They had to make adjustments to
their propulsion systems to smooth things out but they never got better
than minor-earthquake on the richter scale.
Outside sitting area on the Bridge
deck of new SS Guy Molinari,
looking out toward Brooklyn.
new SS Guy Molinari is patterned after the old boats from the 60ís (the
American Legion, JF Kennedy, and Gov Lehman). Aesthetically pleasing; lots
of character. It's much bigger than the other boats (although it only sits
4,500 vs the 6,000 of the SI Newhouse and Barberi; the 60ís boats seat
to a deckhand the Barberi, Newhouse, and the small Alice Austin and
John Noble boats introduced in the nineties were all built by a company
that normally makes barges and retrofitted such an architecture on the
boats. Thus their long flat chassis; they look like barges that have had
seats put on board. The Molinari has curves and lots of nooks and crannies
in its interior.
elevators, and in one section is a little nautical, visitor area with
glass walls that have maps of the world etched on them with blue lights
emanating from the ceiling down onto a nautical-compass-looking thing in a
round glass case that is supposed to generate a hologram but wasn't
working yet. Elsewhere, there's a poetry-reading section (a selection of
pre-recorded poems are read by various famous people over the speakers),
and another what-the-heck-is-this display that is supposed to project a
sonar image of the boats bottom, but also wasn't working yet.
exhilarating first ride. I felt like I was taking an inaugural run
on the Starship Enterprise. Even as we docked on the Staten Island side,
gliding up to the old American Legion sitting in an adjacent slip,
which was completely empty except for two officers chatting on the
third deck, one of the officers got up and watched the Molinari
glide in -- a scene straight out of the first Star Trek movie.
only negative a deckhand could point out was that the
Molinari class boats are more difficult to dock than the other boats
because they are heavier and have more sensitive steering.
truly amazing thing about my first ride is that you have a thousand or so
people on board obviously taking their first ride on the boat as
well, and they just find a seat and sit down and read, or what have
you. Only a few people walking around exploring. Trust me Iím not
trying to pat myself on the back here I just donít get how 97
percent of the population has not one iota of curiosity. I mean
youíre on a new god damned boat. Get up and look around.
overheard last night on my second ride on the SS Guy Molinari:
vagrant looking guy, outloud, as we were walking onto boat:
"Well how much did this thing cost?"
"30 Million? For that much money they could have built a subway
from here to there and we wouldn't have to wait this long."
overheard later at the front of the boat, looking down from the
hurricane deck, as we were about to dock:
gentlemen, speaking to a couple of other strangers: "How much
did this boat cost?"
guy (not me), very matter of factly: "1.6 billion dollars. It's
the only boat of its kind."
gentlemen: "Well that ain't for us; we think it's for us but
it's for the tourists..." And on went the conversation of what
they could've spent the money for..
more new boats on the way! The Marchi is up in Maine making its way down;
just got through the St. Lawrence River before it froze up with the recent
freeze. The third boat (Spirit of America, topic for another time) is yet
to be commissioned; itís out in the Wisconsin shipyards.
below are of the SS John Marchi and the SS Spirit of America, after
they entered service.
John Marchi, while in service in June, 2006