Seagoing Authentic Titanic Replica with Escort Ship?


May 2, 2018
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Hello, I’ve been reading ET for years but this is my first post. Please forgive me if any of this has already been covered previously.

I’ve always been interested in the concept of a Titanic replica. I believe the closest thing we’ll ever get to it is the Honor and Glory game in the works (working in the games industry myself I’m blown away by the work that small team has done)

In terms of the real deal though specifically a fully functional rebuild of the ship Clive Palmers Titanic II was a non-starter. To be honest I’m somewhat glad of this as I feel the proposed extra lifeboat deck, welds instead of rivets and changes to the stern would have broken the allure that the beautiful lines of the original Olympic class liners had. Likewise the landlocked Chinese replica under construction seems to be shaping up as a pale shadow.

Obviously this is deep into the hypothetical but I have been wondering for a while if the following would ever be remotely possible in a legal sense:

- Spend several billion building a precise replica of the Titanic with the same construction techniques, riveted hull, slide launch, the works.

- When I say precise replica I mean it. Coal fired boilers, watertight compartments only to E deck, twenty wooden lifeboats, only a Marconi transmission set onboard. Absolutely nothing modern, no radar or other advanced Bridge electronics, no passenger WiFi, etc. This would be in the truest sense an exact replica of the original Titanic as she was in April 1912.

- The sole alteration would be that the replica is provisioned with modern orange life jackets as opposed to the white 1912 versions.

The plan from here would be more or less the same as Clive Palmers. Modern tourists could buy passage on the ship in any of the three classes leaving modern life behind for a week. This replica however would operate exactly as the original with a full crew of stokers and trimmers onboard with passengers able to explore the entire working ship. I’d run it along its original Atlantic route instead of Palmers China to Dubai.

Obviously this replica would never get past the Safety of Lives At Sea legislation that the Titanic disaster helped create. In order to circle the authenticity versus safety issue what I’d propose is that while this 1912 replica is being built it’s operators would also build a smaller completely modern SOLAS compliant escort ship entirely focused on safety. It could even include a couple of retractable gangways for rapid embarkation.

This safety escort ship (Carpaithia springs to mind as a name for her) would shadow the replica Titanic at all times no more than a mile away with the Titanics Bridge crew in constant radio contact with her. The escort would use its modern equipment to plot both ships course and communicate with other shipping in real time. In the event of any real danger such as an approaching storm the Titanic Replica passengers would be transferred to the more spartan escort ship which would still have enough berths and provisions to keep everyone comfortable for the duration of the voyage if necessary. Meanwhile a skeleton crew would continue to man the Titanic replica. The escort could even bring the Titanic replica into tow if ever needed.

While I believe this two ship solution could actually be financial viable offering a relatively safe method to experience a 100% authentic voyage on a century old ship it would still be unlikely to ever get past SOLAS as a passenger carrying venture. I remember reading the Queen Mary 2 received an exemption from the maritime safety board to mount her lifeboats higher up on the hull but this is in a different league of ‘exemption’

I was wondering if there would be any legal ways around this such as having passengers on the replica sign a disclaimer or have the replica registered as a navy ship exempting it from SOLAS regulation like the Americans wooden frigate USS Constitution. I expect a lot of people would be willing to sign any sort of waiver to get a voyage on a legitimate Olympic class liner.

Anyway this concept is probably full of holes but I thought it might be interesting to share.
 
Nov 14, 2005
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The only way I could see it happening is if you found a country that could care less about rules and regulations and with enough kickback and payoff money it could possibly be done. But it would probably have to be and out and in from the same port because hardly any other port would allow her in. Plus..although there are many Titaniacs like us out there I'm not sure you would get enough passengers long term to make it an economical success.
 

Harland Duzen

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While it is an nice idea (a younger me used to think the same thing), there are a few problems like coal now being an finite resource and the role of firemen probably not suited for modern day health and safety requirements along others.

