Which was the larger Britannic or Aquitania?


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Guest (R17)

Guest
I never been able to work this out. What ship was bigger ? Britannic or the Aquitania ? I suppose it is how you are going to look at it — some might go just by tonnage. I don’t... Aquitania always looked bigger to me. I’m sure her bridge would have been a couple of decks taller than that of the Olympic or Britannic. Having said that her the black painted area of her hull looks lower so perhaps the bridge height was not much taller. I understand Britannic was considered the largest British built ( or should I say Irish built
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ship since the Queen Mary — which is saying something ! From what I can work out both were probably larger in different ways. For example Aquitania might have been taller but Britannic might have been heavier. I do think if you were to see Aquitania or Britannic for real up close then out of the 2 ships Aquitania would appear the larger. But I might be wrong. But I think it is judged on tonnage - but not sure.
 
Jan 21, 2003
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Britannic is larger cause her tonnage was: Gross Tonnage - 48,158 tons and Aquitania's was:Gross Tonnage - 45,647 tons. Britannic's tonnage was probably greater due to her large davits, double hull, and other safety precautions added to her design after titanic.
 
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Guest (R17)

Guest
But I don't judge by tonnage. Although I know that how people look apon it.... You can't see the weight , but you can see the size of a ship..I think if you were to put the Aquitania next to the Britannic Aquitania would look larger.
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Mar 16, 2000
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Aquitania wins on length and beam but she had less volume. I have different versions of her overall length. It was a bit over 900' against Britannic's 882' 8".

Measuring the ships as the Board of Trade did, Aquitania was 868.7' x 97'. Britannic was 852.5' x 94'. (From memory!)

The length measurement is the Length Between Perpendiculars. I'll soon have an explanation of this on my website, as there's a great deal of confusion over how ships were measured.
 
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Guest (R17)

Guest
that's interesting. Like I said it depends how you look at it. You can't see tonnage but you can see length and etc. I wonder If Aquitania's bridge was a couple of decks higher than the Britannics also.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Jul 4, 2000
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Britannic's tonnage was probably greater due to her large davits...

Remember, though, that as applied to merchant ships, tonnage is a measure of volume, not weight. Britannic's davits, which I imagine weighed a fair amount, added nothing to her gross tonnage.

Traditionally, merchant ships were compared to one another by gross tonnage; the title "World's Largest Ship," for example, was borne by the ship with the largest gross tonnage. Others may have been longer, or had a higher displacement tonnage, or a larger passenger capacity, but those weren't the measure. Gross tonnage was, and on that measure, Britannic was larger than Aquitania.
 
Jan 21, 2003
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Well i meant all of the new safety features added together added to her weight and i remember reading that britannic was no bigger then titanic or olympic in length so i think 852 is a little too small.
 

Bob Read

Member
Dec 9, 2000
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Dave:

Just to chime in here on Britannic's basic dimensions:

LOA : 882' 9"
(Same as Olympic and Titanic)

Breadth: 93' 6" (Moulded) 94' Extreme
(this was an increase of 18" over
Olympic and Titanic)

Length between Perpendiculars: 850'
(Same as Olympic and Titanic)

Regards,
Bob Read
 
Nov 23, 1996
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Hello All:

I haven't posted in awhile but here are the details on both the Britannic and Aquitania.

Britannic: Information as Built

Builder: Harland and Wolff, Belfast

Registered in Liverpool as HMHS Britannic at noon on December 8, 1915 Registration Number: 137490

Net Tonnage: 24,592 Tons
Gross Tonnage: 48,158 tons
Displacement: 53,000 tons
Length 852ft 6in (b.P.)
Length overall 882ft 6in
Beam: 93ft 6in
Moulded depth 64ft 3in
Total height from keel to Navigating bridge 104ft 6 in
Load Draft: 34 ft 7 in.
Number of decks:9
Number of Bulkheads: 16

Total indicated Horsepower: 50,000
Top speed: 21 Knots

Passenger Totals

790 First class
836 Second Class
953 Third Class
950 Crew
3,529 Total

Aquitania: Information as Built

Builder: John Brown & Co., Clydebank

Net Tonnage: 21,988
Gross Tonnage: 46,500
Displacement: 53,200
Length: 865ft (b.p.)
Length overall: 901ft 6in
Beam: 97ft
Depth Moulded: 64 ft 4in
Depth to Boat Deck 92ft 6in
Height to top of funnels: 164 ft
Height to Mastheads: 220ft
Loaded Draft: 36ft
Number of Decks: 10
Number of Bulkheads: 84

Total Indicated Horsepower:62,000
Top Speed: 23.5 Knots

Passenger Totals:

618 First Class
614 Second Class
1,988 Third Class
972 Crew
4,192 Total

You can make the comparisons based on this. However once must keep in mind that the figure for Gross tonnage is based on total usable passenger space.

