How did they lower the Reciprocating Engines, Turbines, and other machinery into Titanic?


Cam Houseman

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Hi y'all. Hope you're having a good day. I've always been wondering how they managed to low and fit, or move the Engines, Boilers, and other machinery into her hull, while she was being constructed. Weren't the uptakes for the funnels too small? Cargo Hatches as well? And, it'd be pretty comical to see men 100 men rolling a Boiler down and through the Boiler Rooms. So how did they do it?
 
Nov 14, 2005
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Hi y'all. Hope you're having a good day. I've always been wondering how they managed to low and fit, or move the Engines, Boilers, and other machinery into her hull, while she was being constructed. Weren't the uptakes for the funnels too small? Cargo Hatches as well? And, it'd be pretty comical to see men 100 men rolling a Boiler down and through the Boiler Rooms. So how did they do it?
Theres some good info in the link below. Mostly with the floating crane while the spaces were open before the final fitting out. As for the fianl placement thats a good question that Mr Read also asked in the other recent thread. I would guess a lot of block and tackle and rollers were used but that would only be a guess.
8141aed648b2bd4f95760190bf4f8130.jpg

 
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Cam Houseman

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Theres some good info in the link below. Mostly with the floating crane while the spaces were open before the final fitting out. As for the fianl placement thats a good question that Mr Read also asked in the other recent thread. I would guess a lot of block and tackle and rollers were used but that would only be a guess.
View attachment 49769
thanks
 

Stephen Carey

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Once lowered into the engine and boiler rooms, the boilers and engines were "skidded" into place - a practice that's still used today; I skidded a 4MW steam turbine into a ship in Singapore via a hole cut in the side in the same way. It's a common shipyard practice. Once more or less in place, accurate dimensions are taken and the large parts moved to their final positions, where they are chocked and levelled using shims to make sure the likes of the bedplates are level, before being bolted down with "holding down bolts". The standard way of aligning engines in those days was with a wire from the forward bulkhead to a point at the centre of the prop shaft on the stern frame. Micrometers were used between the wire and the equipment to measure the offsets and make adjustments. Alignment was and still is - even in these laser days - a skilled job.
 
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Once lowered into the engine and boiler rooms, the boilers and engines were "skidded" into place - a practice that's still used today; I skidded a 4MW steam turbine into a ship in Singapore via a hole cut in the side in the same way. It's a common shipyard practice. Once more or less in place, accurate dimensions are taken and the large parts moved to their final positions, where they are chocked and levelled using shims to make sure the likes of the bedplates are level, before being bolted down with "holding down bolts". The standard way of aligning engines in those days was with a wire from the forward bulkhead to a point at the centre of the prop shaft on the stern frame. Micrometers were used between the wire and the equipment to measure the offsets and make adjustments. Alignment was and still is - even in these laser days - a skilled job.
Nice info. Thanks. Was never involved with any of that aboard ship but it sounds pretty similar to stuff we had to do at the power plant I worked at. Alignment was critical on a lot of the equiptment we had...especially the bigger stuff. They would spend days rigging the turbine/gen before they ever attempted to make a pick.
 
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Stephen Carey

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Nice info. Thanks. Was never involved with any of that aboard ship but it sounds pretty similar to stuff we had to do at the power plant I worked at. Alignment was critical on a lot of the equiptment we had...especially the bigger stuff. They would spend days rigging the turbine/gen before they ever attempted to make a pick.
We installed a 3rd boiler in a VLCC we were converting into an FPSO. After doing some rather painstaking drawings, the boiler company decided that they could get all the bits in via a relatively small hole in the upper deck of the boiler flat. Once cut and a few things stuck out of the way, a jig was lowered in bits to the flat and bolted together. The next two parts lowered in were the water drum and steam drum, which were accurately placed in the jig. The rest was installing the waterwall and other watertube piping, the boiler casing, mountings, cladding etc., with the removal of the jig somewhere in amongst it all. On seeing the boiler all done and dusted, anyone who saw it didn't believe that it wasn't there when the ship was built!
Shipyard riggers are pretty good all in all - on another ship they removed 3 generators ashore and replaced them in situ. Pretty good job.
 
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Mike Spooner

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I have wandered if one use a flowing crane not the most stable platform thing when fitting precision parts like crankshafts and turbine which requires the most up care not to be damage. Or was there a chain and block used for the final assembly?
 
