Main Bridge specifications

  • Thread starter Colin W. Montgomery
  • Start date
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Colin W. Montgomery

Member
Hi everyone, one thing that has eluded me is a lot of info on the bridge and wheelhouse. Does anyone have any idea about the dimensions of the bridge and wheelhouse? Any info will be greatly appreciated thanks.
 
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Bob Read

Guest
Colin:
The bridge being an open structure, it is difficult to know where to measure the dimensions from. The wheelhouse on Titanic as closely as I can measure it was 20ft, wide (port to starboard) by 9ft. 6in. long (fore and aft).

Regards,
Bob Read
 
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Bob Read

Guest
Colin:
You wouldn't happen to be a famous golfer would you?

Regards,
Bob Read
 
David G. Brown

David G. Brown

RIP
If you think of the "bridge" as being the total area of the ship given over to communicatiosn, command and control functions, then it was much larger than most people realize. In terms of the area which was under the direct supervision of the senior officer of the watch, the "bridge" extended 90 feet port to starboard, and nearly 250 feet for and aft.

What is completely overlooked is the distance from the forebridge to the standard compass platform. That platform was an integral part of bridge operations. IMM/White Star regulations required that a junior officer visit the platform every 30 minutes (8 times per watch; 48 times per day) to check the steering compass against the standard compass. On many of those visits, the junior also "shot" azimuths to check the accuracy of the standard compass.

In addition to the standard compass, the two chart rooms were also part of the "bridge." The one for officers was behind the wheelouse, while Captain Smith had a separate room which was also used for this purpose.

All-in-all, Titanic's rather cumbersome layout that made it virtually impossible for the senior officer of the watch to maintain proper bridge management. On the night in question, Murdoch was pretty much alone and out of touch with the information he needed to make better decisions.

The wireless office was also part of the "bridge" in that it was a vital part of communications. There is some evidence of both the wireless operators (Bride in particular) taking messages to the forebridge and of officers bringing messages to Captain Smith.

The physical layout of the forebridge and wheelhouse also created problems. The senior officer was isolated from sight or sound of what was occurring inside the wheelhouse. For instance, he could not hear the "click" of the telemotor pump each time the quartermaster brought the wheel through dead center.

Placement of the telephones made it necessary for the senior officer to leave the forebridge and go inside the wheelhouse to use them. This meant that the forebridge was devoid of an officer performing lookout while the call was being made. That it was standard practice for the senior officer to leave the forebridge is one implication of Lightoller's testimony about listening to Moody phone instructions to the lookouts. Lightoller could not have heard those instructions unless he was virtually inside the wheelhouse. So, while correcting Moody, Lightoller was not performing his primary job of looking out for dangers around the ship.

-- David G. Brown
 
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
"Lightoller could not have heard those instructions unless he was virtually inside the wheelhouse. So, while correcting Moody, Lightoller was not performing his primary job of looking out for dangers around the ship."

Maybe not quite inside the wheelhouse but certainly not too far from the wheelhouse door leading out to forebridge. Anyway, today they call that practice "micromanagement" if done intentionally. Hopefully, senior officers did not generally behave that way but trusted their juniors. In any event, according to the lookouts, whatever instruction they did receive from below (from Lightoller via Moody) they repeated to the new set of lookout coming on duty after their 2 hours were up. The bridge did not call the new lookouts with these or revised instructions. When Fleet and Lee took the lookout at 10:00 from Symons and Jewell, Murdoch took over from Lightoller.
 
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Colin W. Montgomery

Member
I meant the section including the wheelhouse and main bridge. (the open area)
 
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Colin W. Montgomery

Member
Now the watertight control panel and the telephones, they were located in the wheelhouse right?
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
Telephones....yes....the problem is that there was not control panal for the watertight doors. They were activated by a switch on the bridge, but there were no indicator lights to show whether or not they were closed.
 
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Colin W. Montgomery

Member
Lots of sites say that there was indeed a control panel. So your saying there wasn't? The J.C. film got it wrong?
 
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