And as the numbers show Britannic had a higher Gross Tonnage, but the figures from the Engineer show Aquitania with a slightly higher displacement. (Displacement is another contorted figure based on which system of measurement is used.)

But based on passenger occupancy Aquitania clearly wins hands down as she could carry over 641 more paying passengers and clearly has an advantage in the highly profitable third class area.

Now we don't need to discuss which ship had the better looking interiors as this is a matter of personnel opinion. In my opinion Aquitania wins hands down.
 

Wesley Burton

Member
Apr 22, 2004
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Wasnt Britannic's width and length made larger by the redesign?

Some documentary said the width was increased by 2 feet and length by 20. I doubt the length was increased that much though.
 

Bob Read

Member
Dec 9, 2000
393
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Wesley:

The length was identical to Olympic and Titanic.
The breadth (however you measure it) was 18 inches wider.

You will see breadth discrepancies because often you are seeing figures for both moulded and extreme breadth given.
Also, there are different ways to measure
the length between perpendiculars. This also
can explain some of the differences you see.

Also there are just some flat out wrong figures
given.

Regards,
Bob Read
 
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Guest (R17)

Guest
But the Britannic never got to be fitted fully because war broke out ? Aquitania was certainly a very beautiful ship however I think her general appearance was more old fashioned looking as she was more cluttered with ventilators when compared to the more simplistic Olympic. Also I think her interior was more Edwardian looking than that of Olympic, again a lot of Oylmpics interior was again more simplistic. I prefer this to the Aquitania, and for me Oylmpic is the perfect ship when it come to beauty. I find it fascinating how something, which is built to be functional (mainly)can be so beautiful.

Having said that I can understand why some people might like the Aquitania more. But Olympic and certainly ship design from a visual point of view I think was ahead of it’s time in the early part of the 20th century and the Olympic is a good example of this.

Talking about interior Aquitania swimming pool certainly looked better than that of the Olympic or Titanic. However they did try to improve this when the Britannic came along - but still Aquitania was certainly better there
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Sep 22, 2003
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Coatesville, PA
About The Displacement Argument. I Will Not Consider that to be The Factor Which Decides WHich Ship Was Larger "Britannic" or Aquitania" For the Simple Reason That Displacement Tonnage Varies Depending on What stage of the voyage a ship is on, whether or not she is fully loaded and how much she has loaded on her, Adjustments in Maintenance can add make a ship displace more or less. So A much More Proper Way of Measuring A ship Would be Gross Tonnage, Britannic Obviously being the Larger ship there at 48,000 GRT, and Aquitania at 45,000 GRT. One Reason Aquitania's Gross Tonnage may be less than Britannic's is that her Bulkhead her Arrangement was Similar to that of Lusitania and Mauretania, Aquitania was also designed to have a Higher Average Speed of 23 knots, Britannic's Design Speed being 21 knots.
 
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Guest (R17)

Guest
I wonder what Kylie has to say about all of this if the question were put to her ?
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Just joking.....
 
Nov 5, 2006
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Britannic was certainly the larger one! Ive done research, and it appears as though the heaviest ship in the world, is the biggest! At that time, when Brit sunk, it was the Third heaviest ship, after Imperator and Vaterland(Bismark was unfinished).
 
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Andrew Neel

Guest
the britannic was suppose to sink in about 55 minutes ,so it went down faster than the titanic
 
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Timothy Trower

Guest
Um, well, the Britannic did indeed sink in 55 minutes (the Titanic took 2 hours, 40 minutes). But it sure wasn't designed to sink faster!

(Sorry, but that's what your statement/question sounded like to me.)
 

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