How Far South did the Titanic Reach?

Mar 12, 2011
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I want to go back to Markus's post from the 23rd re : the course made good after turning the corner. I've done the figures myself and I think I broadly agree with him, the course made good was 265, not 266. Thanks to Sam, by the way, for helping me understand how these calculations are made.

Starting from a noon position of 43°02'N 44°31 (126 NM from The Corner @ 60.5°T), 5h50m of steaming at 22 knots at 240.5°T gets us to an actual turning point of
41°59′N, 47°03′W, an overshoot of 2.33 miles. From there, I assume a travel time of an additional 5h50m to get us to 11:40pm. On a course of 266°T at 22 knots, that gets us to
41°50′N 49°52′W. 22.5 knots gets us to 41°49N 49°56′W. Both longitudes are fairly close to the longitude of the wreck sight, but the latitude doesn't work out. A course of 265°T for 5h50m at 22 knots gets us to 41°47.6'N 49°51.7'W, while 22.5 knots gets us to 41°47.3'N 49°55.6'W, which is very close in both latitude and longitude. Of course, the math works out differently if you assume Titanic overshot the corner by a greater or lesser distance, or if you believe a clock setback had taken place before the collision (I remain unconvinced, personally).
 
May 3, 2005
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It seems there is a question of whether the engine room had a tachometer or a revolutions counter.
It would seem that if there was just a revolutions counter, if you recorded the number of revolutions in a given number of minutes, and did the simple math, that would give you the same results -RPM- as a tachometer.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Do ship's engines ever slip like steam locomotives?


Reading newspaper accounts it appears it was common for ships to drop a propeller. Were they not securely fastened? If the Titanic's starboard propeller had clipped the iceberg and the blade was some how loosened but remained attached, would it produce this effect?






Was Lawrence Beesley describing something similar?

"The jar of the vibration came up from the engines below very noticeably......There came what seemed to me nothing more than an extra heave of the engines and a more than usually obvious dancing motion of the mattress on which I sat.....and presently the same thing repeated with about the same intensity. The thought came to me that they must have still further increased the speed......"Like a flash it came to me, "We have dropped a propeller blade." When this happens the engines always race away until they are controlled, and this accounts for the extra heave they gave. Not a very logical conclusion when considered now, for the engines should have continued to heave all the time until we stopped, but it was at the time a sufficiently tenable hypothesis to hold."


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Jim Currie

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I meant it measures distance travelled through the water, which when divided by a time period, yields average speed through the water over that time period.
5th Officer Lowe must have got his average speed of 20.95 knots from Noon to 6 pm by dividing the log reading at 6 pm by 6 . Since distance = speed times time, it follows that the distance travelled through the water by Titanic between Noon April 14 and 6 pm April 14 must have been 20.96 x 6 = 125.7 nautical miles.
Unless the engines stopped or the rpm were drastically reduced, the speed would not have fallen by 1.06 knots in the 10 minutes between 5-50 pm and 6 pm. Therefore at 5 hours, 50 minutes after Noon April 14, the patent Log would have clocked-up 20.95 x 5.833 = 122.2 nautical miles, indicating the actual measured miles Titanic had travelled on a course of about 240.5 True since the register was set to zero.
I'm quite sure that our non marine readers can understand that simple concept.
 

Jim Currie

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It seems there is a question of whether the engine room had a tachometer or a revolutions counter.
It would seem that if there was just a revolutions counter, if you recorded the number of revolutions in a given number of minutes, and did the simple math, that would give you the same results -RPM- as a tachometer.
Absolutely, Robert.

The discussion about Tachometer v, Rev-Counter is a diversion which has nothing to do with the subject being debated.

The engine of a ship turns the shaft which in turn, turns the propeller. The propeller'screws' it's way thought the water. The Pitch of the propeller, like the pitch of a wood-screw, is a fixed distance, therefore by multiplying that fixed distance by the number of revolutions in a fixed time, we arrive at a theoretic distance travelled by the propeller - not the ship -in that fixed period of time.
The Patent Log did not have a propeller, it had a 'spinner' much like the mackerel spinner you might have used as a boy. Also. like the mackerel spinner, the spinner of the Patent Log had to be dragged through the water to make it spin. It in turn spun the line it was attached-to. The other end of the line was attached to a clock-like device which worked a clock-work mechanism. This mechanism counted the number of turns of the 'spinner' and indicated it on dial. This is what it looked like

Patent Log.JPG
 

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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Do ship's engines ever slip like steam locomotives?


Reading newspaper accounts it appears it was common for ships to drop a propeller. Were they not securely fastened? If the Titanic's starboard propeller had clipped the iceberg and the blade was some how loosened but remained attached, would it produce this effect?






Was Lawrence Beesley describing something similar?

"The jar of the vibration came up from the engines below very noticeably......There came what seemed to me nothing more than an extra heave of the engines and a more than usually obvious dancing motion of the mattress on which I sat.....and presently the same thing repeated with about the same intensity. The thought came to me that they must have still further increased the speed......"Like a flash it came to me, "We have dropped a propeller blade." When this happens the engines always race away until they are controlled, and this accounts for the extra heave they gave. Not a very logical conclusion when considered now, for the engines should have continued to heave all the time until we stopped, but it was at the time a sufficiently tenable hypothesis to hold."