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We installed a 3rd boiler in a VLCC we were converting into an FPSO. After doing some rather painstaking drawings, the boiler company decided that they could get all the bits in via a relatively small hole in the upper deck of the boiler flat. Once cut and a few things stuck out of the way, a jig was lowered in bits to the flat and bolted together. The next two parts lowered in were the water drum and steam drum, which were accurately placed in the jig. The rest was installing the waterwall and other watertube piping, the boiler casing, mountings, cladding etc., with the removal of the jig somewhere in amongst it all. On seeing the boiler all done and dusted, anyone who saw it didn't believe that it wasn't there when the ship was built!
Shipyard riggers are pretty good all in all - on another ship they removed 3 generators ashore and replaced them in situ. Pretty good job.
I had missed seeing this post. Very interesting on how they did that. Yes its really facinating sometimes to see how they do stuff like that. I've seen some pretty remarkable rigging jobs in the past. A good rigging crew is essential to getting a job done in safe and timely manner. We've both probably both seen rigging jobs that didn't turn out so well. Often could mean the difference between profit and loss. Or more importantly everybody going home with all their fingers and toes.
 
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I have wandered if one use a flowing crane not the most stable platform thing when fitting precision parts like crankshafts and turbine which requires the most up care not to be damage. Or was there a chain and block used for the final assembly?
Did you mean floating crane? I'm not familar with the term flowing crane. Not that there isn't one just never heard that term before.
 
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Cam Houseman

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Once lowered into the engine and boiler rooms, the boilers and engines were "skidded" into place - a practice that's still used today; I skidded a 4MW steam turbine into a ship in Singapore via a hole cut in the side in the same way. It's a common shipyard practice. Once more or less in place, accurate dimensions are taken and the large parts moved to their final positions, where they are chocked and levelled using shims to make sure the likes of the bedplates are level, before being bolted down with "holding down bolts". The standard way of aligning engines in those days was with a wire from the forward bulkhead to a point at the centre of the prop shaft on the stern frame. Micrometers were used between the wire and the equipment to measure the offsets and make adjustments. Alignment was and still is - even in these laser days - a skilled job.
fascinating!
 
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Familar or familiar? You be right about that. Serves me right for having spell check off. I seem to need it more and more these days. Just like my calculator.
 
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Tim Aldrich

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Here are some photos for you to study, Cam. They're both of Oceanic but will give you an idea of how things would be moved around. The first photo is at the top of the light and air shaft which would lead right down into the engine room. You can see a track which spans the shaft and has a chain hoist hanging from it.

The second photo is right down in the engine room (if you looked up you would see where the first photo was taken). There is a track running directly over each engine where a chain hoist could be used for things such as lifting cylinder covers.

Engine room well and skylight from catwalk. Ship No: 317

Engine room well and skylight from catwalk. Ship No: 317
 
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Cam Houseman

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Here are some photos for you to study, Cam. They're both of Oceanic but will give you an idea of how things would be moved around. The first photo is at the top of the light and air shaft which would lead right down into the engine room. You can see a track which spans the shaft and has a chain hoist hanging from it.

The second photo is right down in the engine room (if you looked up you would see where the first photo was taken). There is a track running directly over each engine where a chain hoist could be used for things such as lifting cylinder covers.

Engine room well and skylight from catwalk. Ship No: 317

Engine room well and skylight from catwalk. Ship No: 317
Thank you, I really Appreciate it, Tim!
 
Nov 14, 2005
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Here are some photos for you to study, Cam. They're both of Oceanic but will give you an idea of how things would be moved around. The first photo is at the top of the light and air shaft which would lead right down into the engine room. You can see a track which spans the shaft and has a chain hoist hanging from it.

The second photo is right down in the engine room (if you looked up you would see where the first photo was taken). There is a track running directly over each engine where a chain hoist could be used for things such as lifting cylinder covers.

Engine room well and skylight from catwalk. Ship No: 317
Engine room well and skylight from catwalk. Ship No: 317
Nice find. Those are some really good pics. I will look them over more when I can.

Cam...if you were asking me about that crane pic I have no clue what it is or what its main function was for (other than lifiting stuff...doh). All I can say is that it looks like its on rails. Maybe one of the people here with shipyard experiance can tell you.
 
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Cam Houseman

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Nice find. Those are some really good pics. I will look them over more when I can.

Cam...if you were asking me about that crane pic I have no clue what it is or what its main function was for (other than lifiting stuff...doh). All I can say is that it looks like its on rails. Maybe one of the people here with shipyard experiance can tell you.
It's quite alright, Steven! I'm really happy with the Distress Signals video anyway
 

Mike Bull2019

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Anyway, I heard they cemented the Boilers in place. Is this true?
No. The boilers sat on structures known as 'boiler stools', and were then further bracketed to prevent any movement. You can read about it fully in 'Titanic- The Ship Magnificent' Volume One.
 
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