TIP | British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry | Report | Description of the Ship

British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry

Report

Description of the Ship

The "Titanic" was a three-screw vessel of 46,328 tons gross and 21,831 net register tons, built by Messrs. Harland and Wolff for the White Star Line service between Southampton and New York She was registered as a British steamship at the port of Liverpool , her official number being 131,428. Her registered dimensions were: - (Wilding, 19789)


Length............................................................... 852·5 ft.
Breadth................................................................92·5 "
Depth from top of keel to top of beam at lowest point of sheer of C. deck,
the highest deck which extends continuously from bow to stern....................64ft. 9in.
Depth of hold,.......................................................... 59·58 ft.
Height from B to C deck.......................................................9·0
Height from A to B deck.......................................................9·0
Height from Boat to A deck......................................................9·5
Height from Boat deck to waterline amidships at time of accident about..................60·5 "
Displacement at 34 ft. 7 in. is............................................ 52,310 tons.

The propelling machinery consisted of two sets of four-cylinder reciprocating engines, each driving a wing propeller, and a turbine driving the centre propeller. The registered horsepower of the propelling machinery was 50,000. The power which would probably have been developed was at least 55,000.


Structural arrangements - The structural arrangements of the "Titanic" consisted primarily of: -

  • (1) An outer shell of steel plating, giving form to the ship up to the top decks.
  • (2) Steel Decks. - These were enumerated as follows: -
Height to next deck above.
Distance from 34 ft. 7 in. waterline amidships.
Ft. In.

Above.
Ft. In.

Below.
Ft. In.

Boat deck, length about 500 ft.
- -
58 0
- -
A deck, length about 500 ft.
9 6
48 6
- -
B deck, length about 550 ft. with 125 ft. forecastle and 105 ft. poop
9 0
39 6
- -
C deck, whole length of ship.
9 0
30 6
- -
D deck, whole length of ship.
10 6

20 0
(tapered down at ends)

- -
E deck, whole length of ship.
9 0
11 0
5 6
F deck, whole length of ship.
8 6
2 6
13 6
G deck, 190 ft. forward of boilers, 210 ft. aft of machinery
8 0
- -
- -
Orlop deck, 190 ft. forward of boilers, 210 ft. aft of machinery
8 0
- -
- -


C D, E and F were continuous from end to end of the ship. The decks above these were continuous for the greater part of the ship, extending from amidships both forward and aft. The Boat deck and A deck each had two expansion joints, which broke the strength continuity. The decks below were continuous outside the boiler and engine rooms and extended to the ends of the ship. Except in small patches none of these decks was watertight in the steel parts, except the weather deck and the Orlop deck aft.

  • (3) Transverse Vertical Bulkheads. - There were 15 transverse watertight bulkheads, by which the ship was divided in the direction of her length into 16 separate compartments. These bulkheads are referred to as "A" to "P," commencing forward.

The watertightness of the bulkheads extended up to one or other of the decks D or E; the bulkhead A extended to C, but was only watertight to D deck. The position of the D, E and F decks, which were the only ones to which the watertight bulkheads extended was in relation to the waterline (34 ft. 7 in. draught) approximately as follows: -

Height above waterline (34 ft. 7 in.).
Lowest part amidships.
At bow.
At stern.
Feet
Inches
Feet
Inches
Feet
Inches
D
20
0
33
0
25
0
E
11
0
24
0
16
0
F
2
6
25
6
7
6

These were the three of the four decks which, as already stated, were continuous all fore and aft. The other decks, G and Orlop, which extended only along a part of the ship, were spaced about 8 ft. apart. The G deck forward was about 7 ft. 6 in. above the waterline at the bow and about level with the waterline at bulkhead D, which was at the fore end of boilers. The G deck aft and the Orlop deck at both ends of the vessel were below the waterline. The Orlop deck abaft of the turbine engine-room and forward of the collision bulkhead was watertight. Elsewhere, except in very small patches, the decks were not watertight. All the decks had large openings or hatchways in them in each compartment, so that water could rise freely through them.

There was also a watertight inner bottom, or tank top, about 5 ft. above the top of the keel, which extended for the full breadth of the vessel from bulkhead A to 20 ft. before bulkhead P - i.e., for the whole length of the vessel except a small distance at each end. The transverse watertight divisions of this double bottom practically coincided with the watertight transverse bulkheads; there was an additional watertight division under the middle of the reciprocating engine room compartment (between bulkheads K and L). There were three longitudinal watertight divisions in the double bottom, one at the centre of the ship, extending for about 670 ft., and one on each side, extending for 447 ft.

All the transverse bulkheads were carried up watertight to at least the height of the E deck. Bulkheads A and B, and all bulkheads from K (90 ft. abaft amidships) to P, both inclusive, further extended watertight up to the underside of D deck. A bulkhead further extended to C deck, but it was watertight only to D deck.

Bulkheads A and B forward, and P aft, had no openings in them. All the other bulkheads had openings in them, which were fitted with watertight doors. Bulkheads D to O, both inclusive, had each a vertical sliding watertight door at the level of the floor of the engine and boiler rooms for the use of the engineers and firemen. On the Orlop deck there was one door, on bulkhead N, for access to the refrigerator rooms. On G deck there were no watertight doors in the bulkheads. On both the F and E decks nearly all the bulkheads had watertight doors, mainly for giving communication between the different blocks of passenger accommodation.

All the doors, except those in the engine rooms and boiler rooms, were horizontal sliding doors workable by hand both at the door and at the deck above.

There were twelve vertical sliding watertight doors which completed the watertightness of bulkheads D to O inclusive, in the boiler and engine rooms. These were capable of being simultaneously closed from the bridge. The operation of closing was intended to be preceded by the ringing from the bridge of a warning bell.

These doors were closed by the bringing into operation of an electric current and could not be opened until this current was cut off from the bridge. When this was done the doors could only be opened by a mechanical operation manually worked separately at each door. They could, however, be individually lowered again by operating a lever at the door. In addition they would be automatically closed, if open, should water enter the compartment. This operation was done in each case by means of a float actuated by the water which was in either of the compartments which happened to be in the process of being flooded.

There were no sluice valves or means of letting water from one compartment to another.