (1952/1988), RHAPSODY (1977), and MELODY (1982). However I expect that by 2010 all three will be long gone from the MSC fleet as they already have two new ships (MSC LIRICA and MSC OPERA) and may have as many as seven more by 2010. You can read more on our MSC board.
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