Did they seal the boiler rooms

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Paul Lee

A strange question this, as I couldn't decide whether it should go in the construction forum or this one. Anyway, I digress....

How did the crews enter the boiler rooms? Were there ladders down into the rooms, or did they enter via the fireman's spiral ladder in the bow?
I recall one person saying that he used an escape ladder after one of the boiler rooms flooded, but I can't find the hatch or ladder on my (admittedly tiny) Eaton and Haas plans of the ship.

So, if there were ladders, did they have hatch covers? And if so, were they closed, to try and slow down the flow of water up into the rest of the ship? I know that water flowed over the tops of the bulkheads into the next one aft, but surely closing hatches would have slowed down the flow of water?

Best wishes

Hi Paul,

The firemen and trimmers normally went back and forth via the spiral stair, but could use the escape ladders as well. The escape ladders went up the port side of each boiler uptake and had doors that let out onto "Scotland Road" on E-deck. The doors aren't on the E&H drawing but do appear on the drawings in "The Shipbuilder" and "Engineering". The escape ladders also continued up to the Boat Deck via the fidleys (ventilating shafts) next to the uptakes. I don't know of any General Arrangement plans that show exactly where they exited, however. The boiler casing was basically a shaft passing through the decks and there were no hatches where the ladders passed from one deck to the next, thus no way to keep water from flowing down the boiler casing and into the boiler rooms. As far as I know, the doors on E-deck leading to the ladders were not watertight either.


Brian R Peterson

Hi Cal,

As far as I know, and this is based on speculation from seeing a similar arrangement on older passenger ships like Queen Mary, the doors on E-Deck leading the entrance to the boiler & engine rooms were normal steel doors possibly with a porthole window, they would of course have a plate above them reading "CREW ONLY" or something similar and these doors would open and close by means of a vertical catch handle, as far as I know they were not watertight.

Best Regards,

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