Captain Smith's performance on bringing over new White Star liners


Wayne Myers

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May 23, 2009
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Just when I think every possible Titanic angle has been covered, intriguing new ones emerge. I don't know if this has been covered previously, but I have not seen anything at all relating to it.

Captain Smith, as I understand it, traditionally and ceremonially (in regard for the high esteem in which he was held) helmed White Star liners for their maiden voyages. What is his track record for speed concerning these maiden voyages? Were many record or, at the least, impressive crossings achieved when he was in command? Of course it only seems natural for a steamship company (especially with its chairman on board) to show the public what its newest ship can do. Can any conclusions be made about Captain Smith's track record concerning speed on maiden voyages and the Titanic's "dash" (if it can be called that) to New York April 10-14?

Thank you.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>White Star liners for their maiden voyages. What is his track record for speed concerning these maiden voyages? Were many record or, at the least, impressive crossings achieved when he was in command?<<

If you mean an attempt at winning the Blue Ribband, by this time, White Star had long given up trying to get it.

>>Can any conclusions be made about Captain Smith's track record concerning speed on maiden voyages and the Titanic's "dash" (if it can be called that) to New York April 10-14?<<

Hardly a dash. The ship built up speed gradually over the course of the voyage and it was only on the night of April 14th that the Titanic was running at or near what would have been her normal service speed. There is a possibility that they might have bettered the Olympic's time but the iceberg put a stop to that.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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>>Can any conclusions be made about Captain Smith's track record concerning speed on maiden voyages and the Titanic's "dash" (if it can be called that) to New York April 10-14? <<

Prior to Titanic, Olympic would have been Smith's fastest ship. The prior WSL maiden voyage crossings under him were:

Baltic, 7 Days 13 Hours and 37 Minutes.
Adriatic, 7 days 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Olympic, 5 days, 15 hours, and 2 minutes.

At the rate Titanic was going prior to the accident, she would have easily beat Olympic's maiden voyage performance. Even if she was only able to maintain an average 22.0 knots after the time of the accident, Titanic would have reached the Ambrose Channel lightship in 5 day, 13 hours, 34 minutes.

See the article that Mark Chirnside and I co-authored: Olympic & Titanic: Maiden Voyage Mysteries.
 

Wayne Myers

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May 23, 2009
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Thank you, Sam. Great article, especially so on the Tuesday night docking scenario. Excellent analytical work.

Best,

Wayne
 

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