The New Age of Passenger Liners


Ok, so if its about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes from the bridge to the bottom of the forward sections then I assume it would be a little longer to get back. Assuming that climbing up the stairs would take longer than going down. Maybe about 4 - 5 minutes to get back up to the bridge. Does that sound about right?

Yuri
 

Erik Wood

Member
Yes that is pretty close. Passengers and sometimes just the flow of the crew doing there jobs could interrupt the time frame and you getting somewhere in a timely manner. Yuri, out of curosity why are asking?

Erik
 

Erik Wood

Member
Something else that has made me think about this age was when I most recently went aboard the musem Queen Mary. I made the mistake of wearing my uniform since I had just got off a ship of my own and I was taking my parents and brother on the Queen to give them a more inviting perspective. The elegance that the Queen has just astonishes me and I am proud to announce that I just joined it's membership club. Grand dinners and things of that nature that those on Titanic had are very much for the most part a thing of the past.

The Captains dinner used to be something that only 8 or 9 people went to and those were the ones that actually sat at the table. Now instead of everybody dressing up for dinner the only night they do it is during formal night or what is now the Captains dinner. I am a little to traditional and Cruise Directors do not like me for that reason. Like Captain Smith I eat at a small table of only about 6 to 8. The entire room must be dressed nicely in order for me to eat down there. Usually I choose the most elegant restaurant. Another tradition that I learned from the Captain of the what is now the Triumph is breakfast. Now days it is not unusual for the Captain to wear shorts with a short sleeve dress shirt and walk around to all the breakfast tables something that I now do. But the point of all this is is that I miss the old days of steam and romance that used to be the Captains job. Every once and a while you will get a good group of passengers who is really into the nostaliga of ocean travel and like to cross instead of cruise.

Old Conservitives like me are on the way out.

Erik
 
Erik,
I am trying to understand the exact time frame involved immediatley after Titanic collided with the iceberg. Especially involving Mr. Boxhall's inspections in the forward compartments.
My theory is that his first inspection of the forward compartments took about 10 - 12 minutes to complete. That is from the time the Captain ordered him to go below and inspect for damage, until he returned and gave his report to the captain.
This is intriguing to me because Mr. Boxhall testified that he made 3 inspections of the forward compartments after the collision. First alone and finding no damage, 2nd down to the mail room to find rapid flooding, and 3rd with the capt. and others to tour the entire forward sections of the ship.

It doesn't make sense to me that they could make 3 inspections and then be back on the bridge in time to order to swing out the lifeboats around midnight. What makes more sense to me is if the captain sent Mr. Boxhall below, and about 10 minutes later,(11:50 -11:55), Mr. Boxhall returns and reports no damage. Then the captain sends him to find the ship's carpenter and within 1 - 2 minutes the carpenter appears on the bridge and reports rapid flooding in the mailroom. The captain now has two conflicting reports from senior members of the crew. Another 10 - 12 minutes passes until Mr. Boxhall again returns and reports rapid flooding in the mail room.
So the captain, in my opinion, probably asks Mr. Boxhall why he didn't report this rapid flooding the first time. Mr. Boxhall explains that he only inspected the single watertight compartment and saw no damage there. By now,(@ 12:05 - 12:10), the Captain has spoken with the chief engineer and knows that boilerroom 6 is taking on water but pumps are being used to fight the flooding, and that there is rapid, uncontrolled flooding in the compartment where the mail room is located, but that in the compartment just forward of that there is no flooding seen. Whats a captain to do?

Captain Smith decides to see for himself along with a group of the ship's experts now present on the bridge. They all head off to inspect the entire forward sections. About 10 - 20 minutes later, (and thats clearly an fast inspection of 5 compartments for a man in his 50's), the group is back on the bridge and immediately the order is given to prepare to abandon ship. Probably about 12:15 - 12:25, in my opinion.

I just can't see how all that descending stairs, ascending stairs,walking down corridors, turning corners and searching about the sides of the ship in the forward sections, not to mention the conversations that were no doubt taking place along the way, could all have happened in only the 20 minutes after the collision. My common sense tells me it should have taken longer. Probably about twice as long. So I think it makes more sense to assume the decision to abandon ship occurred somewhere around 12:20 - 12:30.

Thats why I wanted to know how long it takes to actually go from a bridge to the bottom of the ship and back.

Thanks for your insight Erik.
Have you ever thought of acting out the movements of the officers on Titanic on your ship. Just as sort of a way to visualize what really happened.
(I don't mean having your crew like role play or call you Capt. Smith or anything.) I mean that if I was a captain of a large ship, I couldn't resist just coming on to the bridge in the middle of the night and ordering the helm 'Hard astarboard!' and running the engines at full astern. While checking a stopwatch to see how long it takes to actually stop and what compass heading the ship now lies after coming to a halt.
Just my odd fantasy I suppose.

Yuri
 

Erik Wood

Member
Well, one of my explanations is that Boxhall may not have seen the damage the first time he went by which was most assurably in a hurry he just walked by to check after parts of the ship and when that was done on his way back to the bridge for the first time he saw the damage. Once he reported damage the captain sent him to find the carpenter (But I believe he told Murdoch to do that shortly after he appeared on the bridge) he not then Boxhall on his way back down most likely found the carpenter on his way back up. The carpenter reported the damage to Boxhall who told him to go to Smith. He then most likely went down to the mail room again saw the damage and went up to the bridge were Smith told him to lead the way with Wilde and Andrews. Maybe. Actually the newer ships can come to a dead stop with in a ship length and a half.
 
Erik,
A single length and a half to a dead stop???? From full speed?? How do they stop so quickly? That almost seems impossible to me. To halt forward motion of that much mass in so short a distance would require enorouse reversing power and would probably send everything not bolted down flying forward right?
Please explain.

