Titanic sea trials


Susan Alby

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Oct 22, 2004
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What was the operational testing procedure for the Titanic or other large liners after the construction phase was complete?

Thank you.
 
Jun 11, 2000
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Susan,
such testing procedures were usually called 'sea trials'. I've done an ET search for you and here is the link - the references are scattered around various parts of the Board. Investigate the search facility at the top of each page for yourself - it's quite good!
 
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Jul 9, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Charles Lightoller offered testimony to the Senate Inquiry which can be read HERE which discussed the testing that was done. He specifically mentioned turning circles and adjustments made to the compasses. I think it's a safe bet that rather more then that was done, however just about everything in sight would have been tested one way or another befor ever getting underway.

Underway trials will generally include testing of the engines at various speeds, with the turning circles being conducted to determine how the ship would handle under varied conditions. One particular test which measures the ship's stability is known as the inclining experiment but that would only be done in port.
 

david wilson

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Mar 17, 2003
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H&W carried out sea trials in Belfast lough opposite a land mark,on the co antrim (north shore),called "the blah hole".The name is derived from the blasting of the road builders thru a rocky outcrop.This is where the measured mile was.
regards.
seven degrees west.
dw.
 
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Matt Pereira

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Ive read that Titanic`s sea trials didnt last too long cause Olympic`s sea trials were so great they couldnt see Titanic falling short and that it took only a few hours for Titanic where it took Olympic longer.

Maybe that was wrong. But if they did that with Titanic i think that would be cheating the paying passengers out of safety that the ship performed like it was designed to when it was tested at the sea trials.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>But if they did that with Titanic i think that would be cheating the paying passengers out of safety that the ship performed like it was designed to when it was tested at the sea trials.<<

I doubt that. For passengers, the most visible issue would be the availability of such life saving appliances as boats, rafts (The collapsibles) and life vests. Most of the needed inspections carried out on the ship were done during her construction and fitting out.

Keep in mind that ships in that day and age didn't have anything like the level of sophistication that even a humble freighter has today. The idea behind sea trials was to make sure she would handle and work as advertised and it just didn't take several days to do it.
 
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Matt Pereira

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I thought the sea trials was to test all functions of the ship even the safety features. Guess that was just a misunderstanding on my part.
 

Dave Gittins

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Mar 16, 2000
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The safety features were checked in Southampton by Captain Maurice of the Board of Trade. This was because Titanic was an emigrant ship and these were subject to inspection before every voyage. Captain Clarke looked at lifeboat operation, firefighting equipment and the watertight doors.

Other officials made some 3,000 checks on the ship in the shipyard, so the trials only confirmed that all was well. Probably the most important thing done on the trials was the testing of the compasses. Compasses on steel ships are strange beasts and it was vital for their errors to be corrected as far as possible and the remaining errors recorded. This work went on during the passage to Cobh/Queenstown. After that, the officers continued to watch for new errors.
 
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Matt Pereira

Guest
Yep I know that now. I got out the old Titanic history cd-roms i have and went through them and i see that all the sea trials were for was to spot anything that was major that had to be repaired, such as in the case of the Luisitainia that she had a very bad vibration and the owners didnt take her over till after it was fixed.

Then on sailing day Board of Trade went aboard and inspected the ship also before she could leave the docks at Southampton.

I guess being out of the research game and reading up on all things Titanic really took its toll on me.
 
Sep 28, 2002
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Northern Ireland
Titanic went out of Belfast Lough and turned south down the Ards Peninsula . They is an account of young boy (Paddy Scott from Cloughey) who saw her on the 2nd April 1912. It is documented.

I'm at the same place now looking out my window seeing a large tanker passing between here and the Isle of Man.
 

david wilson

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Mar 17, 2003
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Jim,I'm surprised that a man of your calibre would come out with a statement like that.What other route would she take to get to southampton from belfast,other than via st.george's channel?
seven degrees west.
regards.
dw.
 
Sep 28, 2002
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Northern Ireland
David,

I was talking about the Sea Trials, as you were know most of H&W ships came out of Belfast Lough and headed North for Trials. Titanic did her Trials on Belfast Lough and along the Ards Peninsula, returned to Belfast and headed out the same route as her Trials, but continued on to Southampton.

So along both sides of Belfast Lough and the East side of Ards is the only place Titanic passed three times.
 
Sep 28, 2002
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Northern Ireland
David,

Here's one of the places she passed three times.
You can see the Isle of man in the distance.

Best regards

Jim

dscf0379.jpg
 

Jason D. Tiller

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Aug 20, 2000
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You're welcome, Jim. Having visited that area a few years ago and seeing how spectacular it is, I can just imagine the scenery that surrounded her; it would have been absolutely breathtaking for anyone aboard.
 

david wilson

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Mar 17, 2003
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Thanks Jim,I used to sail a 12'clincher dinghy out of ballyhalbert & play golf (try to play golf)at kirkiston castle.It brings back memories.
Thanks again.
seven degrees west.
regards.
dw.
 
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Caroline Mendes Ferreira

Guest
A day to remember

The day that the Titanic would get their tests at sea, on a Monday, April 1 however due to bad weather postponed to the next day.

This April 2 was a great day for everyone where they were 41 crew members and also representatives of various companies. And Jack Phillips and Harold Bride also, Mr. Carrothers, Thomas Andrews etc. Our this day must have been a lot of excitement for everyone

[Moderator's note: This message was originally posted as a new thread in an unrelated subject. MAB]
 

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