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No Aaron. By the description, it seems that Beesley was feeling the propellers cavitating as they began to turn astern. Just a guess.

When a propeller is lost, the engine races and is shut down. Pictures of the wreck show the port propeller still in place.. no sign of the starboard one.
If indeed the starboard prop had been lost, then there is no way the stern swung away from the danger and all the stories of it swing in away from the berg are nonsense. Additionally, although the port prop would push her bow to starboard, the loss of the starboard one would render the rudder useless in a starboard turn. Add to all that, the fact that the ship was rapidly slowing down and there is no way Titanic could have turned North, She didn't anyway.

By the way, the locomotive sparks were caused by loss of traction due to high turning speed of iron wheels on a steel track.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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The jar of the vibration came up from the engines below very noticeably
Aaron, depending where you were located in the ship, the collision felt very different to different people. Beesley was simply describing what the alision with the iceberg felt like to him at the time.
I've done the figures myself
Michael, it's good to see some independent thinking here.
5th Officer Lowe must have got his average speed of 20.95 knots from Noon to 6 pm by dividing the log reading at 6 pm by 6
This is the point we are in disagreement about. I believe he got his speed by dividing the distance from noon to the corner, that he said he worked, out by 6 hours. The 126 miles to the corner is consistent with the vessel making 1549 miles at noon since departing Queenstown.
 

Jim Currie

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Aaron, depending where you were located in the ship, the collision felt very different to different people. Beesley was simply describing what the alision with the iceberg felt like to him at the time.

Michael, it's good to see some independent thinking here.

This is the point we are in disagreement about. I believe he got his speed by dividing the distance from noon to the corner, that he said he worked, out by 6 hours. The 126 miles to the corner is consistent with the vessel making 1549 miles at noon since departing Queenstown.
Yes I know he did Sam but you miss the point. He could not possibly have done that, even although he said he did. Not unless he was there at the time of the turn and had received notification from the standby QM at the stern docking bridge.
The most importat fact is that he had that speed number, and since he did not pluck it out of thin air, must have had a source for it. He plainly stated that he used the Patent Log. Simple logic tells us that and the only way he could have got it was when the standby QM at the stern made his scheduled report of the 6 pm Patent Log reading to the bridge.
 

Jim Currie

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I want to go back to Markus's post from the 23rd re : the course made good after turning the corner. I've done the figures myself and I think I broadly agree with him, the course made good was 265, not 266. Thanks to Sam, by the way, for helping me understand how these calculations are made.

Starting from a noon position of 43°02'N 44°31 (126 NM from The Corner @ 60.5°T), 5h50m of steaming at 22 knots at 240.5°T gets us to an actual turning point of
41°59′N, 47°03′W, an overshoot of 2.33 miles. From there, I assume a travel time of an additional 5h50m to get us to 11:40pm. On a course of 266°T at 22 knots, that gets us to
41°50′N 49°52′W. 22.5 knots gets us to 41°49N 49°56′W. Both longitudes are fairly close to the longitude of the wreck sight, but the latitude doesn't work out. A course of 265°T for 5h50m at 22 knots gets us to 41°47.6'N 49°51.7'W, while 22.5 knots gets us to 41°47.3'N 49°55.6'W, which is very close in both latitude and longitude. Of course, the math works out differently if you assume Titanic overshot the corner by a greater or lesser distance, or if you believe a clock setback had taken place before the collision (I remain unconvinced, personally).
Hello Michael.

You will never be convinced if you deny the evidence of 5th Officer Lowe to the effect that the ship slowed down after Noon April 14.
Nor will you be convinced if you believe that Titanic was aimed at The Corner at Noon April, 14 and hit the target right on the mark at exactly 5-50 pm.
Last but not least, if you want to be convinced, you will also have to accept the evidence of Boxhall that clearly points to Titanic making less than 22 knots before 7-30 pm sights that night.

There is one undeniable truth, and that is that in order for the run time from Noon until impact to be 11 hours 40 minutes, Titanic's speed must never have fallen below 22 knots.

There is a simple explanation to all of this. Titanic did slow down and she turned onto her new course at a point to the east of The Corner, before she had completed the estimated distance to go at Noon that day.

I suggest that you carefully go back through the evidence of messrs Lowe and Boxhall specific to the three points mentioned in the first paragraph of this reply. Apply the information therein to your original calculations then get back to us with your thoughts.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Looking at photos of her starboard propeller, it does appear one of the blades is missing, or at least the bolts that held it in place are missing.





propeller01b.PNG


propeller01a.PNG



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Jim Currie

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Looking at photos of her starboard propeller, it does appear one of the blades is missing, or at least the bolts that held it in place are missing.





