Lusitania's lifeboat davits


Jan 7, 2002
2,446
39
243
What was the name of the type of lifeboat davits used on the Lusitania? They looked very complex, and i beleive during the sinking, at least one boat broke from the davit chocks, and another was 'hooked' and caught by the davits as the ship settled- Seemed to me the davit design was a cumbersome and dangerous one. Is it safe to say lowering a lifeboat using the style of davits on Lusitania took more time than had the davits been of the Welin type?Odd how Lusitnia wasnt modified with Welin stle davits...


regards

Tarn Stephanos
 

Bill Sauder

Member
Nov 14, 2000
230
20
263
Hi Tarn,

The Lusitania's davits are "Radial," although I have seen other terms for it.

They really were a poor design -- a holdover from sailing ship days. The Welin davits were superior in every respect. I suppose the reason that Cunard never modified the radial davits found on just about all of their ships was cost, familiarity of use, and lack of public/ governmental interest in davits. Lifeboats yes; but davits, no.

Bill Sauder
 
May 3, 2002
799
27
193
59
Wellington, New Zealand
I have heard them referred to as Quadrant Davits.
Welin's design was an excellent design but by 1936 and the Queen Mary, gravity drop was the new design of tracks and arms that would drop down a track to deliver a boat ready to lower away.

When did this change occur exactly? The Egypt had radial davits when she was sunk in 1922 after a collision with another ship.

Martin
 

Bill Sauder

Member
Nov 14, 2000
230
20
263
Hi Martin,

You have unmasked me. "Quadrant" is one of the those "other terms" used for the radial davit but I personally don't like the term and never use it myself.

The problem is that the quarter-gear at the base of the Welin davit arm is also called a "quadrant"; hence the Welin might generically be called a "quadrant" davit as well. We already have enough confusing terminology in shipbuilding, so I made an editorial decision not to mention it in my original post.

The gravity drop davits were developed in the early 1920s under a number of patents and manufacturers but at first were reserved for large oceanliners with high passenger capacity and a need to keep the boat deck clear for deck space. Smaller and older ships kept up with both the radial and Welin davits all the way up to the 1960s. Even the Queen Mary was fitted with a few odd Welins right aft on the Sun Deck. They seem to have been temporary and move around considerably over her carrier.

Bill Sauder
 
Jan 7, 2002
2,446
39
243
Since the Aquitania lasted until 1949, was she ever upgraded with the gravity davits? Im assuming the Mauretnia kept her primitive davits until she was scrapped..

regards

Tarn Stephanos
 

Bill Sauder

Member
Nov 14, 2000
230
20
263
Mauretania: Radial davits to the end.

Aquitania: No gravity davits. That would have entailed a major, not-cost-effective overhaul of the superstructure. Aquitania did in fact have a very small number of Welin davits, all the way aft. See page 109
 
Sep 22, 2003
571
6
183
Coatesville, PA
As far as i know and judging from pictures the Aquitania was fitted w/ sheperd Hooks Davits or Radial/Quadrant davits until she was scapped in 1949/50. luckily for the troops and passangers aboard Aquitania she never had any accidents, very few boats would have been able to been launched as the Aquitania was around the same size as the titanic at 45,000 Gross Tons, lusitania was also fitted w/ Radial/Quadrant davits as pointed out earlier which partly responsible for the huge loss of life, if lusitania was equipped w/ Welin davits more people would have been saved as they were easier operate and could lower life boats at worst lists than Radial/Quadrant davits could. gravity davits i believe were introduced in the mid 20's. one of the first atlantic liners to be equipped w/ them was the ile de france, though they were not perfect as the Andrea Doria proved when she sunk.
 
D

Deleted member 162143

Guest
Does anyone know exactly how radial davits on ships like the Lusitania were swung out? Does anyone know of any diagrams of radial davits?
 

Similar threads

Similar threads