While I do think we should build a near perfect recreation as humanly possible (but we probably will need to sacrifice at least boiler room 2 & 3 for electricity / water ) it would be better to either dry-dock her permanently like the Cutty Sark, or put her in a "The Truman Show" type dome where it always looks like she's at sea and you can hide all the electric pipes and machinery under the water.
 
May 3, 2005
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Hello, I’ve been reading ET for years but this is my first post. Please forgive me if any of this has already been covered previously.

I’ve always been interested in the concept of a Titanic replica. I believe the closest thing we’ll ever get to it is the Honor and Glory game in the works (working in the games industry myself I’m blown away by the work that small team has done)

In terms of the real deal though specifically a fully functional rebuild of the ship Clive Palmers Titanic II was a non-starter. To be honest I’m somewhat glad of this as I feel the proposed extra lifeboat deck, welds instead of rivets and changes to the stern would have broken the allure that the beautiful lines of the original Olympic class liners had. Likewise the landlocked Chinese replica under construction seems to be shaping up as a pale shadow.



Obviously this is deep into the hypothetical but I have been wondering for a while if the following would ever be remotely possible in a legal sense:

- Spend several billion building a precise replica of the Titanic with the same construction techniques, riveted hull, slide launch, the works.

- When I say precise replica I mean it. Coal fired boilers, watertight compartments only to E deck, twenty wooden lifeboats, only a Marconi transmission set onboard. Absolutely nothing modern, no radar or other advanced Bridge electronics, no passenger WiFi, etc. This would be in the truest sense an exact replica of the original Titanic as she was in April 1912.

- The sole alteration would be that the replica is provisioned with modern orange life jackets as opposed to the white 1912 versions.

The plan from here would be more or less the same as Clive Palmers. Modern tourists could buy passage on the ship in any of the three classes leaving modern life behind for a week. This replica however would operate exactly as the original with a full crew of stokers and trimmers onboard with passengers able to explore the entire working ship. I’d run it along its original Atlantic route instead of Palmers China to Dubai.

Obviously this replica would never get past the Safety of Lives At Sea legislation that the Titanic disaster helped create. In order to circle the authenticity versus safety issue what I’d propose is that while this 1912 replica is being built it’s operators would also build a smaller completely modern SOLAS compliant escort ship entirely focused on safety. It could even include a couple of retractable gangways for rapid embarkation.

This safety escort ship (Carpaithia springs to mind as a name for her) would shadow the replica Titanic at all times no more than a mile away with the Titanics Bridge crew in constant radio contact with her. The escort would use its modern equipment to plot both ships course and communicate with other shipping in real time. In the event of any real danger such as an approaching storm the Titanic Replica passengers would be transferred to the more spartan escort ship which would still have enough berths and provisions to keep everyone comfortable for the duration of the voyage if necessary. Meanwhile a skeleton crew would continue to man the Titanic replica. The escort could even bring the Titanic replica into tow if ever needed.

While I believe this two ship solution could actually be financial viable offering a relatively safe method to experience a 100% authentic voyage on a century old ship it would still be unlikely to ever get past SOLAS as a passenger carrying venture. I remember reading the Queen Mary 2 received an exemption from the maritime safety board to mount her lifeboats higher up on the hull but this is in a different league of ‘exemption’

I was wondering if there would be any legal ways around this such as having passengers on the replica sign a disclaimer or have the replica registered as a navy ship exempting it from SOLAS regulation like the Americans wooden frigate USS Constitution. I expect a lot of people would be willing to sign any sort of waiver to get a voyage on a legitimate Olympic class liner.

Anyway this concept is probably full of holes but I thought it might be interesting to share.
I used to think about "the safety escort ship" possibility, too........If there had been one to escort Titanic in 1912. Something like Destroyers (DE's) escorting Aircraft Carriers (CV's).
But I would have my doubts as to the economics of it.

One of those weird conspiracy theories about the switching of Olympic and Titanic was that Olympic would sail as Titanic, be sunk on purpose (I won't go into all of the details about that) but there would be plenty of ships standing by to get all persons safely rescued and no loss of life would be involved. Those "ships standing by" would perform the same function as "the safety escort ship."

