Could Titanic have survived the collision if she had a double hull?


Jan 12, 2020
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Could Titanic have survived the collision if she had a double-hull? If no other changes were made other then having the extra hull?

Or would it be worse as all the water would be trapped on the starboard side with no way to even the ship out? I'm not sure where the trim tanks where located.
 
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Tim Aldrich

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Keep in mind that Olympic and Britannic's double hulls did not extend the full length of the ship. In a nutshell, Olympic's retrofitted inner hull only ran from boiler room six aft to the turbine engine room. I can't tell you about Britannic.

Considering the flooding in boiler room six meant the ship was going to sink, and that if Titanic had been fitted with an inner hull similar to Olympic which would have started at boiler room six the only reasonable answer to your question is "Maybe".

You may wish to read Samuel Halpern's article about Olympic's modifications and start your research there.
Modifications_To_Olympic
 
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Cam Houseman

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Keep in mind that Olympic and Britannic's double hulls did not extend the full length of the ship. In a nutshell, Olympic's retrofitted inner hull only ran from boiler room six aft to the turbine engine room. I can't tell you about Britannic.

Considering the flooding in boiler room six meant the ship was going to sink, and that if Titanic had been fitted with an inner hull similar to Olympic which would have started at boiler room six the only reasonable answer to your question is "Maybe".

You may wish to read Samuel Halpern's article about Olympic's modifications and start your research there.
Modifications_To_Olympic
Anything by Sam is a must read. :)

Another thing to consider is Britannic, although she had different factors.
 
Jan 12, 2020
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Keep in mind that Olympic and Britannic's double hulls did not extend the full length of the ship. In a nutshell, Olympic's retrofitted inner hull only ran from boiler room six aft to the turbine engine room. I can't tell you about Britannic.

Considering the flooding in boiler room six meant the ship was going to sink, and that if Titanic had been fitted with an inner hull similar to Olympic which would have started at boiler room six the only reasonable answer to your question is "Maybe".

You may wish to read Samuel Halpern's article about Olympic's modifications and start your research there.
Modifications_To_Olympic
Thanks! It wasn't the answer I was expecting, but an interesting one nevertheless. I think I read somewhere Britannic also had a similar arrangement of the double hull to Olympic, though I think because she was still in the building face, and not complete like Olympic was, the double hull added two feet to her width.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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It's all about the stability information as well as the floodable length curves. Even now, the two compartment standard which is considered to be the minimum is often treated as the maximum. As originally designed and built, and Olympic class liner could survive even with four of the forward compartments flooded.

I suspect that had the double hull extended the full length of the ship, we wouldn't be having this discussion as the damage amounted to little more than some split seams and buckled plates from a glancing blow. BUT with Titanic being single hulled and with nothing to contain it, it amounted to through-hull damage to at least five and more likely six compartments. This was non-survivable.

Britannic was redesigned to survive this sort of damage, but not human carelessness. Parking the ship on a mine with ALL of the watertight doors open to facilitate the change of the watch was all it took to defeat the improvements.
 
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Jan 12, 2020
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It's all about the stability information as well as the floodable length curves. Even now, the two compartment standard which is considered to be the minimum is often treated as the maximum. As originally designed and built, and Olympic class liner could survive even with four of the forward compartments flooded.

I suspect that had the double hull extended the full length of the ship, we wouldn't be having this discussion as the damage amounted to little more than some split seams and buckled plates from a glancing blow. BUT with Titanic being single hulled and with nothing to contain it, it amounted to through-hull damage to at least five and more likely six compartments. This was non-survivable.

Britannic was redesigned to survive this sort of damage, but not human carelessness. Parking the ship on a mine with ALL of the watertight doors open to facilitate the change of the watch was all it took to defeat the improvements.
That and the open-portholes. Had those not been opened perhaps Britannic could have stayed afloat.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>That and the open-portholes. Had those not been opened perhaps Britannic could have stayed afloat.<<

Unfortunately, not. We know the watertight doors are open all the way back to at least boiler room five because divers have penetrated far enough into the wreck to see this. With that many sections open to uncontrollable flooding, remaining afloat was not a possibility.


I would propose that having all the portholes closed might have bought them enough time to successfully get the ship into the shallows if not beached before she sank.
 
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I think I read somewhere Britannic also had a similar arrangement of the double hull to Olympic, though I think because she was still in the building face, and not complete like Olympic was, the double hull added two feet to her width.

The reason Britannic was wider (by eighteen inches) was nothing to do with her having an inner skin fitted.

She was designed to be wider from the start.

There's an article on my website addressing this.
 
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>>That and the open-portholes. Had those not been opened perhaps Britannic could have stayed afloat.<<

Unfortunately, not. We know the watertight doors are open all the way back to at least boiler room five because divers have penetrated far enough into the wreck to see this. With that many sections open to uncontrollable flooding, remaining afloat was not a possibility.


I would propose that having all the portholes closed might have bought them enough time to successfully get the ship into the shallows if not beached before she sank.
I thought she could stay afloat with six breached and only boiler room's 5 and 6 flooded along with the four up front, right? If that's the case she SHOULD have stayed afloat.
 
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She very likely could have IF all of the portholes and watertight doors had been closed.

They weren't.


They very best protection is utterly useless if it's not set properly.
Well personally, I think the aft door to Boiler Room 5 was able to have been shut when the command was given. We know the explosion warped her frames forward, so perhaps boiler room 5 at least in the aft end got lucky. But with the portholes open, her fate was sealed.
 
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Woulda coulda shoulda has little relevance to what actually happened. The fact was that the doors were open. They shouldn't have been in waters known to be mined, but they were.

As to how having those port holes open moved things along, I don't know. Somebody would have to crunch some numbers to work it out.
 
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As Mr. Standart and others have said we know the doors were open and the portholes were opened. What made it even worse on the Britannic was that the nurses had opened up the lower row portholes to ventilate the wards because of the weather. When the ship developed her extreme list those portholes were exposed to the sea pretty much at once unlike Titanic from what I could gather. But comparing Titanic to Britannic is kind of an apples vrs oranges thing. Lots of different factors in play. According to the gentleman's article below they did try to close the doors for the boiler rooms but for some unknown reason they failed. You can read the article yourself if interested. But in case your not I'll post a pic from it. It's one I don't recall ever seeing before. From the SS VESTRIS sinking in 1928. Cheers.
3288883_orig.jpg
 
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Mike Spooner

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While on the subject of could or not survived. IF Titanic had the same steering gear as Lusitania or Mauretania had, would she missed the iceberg?
 

Jim Currie

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Could Titanic have survived the collision if she had a double-hull? If no other changes were made other then having the extra hull?

Or would it be worse as all the water would be trapped on the starboard side with no way to even the ship out? I'm not sure where the trim tanks where located.
If the volume of the spaces between the outer and inner hulls was the same as it was in the double bottoms, then she would have survived. As she would have done, if only her double bottoms had been breached.
 

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