Thanks,
Yuri
 
Here' another question regarding modern cruise ships. Doesn't the open spaces on a modern cruise ship, like the atriums and the two story dining rooms and the movie theaters, compromise the structural integrity of the ship? The Titanic split in two at the areas of weakness in her structure like the aft grand staircase and the engine rooms. In very rough seas, how do modern cruise ships keep from spliting in half with all these weak spots in the superstructure?

Yuri
 

Erik Wood

Member
The answers to your first post is the z drive which is a beautiful thing. In case you don't know what a z drive is it is rotating propellars that rotate 360 up and down and from full head if you turn the pitch right the shaking and cavitation effect will be awsome but the ship will come to a full stand still with in a full ship length and half maybe too. Z drives are what the navy now uses as do modern Coast Guard Cutters that tend buoys. If the ship doesnt have that then just throwing everything hard astern will get you to stop with in two or maybe up to four ship lengths depending on the ship and some it may take up to a mile.

I am not a structural engineer so I will have to give you my best understanding. Most of those large rooms are staggered they don't sit right ontop of each other much like some of Titanics did. But most larger rooms extend to the hull and the plating that holds them together is in some way connected to the keel. If the ship were to sink by the head like Titanic did some of the larger ships would no doubt split at least half way down. Plus most of the ships now have exhaust Casings that run through the center of the ship. This is different then a boiler casing in the aspect of intergrity. The exhaust tunnel and it's accompaning maintence tunnel go from the stack to the bottom of the ship and the weight is evenly distributed throughout the hull. Does this help??
 
Z Drive? I've never heard it called that befor, though I know what Erik is talking about. Good old veriable pitch propellers...and Erik is right about naval vessels being equipped with them. The U.S. Navy has been using them going on close to thirty years that I'm aware of. Possibly longer. One of the advantages is that you can go from full ahead to full astern without having to switch to reverse gearing. In fact, you don't even need reverse gearing.

I spent some time on an FFG-7 class ship, the Mahlon S. Tisdale, and doing the so-called crash stop, she could stop in her own length from full speed. The cavitation does rattle things quite a bit, though I've never seen the manuever clear off any tables.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Ok, I absolutely must get onto a big ship and go to sea! How do I become a sea captain? What should I know before I apply to a big shipping line or cruise company and what are the biggest advantages and disadvantages to being an officer or captain on a ship?

I'm only 1/2 kidding about this. For a long time I've thought about making my career as a ship's captain. But growing up in Dallas Texas doesn't really put you close to those type of opportunities.

Yuri
 

Erik Wood

Member
There are a lot more disadvantages then advantages in being a sea going officer and especially a captain. Unless you are good at handling stress and I mean a lot of stress and dealing with passengers who are just plain rude. Plus you have to remain cool calm and collected in times of disaster or distress and remeber that you come last every one else comes first.

Michael, I am not sure why or where I heard them called z drive. But in the passengers fleet they are fairly new.

Erik
 
Hi Erik, that part about Z drives being new in the passanger fleet is something of a surprise to me. They've been around for awhile. Is it due to the expense?

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Erik,

If its so challenging, what made you pick that career and why do you like it so much?

Truly, I appreciate your honesty. I realize that many jobs sound cool and glamorous when looked at from the outside, but once there you get to see all the crummy stuff that goes with it. I think thats true of many jobs. (God knows its true of my current job!)
I think of my niece who went to school to be a travel agent so she could travel around to all those resorts and places. Well she became a travel agent. But she didn't travel. She sat at a desk all day along with 20 others. She made little money, had to work under pressure to sell extra stuff to clients and deal with people who didn't like the accommodations on their trips and blamed her.

She promptly quit after about a month.

But my desire to go to sea has been with me since childhood. I don't know, maybe I would hate it. But I can't help but dream about pacing slowly around the bridge of a vessel under my command. That feeling of authority and responsibility. To know that its up to me to make the final decisions that will affect the crew, cargo, and passengers. I mean tell me honestly Erik, when you take that big ship out of port and kick the pilot overboard, and look out at that big open ocean in front of you and say, "Full Ahead!", and know that its all up to you now, doesn't that really give you a thrill. To feel those engines pushing you through the waves faster and faster! To see those crewmen look up to you for a command. I can't imagine at that moment you'd really be able to say ,"boy this job <FONT COLOR="ff0000">•••••! I wish I could just sit at a desk in an office somewhere all day."

Really, office drones like me look at guys like you with so much envy. You're like my hero man!
happy.gif


Yuri
 
Yuri, while I can hardly speak for erik, I can tell you that the challange of the naval service was exactly what appealed to me. That and the prospect of travel and in some ways, being there to make an important difference in whatever small way that I could.

While there is a lot of humdrum and boredom at times, there are also things to wake you up and hold your attention. I've made five deployments, some during crisis situations such as the Iranian Hostage Crisis, and when the Sandanistas in Niqueragua were threatening their neighbors, participated in search and rescue operations, helicopter flight ops, counter-narcotic ops, as well as two overhauls of two different aircraft carriers and new construction. There's always something new coming up, and in the military, people learn to accept responsibility very early on as well as aquire leadership skills.

Bottom line; just when you think it's going to be another boring day, something new comes up. That's the appeal.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
O.K.- now here's the commercial for Navy WIVES who get left home fixing the sink, chasing snakes out of the drainage ditch, having babies, changing tires and living in unspeakable j.o. housing with a kitchen full of palmetto bugs tapdancing on the linoleum all night while that Hero Captain husband is at the Congo Place in Athens swilling a brew and riding the high waves!Well he's retired as of last month- and yes- at the ceremony we wives got a commendation from the government-at last!
 
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