Plans call for putting the 50,000-ton. 2,000-passenger United States back in service by July 4, 1996 according to Fred Mayer, CEO and President of Marmara Marine, the company that owns the ship. He said there were a number of scenarios for the American-flagged ship's service, but would not release details.

Mayer said that the United States will keep her machinery, which will give her a speed of about 36 knots. She will also keep her funnels, according to Mayer, who also said that one deck may be added pending the outcome of stability studies.

According to Mayer, the United States has had her engines inspected as well as the bottom cleaned and checked. "She is in very good condition," Mayer said, noting that the American Bureau of Shipping has found the hull to be perfect. The ship is now also clean of asbestos.

Mayer said that he was working to raise the necessary financing to put the ship back in service. He said he expected it would cost $180 million to $200 million to complete the ship. The United States, which was built at Newport News in 1952, has been out of service since 1969 when she was laid up.