"Carpaithia" as "safety escort ship" ?
If this was a U.S.Navy ship it could be USS Carpaithia (AT-1)
AT-1 would be an auxiliary ship, a "Titanic Tender" as in "AD" , a Destroyer Tender.
 
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Scott Mills

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Jul 10, 2008
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Hello, I’ve been reading ET for years but this is my first post. Please forgive me if any of this has already been covered previously.

I’ve always been interested in the concept of a Titanic replica. I believe the closest thing we’ll ever get to it is the Honor and Glory game in the works (working in the games industry myself I’m blown away by the work that small team has done)

In terms of the real deal though specifically a fully functional rebuild of the ship Clive Palmers Titanic II was a non-starter. To be honest I’m somewhat glad of this as I feel the proposed extra lifeboat deck, welds instead of rivets and changes to the stern would have broken the allure that the beautiful lines of the original Olympic class liners had. Likewise the landlocked Chinese replica under construction seems to be shaping up as a pale shadow.

Obviously this is deep into the hypothetical but I have been wondering for a while if the following would ever be remotely possible in a legal sense:

- Spend several billion building a precise replica of the Titanic with the same construction techniques, riveted hull, slide launch, the works.

- When I say precise replica I mean it. Coal fired boilers, watertight compartments only to E deck, twenty wooden lifeboats, only a Marconi transmission set onboard. Absolutely nothing modern, no radar or other advanced Bridge electronics, no passenger WiFi, etc. This would be in the truest sense an exact replica of the original Titanic as she was in April 1912.

- The sole alteration would be that the replica is provisioned with modern orange life jackets as opposed to the white 1912 versions.

The plan from here would be more or less the same as Clive Palmers. Modern tourists could buy passage on the ship in any of the three classes leaving modern life behind for a week. This replica however would operate exactly as the original with a full crew of stokers and trimmers onboard with passengers able to explore the entire working ship. I’d run it along its original Atlantic route instead of Palmers China to Dubai.

Obviously this replica would never get past the Safety of Lives At Sea legislation that the Titanic disaster helped create. In order to circle the authenticity versus safety issue what I’d propose is that while this 1912 replica is being built it’s operators would also build a smaller completely modern SOLAS compliant escort ship entirely focused on safety. It could even include a couple of retractable gangways for rapid embarkation.

This safety escort ship (Carpaithia springs to mind as a name for her) would shadow the replica Titanic at all times no more than a mile away with the Titanics Bridge crew in constant radio contact with her. The escort would use its modern equipment to plot both ships course and communicate with other shipping in real time. In the event of any real danger such as an approaching storm the Titanic Replica passengers would be transferred to the more spartan escort ship which would still have enough berths and provisions to keep everyone comfortable for the duration of the voyage if necessary. Meanwhile a skeleton crew would continue to man the Titanic replica. The escort could even bring the Titanic replica into tow if ever needed.

While I believe this two ship solution could actually be financial viable offering a relatively safe method to experience a 100% authentic voyage on a century old ship it would still be unlikely to ever get past SOLAS as a passenger carrying venture. I remember reading the Queen Mary 2 received an exemption from the maritime safety board to mount her lifeboats higher up on the hull but this is in a different league of ‘exemption’

I was wondering if there would be any legal ways around this such as having passengers on the replica sign a disclaimer or have the replica registered as a navy ship exempting it from SOLAS regulation like the Americans wooden frigate USS Constitution. I expect a lot of people would be willing to sign any sort of waiver to get a voyage on a legitimate Olympic class liner.

Anyway this concept is probably full of holes but I thought it might be interesting to share.
I don't think this could ever happen for a number of reasons. The primary every nation on Earth, to my knowledge, has signed the SOLAS treaty, and if someone seeks to build a ship that they intend to carry passengers on, they will be forced to abide by said treaty.

