Construction Delays

Dan Kappes

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From my previous reading, I can only remember there being two major delays in building Titanic, first when the Olympic collided with Hawke, Titanic's construction got delayed because some men working on her had to be transferred to make repairs on Olympic and second, when the Olympic lost a propeller blade and she got Titanic's blade as a replacement. Because of this latter incident I think, Titanic's maiden voyage was bumped from March 1912 to April.

Were there any other times construction on the Titanic was delayed?
 
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Mike Spooner

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I have be asking the same question why the Titanic took 7 months longer to build than Olympic, and quite frankly the Titanic was never completely finished either! With missing furniture and other equipment to. They are quick to blame the delays of the Olympic miss-haps or repairs. But when you look at the time on the slipway which is the longest time to build the ship. The Titanic took nearly 4 months longer to build. Yet at this stage both ships are identical!
 

Dan Kappes

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Yeah, the Titanic and Olympic were constructed side by side as seen in this photo, but the Olympic was launched, fitted out, and set out on her maiden voyage long before the Titanic was even launched!

44706


Maybe Titanic's construction was delayed because of designer Alexander Carlise's attempts to add more lifeboats being rejected in 1910 and him retiring and getting replaced by Thomas Andrews.
 
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Yeah, the Titanic and Olympic were constructed side by side as seen in this photo, but the Olympic was launched, fitted out, and set out on her maiden voyage long before the Titanic was even launched!
Olympic's keel was laid 16 December 1908, Titanics 31 March 1909.

Maybe Titanic's construction was delayed because of designer Alexander Carlise's attempts to add more lifeboats being rejected in 1910 and him retiring and getting replaced by Thomas Andrews.
Nothing to do with the retirement of Carlisle. The lifeboat question had nothing to do with his retirement or the construction. I have done a short research artilce about his retirement.

 

Mike Spooner

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Yes I would agree Alexandra Carlisle leaving the company had very little in the delys of Titanic! Whether he retired or resigned is another question? As I believe he resigned!
Back to the question why has the Titanic hull has taken longer to build on the slipway than Olympic? I have to question as much impressive the 6,000 ton William Arrol gantry was? Was it the most commercial efficiency to build two ships side by side? As I can see there is a bottle neck with cranes movements and placing material along side the ship hull. Then looking at what John Brown shipyard used, who also face the same problem to build such large ships like Lusitania and Aquitania, followed by Queens Mary and Elizabeth they never used this type of gantry. As they used the standard method of tower cranes along both side the hull with a heavy load lifting capacity to. The cost of this method was only 25% of the Arrol gantry used at H&W. Yet surprising enough many the tower cranes as used in the other shipyards were built by William Arrol to!
One has to question who bright idea to use such a gantry? William Pirrie perhaps!
 

Logan H

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the Olympic was launched, fitted out, and set out on her maiden voyage long before the Titanic was even launched!
I'm assuming you got that from "Titanic: Blood and Steel", which severely distorted the timeline of the Olympic-Class liners. Like Mark Baber said, the Olympic's maiden voyage was two weeks after the Titanic was launched. (Titanic's launch: 31 May 1911, Olympic's maiden voyage: 14 June, 1911.)
 

Mike Spooner

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The question of why the Titanic hull took longer to build has not be answered yet!
Olympic keel lay was down 16 December 1908. Titanic keel was lay down 31 March 1909.
Olympic off the slipway 20 October 1910. 22 months and 4 days
Titanic off the slipway 31 May 1911. 26 Months.
As in normal practice its the first one that takes the time. But by the second unit build things should be speeding up. Clearly they have gone into reverse.
There may be a feasible answer to the problem? But I am yet to hear so why?
 

Bob_Read

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Hi Mike: You may be assuming that there were two full crews working side by side on both liners. There would have been some aspects of construction on Titanic which could only be accomplished once certain skilled workers were freed up from working on Olympic. Add to that the fact that these were not the only two ships being built at the time at the H&W yard. There may have also been material delivery delays to the yard where Olympic construction was given priority. It wasn’t any single incident but rather the real world problems of construction scheduling at a shipyard.
 

Mike Spooner

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Hi Bob,
Thanks for the reply and giving some reasons why the possibility of the delays for Titanic on the slipway.
I did also think with war arising ahead were war ships took priority over commercial ships, as there were many parts made in England and Scotland to.
 

Mark Baber

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Mike, the war was still a number of years off, and the first warship launch at H&W didn't occur until 1915.
 

Dave Gittins

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Thanks to one of his relatives, I have a copy of part of the journal kept by Charles Payne, H & W's yard manager. He worked out the times taken to build various stages of the ships. He shows that work on Titanic started faster than work on Olympic, but Titanic soon fell behind and when framing was finished she was one month behind. By the time plating was finished, the gap was 2.5 months. In the time between framing and launching, Titanic lost another 1.5 months to finish four months behind. I suggest that some of the slippage may simply have been due to weather. Olympic's plating was done at the height of summer, but Titanic was plated in winter.
 

Mike Spooner

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Thanks Dave for your answer as I can see some of the points makes sense in the delays of Titanic.

Mark.
The arms race between Britain and Germany was well under way years before Titanic was even thought about!
H&W only come into the war after war had started 1915. Therefore makes me suspicious if H&W were been short change on delivery dates, as many key parts came from England and Scotland were the war ships are been made!