Titanic compared with modern ships


Aug 8, 2004
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I personally don't like the tonnage of a vessel being used as the measure of a vessel size. I know of many ships that have smaller dimensions like height and length yet are heavier than Titanic because they are wider. I think it was a Harland and Wolff tradition to make "long ships"
or ships that while their lengths increased their widths did not. Titanic may have been very very long and that in itself is massive, but she was a slim ship. You can eaisily see that in her photographs, so beautiful, yet she was also rather slim with a ratio of 1:9. If you look at the Great Eastern with a length of 693 ft, 200 ft shorter than Titanic, was almost as wide as Titanic at 83 feet. Titanic's height was also very impressive as you no doubt know.
 
Aug 8, 2004
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Think of it this way... Forget internal capacity and displacement for a second. This sounds absurd but just for hypothetical purposes, If you were to put the RMS Titanic on a giant bathroom scale, how much would it weigh?
 
Aug 8, 2004
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I mean just like a human being, the weight of all the flesh, bones, etc. I weigh in at about 125 pounds. How much would Titanic, without passengers, but with normal provisions and interiors finished (boilers installed, engines)
How much? I don't think anyone can really say because you can only derive the figures through mathematical calculations. There is no giant scale to place Titanic upon.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>If you were to put the RMS Titanic on a giant bathroom scale, how much would it weigh?<<

She would weigh 52,310 long tonnes at a full load navigation draft of 34 feet 7 inches.

>>How much? I don't think anyone can really say because you can only derive the figures through mathematical calculations.<<

As a matter of fact, it can be said. Mathamatics is not so much an art as it is a science...and I call it that because above all else, the results are testable. Further the weight of a given volumm of salt water is known as is the weight of a given volumn of fresh water. It might seem like witchcraft with numbers to anyone who has a poor understanding of mathamatics...which includes myself I have to admit...but it works.
 
Aug 8, 2004
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I think you missed my point. Besides I already could have told you that it weighed 52,310 tons. I don't mean to sound like a smart ass if thats what it looks like so i'm sorry that really isn't my intention. What I meant is that there will always be errors in measurements and off balances in calculations. So sure you can figure out those things from mathematics. Why? because it makes sense, it figures out, so while that figure might work out on paper, how does it equate to the real world? I'm probably sounding nuts by now, but bear with me. There are literally trillions of variables in every minute aspect of life so to leave everything to mathematics and to trust it like that may be good in general, but I wouldn't want to view the whole world with the trillions of things intersecting everything else, it makes people misguided, (I'm not saying that you are) and they learn to trust it without question. So while that figure might be very close to the actual weight, we don't have a giant bathroom scale.
 

Bob Read

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Dec 9, 2000
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Colin:
Do you have a substitute for mathematics? How about alchemy? You seem to be trying to make a distinction between proven mathematical calculations and the "real" world. My "real" world is based on those mathematical calculations. Without them we would not have a Titanic to even talk about. Also, knowing the volume of water that an object displaces IS as good as a bathroom scale (probably better).

Regards,
Bob Read
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>So while that figure might be very close to the actual weight, we don't have a giant bathroom scale.<<

While life itself does have variables, there are certain values that are known, such as the volumn of a hull, the weight of water of a given level of salinity, the weight of fresh water, but also the weight of the materials that go into a hull.

>>So sure you can figure out those things from mathematics. Why? because it makes sense, it figures out, so while that figure might work out on paper, how does it equate to the real world?<<

Quite well, thank you very much. Well enough that the weight of the Titanic's hull was accurately calculated for launching, as was the weight of the materials that were used for same. Launching the hull would have disasterous results were it otherwise. Mathamatics is not just untested hypothosis, it's a way of working things out in the real world with extreme precision from calculating weights, to navigating a ship well enough that she can make port on time without using landmarks of any kind for reference. It's also good for making extremely accurate predictions of how much cargo a ship can carry, how far it will settle into the water with a given set of weights put on board, etc. You can thank Archimedes for that.

If you can find a better system that works, have at it. Just be mindful of the fact that mathamatics deals with the real world as does every other scientific dicipline in a way that's both measurable and testable. Precious little else can make the same claim.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>...but still I wish I could do it to see myself.<<

You can. That's the beauty of the whole system. Known and knowable values, formulas and methods shown to work and all that. You can do it as well as any Ph.D if you take the time and trouble to research it and learn it.
 
May 12, 2002
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Hi Colin,

I'm not so hot on the difference between the various measures of tonnage, but one thing I do know is my maths and physics :). I think that the "displacement" of a ship is it's actual weight. By Archimedes' principle, the weight of water displaced by a floating object is the same as the weight of the object. This principle is exactly the same as the principle on which your bathroom scales work; the force of your weight is exactly balanced by an equal and opposite force exerted on you by the scales. This equal and opposite force is actually what the scales measure.

Hope this helps

Paul
 

Dave Gittins

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Paul is quite correct. Displacement is weight. It could be calculated very accurately in 1912, using maths and slide rules, plus a lot of time and patience. Today computers lend a hand.

Colin has a point about the way GRT does not always give an idea of how a ship will impress us visually. I'm very familiar with a container ship that regularly visits our local port. Her GRT is just a bit less than that of Titanic but she's 901 feet long and about 100 feet wide. She's impressive as she goes past my little yacht, but Titanic would be more impressive because of her towering masts and funnels. If she could turn up in a modern port today, she'd still turn heads.
 
Aug 8, 2004
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Hi everybody. Although I started this topic, It was my friend Steven who posted everything else.
I'm sorry about that. He lives with me for now, and he used my computer to reply to my topic. This is confusing I know. He did not bother to tell you that it was someone else posting. Again sorry about that.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Colin, putting on my moderator's hat for a moment, I don't have a problem with Steven posting here, but in order to do so, he needs to register his own account. We've had something of a problem with ringers showing up and causing problems, so this is an issue we're a bit sensitive to.
 
Aug 2, 2007
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There are cases in which ships have been put on the scales as it were, when in dock, and these have shown that displacement calculations are highly reliable to within a fraction of a percent.
 

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