Not that things like the extra lifeboat deck couldn't be worked around--Queen Mary 2 was able to secure an exception to the height from water rule--but other things such as, but not limited to, the number of lifeboats, communications (both on ship and inter-ship), lack of radar, fire avoidance and firefighting equipment, etc. would prevent it. Keep in mind, this is just rules for passenger ships, so we are not even addressing the rules in place to protect the men and women who have to work on those ships.

Finally, there is a pretty good economic reason nobody would bother either. Some of the members of this forum excepted, despite the "luxurious" nature of Titanic's fittings, they would totally inappropriate for modern travelers. The vast majority of the people who want to cruise, or travel generally, do not want to pay thousands of dollars to have to share berths or sleeping quarters with strangers.

On top of this, Titanic had no air conditioning--so your replica would have problems with many "cruise" destinations--and even the first class passengers had to share bathing and toilet facilities. I think you will find that most people absolutely do not want to go on a large ocean going vessel for anything other than a day cruise where they will have to share bathrooms with other people.
 
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I don't think coal would be a problem. The EIA estimates that at present rates of consumption the coal reserves in the U.S. are around 340 years worth of use. Oil and Nat Gas will run out long before coal does.
 

Dave Gittins

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I've long thought that if a cruise line thought there was money to be made it would have made part of an existing ship into a replica of Titanic's best accommodation in around 1997. This would have been fairly easy to do, subject to fire regulations. There could have been some cheating with things like air-conditioning.

Scott rightly points out that Titanic's accommodation was actually pretty ordinary by modern standards. Her fame rested on the thirty or so expensive suites and even these were no better than many modern homes, with "luxuries" like comfortable chairs. Big deal!
 

Harland Duzen

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I don't think coal would be a problem. The EIA estimates that at present rates of consumption the coal reserves in the U.S. are around 340 years worth of use. Oil and Nat Gas will run out long before coal does.
At least we can keep the vintage steam trains and Paddle steamers running then! :D

Back to Topic!
 
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Scott Mills

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I don't think coal would be a problem. The EIA estimates that at present rates of consumption the coal reserves in the U.S. are around 340 years worth of use. Oil and Nat Gas will run out long before coal does.
Of course making an exact replica of Titanic would be problematic coal wise, not because the world is about to run out, but because of Titanic's lack of any filtration of the coal smoke and its arrangement for disposal of slurry and ash--not to mention the pretty serious work safety issues around handling the coal and fueling the boilers--by hand.

You'd get better traction talking about a replica of Titanic along the model of Olympic after her conversion to oil fired boilers; however, you'd still have insurmountable safety issues for both passengers and crew, not to mention--people willing to pay to travel on ships do not: want to share a berth in third class with 7 strangers, don't want to share rooms in second class with strangers, don't want to share baths and toilets at all, don't want to travel in a ship with no air conditioning, and don't want to travel on a ship without any of the available leisure options which they would find on say, Queen Mary 2 (assuming you'd be doing transatlantic crossings with your replica).
 
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If you made an exact copy of Titanic.
Consider this.:
What about Third Class ?
There were 709 Third Class Passengers and 2 bath tubs for them on Titanic.
Would you sell any Third Class tickets ?

IMHO an exact copy of Titanic would at best be a museum ship for visiting but not for actual use as an ocean going passenger ship.
Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach, California, USA is a good example of what can be done.
Been There ; Done That ! ☺
Let's face it, Titanic is an obsolete ship by today's standards.
 
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May 3, 2005
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I've long thought that if a cruise line thought there was money to be made it would have made part of an existing ship into a replica of Titanic's best accommodation in around 1997. This would have been fairly easy to do, subject to fire regulations. There could have been some cheating with things like air-conditioning.

Scott rightly points out that Titanic's accommodation was actually pretty ordinary by modern standards. Her fame rested on the thirty or so expensive suites and even these were no better than many modern homes, with "luxuries" like comfortable chairs. Big deal!
Dave-
I think your idea would be the best plan.
Among the First Class accomodations there would be choices of replicas of some of the more notable Titanic cabins.
There are probably modern building materials to pass fire and safety codes.

