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Where to Buy an 18-Foot Propeller

The SS Unites States Conservancy hopes to raise at least $100,000 in the sale.

June 2, 2014
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SS United States

The SS United States was designed with a 101-foot beam so that she could get through the Panama Canal with 2 feet of clearance on either side. Courtesy SS United States Conservancy

The SS United States Conservancy, in an effort to raise additional funds for restoration of the 1,000-foot-long historic vessel as a museum, is offering an 18-foot propeller to the highest bidder willing to pay at least $100,000, which is the prop’s scrap value.

If a buyer is not found by Tuesday, June 3, the Conservancy will have to sell the prop to a recycler. (Four additional props are safely stored in New York and Virginia museums.)

“We agonized over this decision, but the proceeds from this sale of the propeller will buy us some crucial time to finalize promising negotiations with investors,” Susan Gibbs, the Conservancy’s executive director, stated in a news release.

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The prop is made of nickel, aluminum and bronze, and it weighs more than 60,000 pounds — which should make for interesting shipping costs (they’re not included). Its initial design was classified “top secret” by the U.S. government as engineers worked to build the fastest ocean liner in the world. The SS United States broke the transatlantic speed record on her maiden voyage in 1952, when she made an average of 35.59 knots eastbound.

“This is the last of its kind and the last time an SS United States propeller will be offered for sale,” Gibbs stated. “Our objective is to prevent the entire ship from being lost at this time.”

Learn more about how to place a bid at www.ssusc.org.

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