View attachment 2436

View attachment 2437


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Yes, it certainly looks like that, Aaron. However the impact on the sea bed was considerable and the blade may be buried o simply ripped-off. The other blades are undamaged as they would be if the missing blade had hit a hard object because after that, the shaft would continue to spin for some time. In the case of contact with ice, I would expect to see at least one bent tip.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Yes, it certainly looks like that, Aaron. However the impact on the sea bed was considerable and the blade may be buried or simply ripped-off..........

Thanks. I figured the blade might have broken the ice when it made contact and not affect the other blades as the first blow would be the hardest and broke the ice as the ship passed by rapidly, or perhaps when it made contact with the ice the propeller immediately jammed and stopped rotating with one blade embedded in the ice. It has always fascinated me that QM Rowe witnessed the iceberg pass the stern perhaps less than 10 feet away and yet it missed the starboard propeller.






propellerice.PNG



or slightly further away


propellersd1.PNG



Survivors described a noticeable list to port on Sunday. I wonder if this would cause the propeller to protrude out more and make contact with the iceberg? Never understood why Boxhall said in 1962 (not long after watching A Night To Remember) he said Murdoch told the Captain "I'm going full speed astern sir, on the port engine." Yet Boxhall said he witnessed both engine telegraphs indicating full astern. Assuming it was damaged, would Murdoch order both to full astern, but the engine room could only comply with the port engine as the starboard prop (and maybe the shaft?) were damaged by the iceberg, so despite Murdoch having ordered both engines to reverse, only the port one could achieve this, which led to Murdoch saying "I'm going full speed astern sir, on the port engine"?



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Mar 22, 2003
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Never understood why Boxhall said in 1962
He said a lot of things in 1962 that were at variance with what he said in 1912. So did Rowe for that matter when he wrote several letters to Ed Kamuda of the THS in the 1960s. Stories tend to change with time.
By the way, turning at 75 rpm, it is highly unlikely that only one blade would be damaged in contact with ice. The missing blade you don't see in the wreck picture would be berried under the sea floor.
 

Jim Currie

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Of course he didn't do what he said. He did it YOUR way, which also means that when the ship turned at 5:50pm it had to be well south and east of the corner instead of south and west of the corner as Boxhall said it was.
Letting lose a shoal of red herrings again, Sam? I'll ignore the sarcasm as unbecoming of a serious debate although I'm tempted to lower the tone of things.
No Sam, 5th Officer Lowe did not do 'it' my way or for that matter your way, he did it in his own way. It is not my way that puts Titanic east and south of The Corner, it is the proper interpretation of the evidence given by Lowe and it is most certainly not as you describe it "well to the south". In fact, it is at a point close to 41 59.5'North, 46-52'West.
We'll use your 126 mile difference between Noon April 14 and the position of The Corner. That gives an April 14 Noon position of 43-02'North, 44-32'West.
Lowe clearly stated that the ship averaged 20. 95 knots from Noon that day and turned at 5-50 pm. Consequently she covered a distance of 122.2 miles before she turned right. If you use that distance and a CMG of 239 True, you will find that Titanic turned at a point which was 5.9 miles almost due east of The Corner. If she turned onto 265 True at 5-50 pm, she would have passed exactly 0.6 miles due south of The Corner, 17 minutes later at 7 minutes past 6 pm. Then, she would have had 131.9 miles to run before she met her fate.
If her steering was good then when the 7-30 pm sights were taken, she would have been very close to the prescribed tack line of 264 3/4 True. These numbers fit almost perfectly with the evidence Sam. Unlike you, I don't need to speculate to make them fit. I don't have to modify any of the words spoken by any of the witnesses. Work it out for yourself.
 

Jim Currie

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I'll let others be the judge of what is fact Vs. what is speculation. We all have the same copies of the transcripts.
That is exactly my point, Sam. All of the evidence should be considered, bit-by-bit, not a single item should be ignored or rejected out of hand. Where possible it should be corroborated by hard fact. There should be not be any unqualified assumptions but there is plenty of room for logic.
In the case of rebuttal, clear supporting evidence should be presented. Hearsay and romantic journalism have no place in this debate.
It has been suggested elsewhere that a clock set- back prior to impact with the iceberg is of little importance. That's true if we don't care what we publish. However, this is an Encyclopedia which should not be a place for the airing of theories ahead of a place where facts can be found. Here's a good tip all of us, myself included, who enjoy these pages should take heed of:

"Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you're doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.
Joel Osteen, Evangelist. "

 
Mar 22, 2003
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There should be not be any unqualified assumptions but there is plenty of room for logic
And here is where things differ, in the assumptions made and the logic used to support those assumptions.
The facts are simple enough:
We all seem to agree,
1. The vessel travelled 1549 miles by noon on the 14th since departing Queenstown.
2. The ship ran 260 miles by log from noon to the time of collision.
3. The ship ran about 45 miles between 8 and 10pm earlier that night.
4. The ship sank at 41° 43.5'N,49° 56.8'W.
5. The CQD positions of Boxhall and Capt. Smith were both too far west of the wreck site, the first about 13 miles and the second about 20 miles.
All else is the application of assumption and logic based on what survivors reported.