You might even include a replica of the enclosed private promenade where Cal turned the table on Rose. LOL

You could have "The Caledon Hockley Luxury Suite" and/or "The J. Bruce Ismay Room."
Or you might even take a hint from those "Historic Route 66 Motels" and have some of the
rooms where "John Jacob Astor or Molly Brown slept here.". LOL

Of course they would have to have air conditioning and a private bath with a hot tub.
 
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Scott Mills

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If you made an exact copy of Titanic.
Consider this.:
What about Third Class ?
There were 709 Third Class Passengers and 2 bath tubs for them on Titanic.
Would you sell any Third Class tickets ?

IMHO an exact copy of Titanic would at best be a museum ship for visiting but not for actual use as an ocean going passenger ship.
Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach, California, USA is a good example of what can be done.
Been There ; Done That ! ☺
Let's face it, Titanic is an obsolete ship by today's standards.
Right, and even an exact replica for museum purposes is going to costs hundreds of millions of dollars if not more, so economically speaking... who is going to want to invest hundreds of millions of dollars on a floating museum?
 
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I haven't been there, but I have heard about pros and cons of the Titanic Museum at Branson , Missouri, USA.
It's not the whole ship and it doesn't float, but it's probably the closest thing to a Titanic replica.
And an Adult Admission Ticket is US $23.00.
 
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Nov 14, 2005
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Yes I believe you guys are right about 2nd & 3rd class. Except for maybe a few everybody would want to be in the first class suites. It wouldn't make money. Also Detroit wouldn't be allowed to build and sell 1960's muscle cars to original specs today. The safety and fuel requirements today would prevent that let alone building something from 1912. Although, it would be cool to build one as a museum ship for tours. I'm sure Belfast could find a spot.
 
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It was said that the large number of Steerage passengers subsidized the First Class.I have done some figuring and wonder if that was true ?
But if you built a ship with exact Steerage quarters I don't think you would get many takers...
Unless there are some hardy souls who would really like to rough it. LOL.
It was also said that 2nd Class on Titanic was as good as 1st Class on many ships.
 
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Scott Mills

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Second class on Titanic was just as good as first class on smaller ships! This is completely true; however, by modern standards? Many second class cabins involved passengers sharing rooms with strangers and none of the second class cabins had en suite bathing and toilet facilities.

In fact, as I alluded to in other posts, most of the first class cabins did not have en suite bathing and toilet facilities.

And, of course, nobody at all is going to want to ride in third or second class and not be allowed to use the facilities of the other classes.

Also, you are correct. The real money makers on these ships--at least prior to around 1918--was third class passengers. This is especially the case on West Bound voyages.
 
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I read somewhere that that First & Second class were almost pure profit for Olympic. Titanic of course never had the chance to really make money for White Star. In a way there were really four classes because the parlour suites were a lot better than a standard First class berth. Plus I remember reading that after the Immigration Act of 1924 steerage traffic dropped off quite considerably.
 
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Also, you are correct. The real money makers on these ships--at least prior to around 1918--was third class passengers. This is especially the case on West Bound voyages.
Actually the real money makers were 1st class passengers not 3d class. A 1st class passenger (even 2nd class) paid much more for his cabin than 3rd class.
Mark Chirnside published a paper about it, would need to look for the link.
 
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I've been following this topic (as I on do on some of the other topics).
I have come to the conclusion that while it looked linteresting, it is simply impossible, for all the reasons stated previously.

IMHO your best bets today woiuld be the Queen Mary Hotel for lodging and the Titanic Museum for history.
But it will cost you.
$244 for a room at the Queen Mary Hotel
$28.50 for admission to the Titanic Mudeum
 
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Harland Duzen

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Maybe a better option would be as suggested above, build the Titanic in dry-dock like the Cutty Sark but only build selected areas and cabins like the Virtual Sailor model by Kyle Hudak that features corridors and 1st class spaces.

That allows people to spend the night, tour the ship and allow expansion of more areas to be built if wanted in the future.

 

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