Boat deck resurfacing

mitfrc

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Jan 3, 2017
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Here's a thought that occurs to me. If you have the weight of the flooded bow section cantilevering the stern upwards, when the keel fails and lets go, is it possible that the change in the Center of Gravity could cause a sudden forward rotation of the bow section?

In other words, keel section fails amidships, bow and stern are now functioning as two separate boats precipitously connected by shell plating around C-B deck level (if the Mengot "Hinge" theory is right) and the forces of gravity acting on the bow section shift dramatically. Suddenly the weight of the stern section is off its back and the CoG shifts forward in the bow section, causing a rotation where the flooded nose plunges and the semi-dry midships section snaps upwards, giving the illusion of the bow section rising as a whole.
That is plausible to a small but possibly perceptible extent on the deck. The stern of the bow, in short, rose, which was part of the bow section; I often think that the small number of people who said the ship broke in two and the bow rose aren't taking about a V-break but rather what you describe (which is literally the bow section rising, most of the quotes meet that definition), I've never looked hard at it to rule it out or not, though.
 

Gram

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Mar 17, 2018
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I think the ship broke apart at a rather high angle. Lightoller described “a huge rumbling roar” when the ship was at an angle he had estimated to be about 60°. Of course the ship never reached 60° before the break, but the propellers would have at least been high up out of the water before the breakup.
No, there was a simulation done in the documentary Titanic at 100: Mystery Solved that showed that the breakup happened somewhere between 19-23 degrees. I think that it was just Lightoller's angle of view that led him to see such a steep slope.
 

Kyle Naber

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No, there was a simulation done in the documentary Titanic at 100: Mystery Solved that showed that the breakup happened somewhere between 19-23 degrees. I think that it was just Lightoller's angle of view that led him to see such a steep slope.
Oh I agree. I don’t think the ship reached 60°, but I can only understand Lightoller’s claims if the ship hadn’t broken apart until the first two funnels had collapsed. 23° can easily look like 60° if you’re in the right spot.
 

Gram

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I see. Although, I think it could be possible that the second funnel collapsed before the water actually reached it. Bright sparks were seen coming from the top of the second funnel as it collapsed, so maybe it could've fallen because of some sort of explosion below decks?
 

Kyle Naber

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I see. Although, I think it could be possible that the second funnel collapsed before the water actually reached it. Bright sparks were seen coming from the top of the second funnel as it collapsed, so maybe it could've fallen because of some sort of explosion below decks?
That’s possible. I’m not completely sure either way, though.
 

Gram

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Here's some diagrams of what my theory might look like: (does not include falling funnels or lights going out)

Right before break: (2:17)
44716


Right after break: (2:18)
44717


Right before final plunge: (2:19)
44718
 

Kyle Naber

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This is the conclusion that Jeffrey Stettler made:

44719


I think the bow would have been too far gone for it to settle evenly after the break.
 

Gram

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Just out of curiosity, where are those diagrams? I'd like to look at them. Also, if that's the point of maximum stress, isn't it possible the ship broke before that? Or am I misunderstanding something?
 

Kyle Naber

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Also, if that's the point of maximum stress, isn't it possible the ship broke before that?
That’s true. However Jack Thayer said that the second funnel had collapsed in front of him and then saw the break moments later.

The paper is called “Flooding and Structural Forensic Analysis of the Sinking of the RMS Titanic,” written by commander Jeffrey Stettler as a result of a two-year study of the wreck, the blueprints from Harland and Wolf, and the materials used to build the ship. Here’s a link:

 

Gram

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That’s true. However Jack Thayer said that the second funnel had collapsed in front of him and then saw the break moments later.
Yes, but Thayer also said that when he jumped, he could see the crow's nest, which was submerged by the time the second funnel fell.
 

