Lifeboat PositioningStorage


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Holly Hewlett

Guest
This is a random question, and I don't know if it has already been covered or not, but:
if you could redesign the Boat Deck on Titanic to accommodate more lifeboats, how would ET members do so?
In James Cameron's film, Mr. Andrews mentions that they were going to put smaller/collapsible lifeboats either in or next to (I forget!) the other lifeboats but didn't because it looked too cluttered. Is this true? Would this method work? I'd be grateful for any feedback or ideas.
Thanks, Holly.
 
Sep 26, 2009
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Harland & Wolff did change the lifeboat arrangement for the Titanic's sister ship Britannic by adding the "Gantry" davits that could handle a number of clustered lifeboats. They worked very well when the ship sank in 1916, with most of the loss of life because of one of the propellers hitting a lifeboat in the water. There has been earlier discussion about Britannic's "Gantry" davits. When the Olympic was refitted after the Titanic disaster, she had lifeboats the entire length of the boat deck, with a collapsible lifeboat underneath each regular lifeboat. There's two ideas that were actually used on the Olympic and Britannic. Robert H. Gibbons
 
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Holly Hewlett

Guest
Thanks. I don't mean to sound stupid, but could you please tell me what "Gantry Davits" are!
Holly.
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
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Using the technology of 1912, it was possible to cram enough boats for 3,500 people onto the boat deck of Olympic. What was impossible was to provide a system that would actually work in an emergency. Britannic's system worked tolerably because only about a third of her passenger capacity was in use. Lowering two or more boats from the same set of davits was impractical and is now illegal.

The real problem is that a ship's ability to carry boats is limited by her length. You can't put boats close to the bow or the stern, so you are stuck with a relatively short useable length. Even today, using 150 person boats, it's often not possible to carry boats for all on many ships. The boats have to be supplemented by liferafts, as permitted by the rules.

By the way, I recently found a proposal from Axel Welin, the davit designer. In 1912 he suggested carrying boats on two decks. Some would be on the boat deck and others on a lower deck, much as on modern ships. The Germans actually did this on Imperator. They still had trouble carrying boats for all, because the boats were so small.
 

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