People at top of the dummy funnel?

Dec 4, 2000
As I look at the new generation of liners, I can't help but notice they have a "wedding cake on steroids" appearance with deck piled upon deck up to the height of a royal yard.

Could it be, I wonder, if all those towering decks aren't serving the same purpose with regard to stability that Titanic's funnels served? Perhaps without all those condo-on-water decks the ships would be too stable and exhibit unpleasant rolling characteristics.

The difference in Titanic's day was that seakeeping was a quality much revered. And, the officers of 1912 all had experience in sail. They knew first-hand the power of wind. Today, sail is considered a quaint activity for yachtsmen. An officer of 1912 would have looked at all that "unreef-able" sail area represented by the high deck house and declined the appointment--knowing full well it would only be a matter of time before one of those floating buildings gets blown into a pier or other unfriendly object.

Ah, but the passengers love those balconies!!!

-- David G. Brown

Dave Gittins

Apr 11, 2001
Some modern cruise ships have some kind of structure hiding the reality of their engine exhausts. Some are just open lattices, such as I've seen on Superstar Virgo.

On the other hand, you can let it all hang out, as on Star Princess. Bad luck if it suggests some kind of industrial works!


Doug Criner

Dec 2, 2009
Two days ago, while on a Caribbean cruise, we were moored next to the new 4,000-passenger Disney ship, Dream. That ship has two large, identical funnels, fore and aft, each housing eight diesel exhaust pipes. Both funnels are festooned with Mickey Mouse ears, etc. So, does the ship have two separate engine rooms? No, the forward funnel is an expensive, nonfunctional fake. Maybe the Disney cartoonists or amusement park creators decided that two funnels looked better than one?

Titanic and her sisters sported four funnels, one of which was fake. Why?

Other examples of such ornamentation come to mind. In my youth, cars with dual exhausts were popular - so I added a fake tail pipe extension to my old crate. And Buick adorns their cars with fake exhaust holes on the fenders. But most of us have outgrown such phases. Maybe, in the case of Titanic, four stacks perhaps conveyed a greater sense of power? Who knows?


[Moderator's note: This post, originally posted in a separate thread in this topic, has been moved to the pre-existing one discussing the fourth funnel. JDT]

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