Gram

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No, in a 1932 account by Thayer, he says:
"The water by this time was up to the crow's nest and the ship was down at the head substantially. Occasionally we heard the noise of a bulkhead breaking. The lights were on and there was a roar of escaping steam. [Milton] Long and I stood by the rail away from the crowd, about midship, and talked over many things, the ship all this while sinking faster and faster, seeming to move forward in the water as it went down by the head.
Long said good-bye to me and slid down the side of the ship. I never saw him again. Shortly afterwards I sat on the rail, pushing myself as far down as I could, and jumped into the water. The suction took me down until I could have stood it very little longer. I came up, swimming desperately. My life preserver sustained me excellently.
I was trying to get away from the ship. I looked back and the second funnel fell and missed me by about ten yards. This funnel, large enough for two automobiles to go through abreast, made a tremendous additional wash and suction. I was drawn down again.
As I rose, my hand struck the cork fender of one of the overturned collapsible lifeboats which had been unsuccessfully launched from the ship. There were about three or four men on that boat whom I afterwards found out were a wireless operator, Second Officer Lightoller and I believe either [the] Chief Engineer or Captain Smith."
 

Gram

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And if, when Thayer jumped, the crow's nest was at water level, then it might have been the 1st funnel that fell near him, which he somehow misinterpreted as the second. Plus, Thayer said that when he came up, he was near (only a few yards away from) Collapsible B, which wouldn't have been possible if he was near the second funnel.
 
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By the time he jumped the crows nest was under water as the ship was still sinking.
What is missing in the 1932 version (actually there are several strange claims in this version) is what he already stated in his 1912 account.

"We hurried back and stood by the rail about even with the second funnel. She started to shoot down fast at an angle of about thirty degrees."
"I came up facing the ship, and one of her funnels seemed to be lifted off and fell towards me about 15 yards away, with a mass of sparks and steam coming out of it. I saw the ship in a sort of red glare, and it seemed to me that she broke in two just in front of the third funnel. This time I was sucked down, and as I came up I was pushed out again and twisted around by a large wave, coming up in the midst of great deal of small wreckage. As I pushed my hand from my head it touched the cork fender of an overturned lifeboat. I looked up and saw some men on the top, and asked them to give me a hand."
 

Miller88

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Feb 20, 2019
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Several survivors describe the stern as righting itself before reaching a high angle.

My personal theory is that lightoller did see the stern at a 60 degree angle but that was after the ship had broke in two.

I believe the breakup was such a slow event at a relatively low angle that most witnesses didn't see it break, or rather didn't notice it.

So basically the synopsis of my theory is that the ship was going down by the head until the water level reached about the 1st funnel or just aft of it. The 1st funnel collapses and shortly after the 2nd funnel fails due to the ship bowing outward around mid ship (but not yet breaking apart). The bowing out and upwards of the middle of the ship causes the 2nd funnel to lose stability and possibly snapping steam pipes below decks (causing the sparks and steam to erupt from the 2nd funnel). The stern finally reaches a point of angle that the sagging turns into a split and the stern rights itself in the water. The keel, or more likely the C-Strakes are still attached at the breakpoint so the weight of the bow begins to pull the stern back upwards, at which time Lightoller observes the stern at a high 60 degree angle. Then one of two things happen depending on survivor accounts, the bow and stern completely separate creating the breakup that so many saw or the stern ports over and simply goes under.

I would imagine that if the stern and bow catastrophically broke apart while the stern was upwards or 20 degrees or more above the water then witnesses would have described the large wave that such an event would have caused. There would be no mistake from any survivors that the ship did in fact break up. Anyone that remembers the sound of the world trade centers collapsing would have a good idea of the sound a ship the size of Titanic would make if it was to split suddenly rather then in stages at a very slow rate.

Just my 2 cents on the matter for whatever it's worth
 

Kyle Naber

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Anyone that remembers the sound of the world trade centers collapsing would have a good idea of the sound a ship the size of Titanic would make if it was to split suddenly rather then in stages at a very slow rate.
A lot of survivors described “explosive sounds” as the stern sank. This probably consisted of the double bottom bending upwards and the shell plating and decks failing. Personally, I think the “explosions” works well with a sudden break.

I would imagine that if the stern and bow catastrophically broke apart while the stern was upwards or 20 degrees or more above the water then witnesses would have described the large wave that such an event would have caused.
I forget who said it, but someone recalled expecting their boat to be sucked into the ship due to some “explosions,” but they were instead pushed out away from it. This possibly could have been a a small wave as a result of the settling. I don’t mean anything like what was seen in the 97 movie, but maybe something like this:

(Skip to 3:27 (also ignore the ironic title for my argument’s sake lol)).