Why sisters


Lee Gilliland

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Feb 14, 2003
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Just out of sheer curiosity, does anyone know why the British shipping lines went into sister ships, whilst the German and French tended towards individual ships and not reproducing the same one over and over? Did it have to do with cost?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Did it have to do with cost?<<

Well, if it was me, that's what I'd bet on. It's easier and cheaper to produce hulls to the same general design then it is a one-off. I wouldn't say that the Germans avoided sister ships however. The Imperator and Vaterland were at least broadly similar in appearance. You might want to check out some of the ships on This Website to make some comparisions.
 
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Scott R. Andrews

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"...The Imperator and Vaterland were at least broadly similar in appearance..."

Mike,

Taking that one step further, while the Imperator and Vaterland were broadly similar, the Vaterland and Bismarck were true sister ships. As designed, they had minor differences about equivalent to those between the first two ships of the Olympic-class and the Britannic.

Regards,
Scott Andrews
 
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Brett Roshong

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If I am not mistaken, one yard built the Imperator while another yard built the Vaterland and the Bismarck.

It turns out that the first yard had not fully stabilized the ship as she tended to be a tender ship, rolling in even the slightest list. The builder, under a 5 year garantee, suffered heavy financial losses in 1913 while attempting to address the stability problem. The yard of Blohm and Voss built the Vaterland and Bismarck as a result of the imperator. Since two yard constructed the 3 ships, it would seem to make sense that they would appear to be some difference in appearence.

It must be remembered that in the case of the Olympic class liners all three were built by Harland and Wolfe. While in the case of the Lusitania, Mauretania, and Aquitania the Lusitania and Aquitania were built by John Brown and Co, while the Mauretania was built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson.

If I am not mistaken, it would seem that the Cunard liners would look similar to each other because of the Admiralty contract in place.
 
Jan 2, 2008
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Another factor is at that time (and even today) companies prefered constructing a string of ships with compatible service capabilities, by 1910 shipping lines were moving towards reducing the number of ships to maintain a weekly service from four to three vessels. Ships vastly different in size and speed would not be sufficiently compatible for a smooth running weekly service.
 
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Crystal Von

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>>It must be remembered that in the case of the Olympic class liners all three were built by Harland and Wolfe<<

The three sisters, Olympic,Titanic,Britannic were actually the same identical ship design 'triplets sibilins' with the only difference being there names.

>>whilst the German and French tended towards individual ships and not reproducing the same one over and over?<<

Don't know anything on the French but the Germans did have sister war ships during the WWII era.
The Bismarck and Tirpitz were classed as Sisters by the Germans,'Identical sibilins' just like the Olympic class liners...
however,the British are more common to have sisters and repeats of the same ships than the Germans.

Why?
The British did classed there ships as 'hers' the term for 'sister's ships' could be possable,Germans classed there ships as 'hes'... but never used the term of Brother ships?
 
>> Olympic,Titanic,Britannic were actually the same identical ship design

Actually, Crystal, while the hulls were pretty much identical, there were differences between the three. There were design changes to the Titanic made after lessons learned on the Olympic, such as the promenade deck, number of staterooms, etc. And there were design changes to the Britannic after lessons learned from the Titanic, such as lifeboat davits (one would hope), etc. They weren't identical.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>The three sisters, Olympic,Titanic,Britannic were actually the same identical ship design 'triplets sibilins' with the only difference being there names. <<

Close. The hulls and machinery of the first two were identical but there were some fairly signifigant external and internal differences betwwen the ships. Most of this is due to the Titanic being modified to have greater accommadations.

The Britannic was...among other changes...18 inches wider.

>>Don't know anything on the French but the Germans did have sister war ships during the WWII era.<<

Yes, and it's worth noting that these were all warships. Given the complexity and the high cost of military vessels, it's more cost effective to make as many to the same design as possible.

>>Why?
The British did classed there ships as 'hers' the term for 'sister's ships' could be possable,Germans classed there ships as 'hes'... but never used the term of Brother ships?<<

Actually not even relevant. The Germans tended to refer to warships in the masculine, but tend to use the feminine otherwise.
 

Mark Baber

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Dec 29, 2000
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British are more common to have sisters and repeats of the same ships than the Germans.

Imperator, Vaterland and Bismarck are to the contrary.
 
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Crystal Von

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My thoughts were on the British Queen ships and present day,ect.....QE-QE2-QV-QV2-QM-QM2,all
sister ships and repeats,all produced by the British.

Still,if Germany's shipping line were still existing today,Germans would have a fair mount of sisters and repeats of the Imperator,Vaterland and Bismarck,just as many as what the British had produce in the last 70 years.

I'll come forward,my previous comment was mis-leading and wrong.

my quote:
>>the British are more common to have sisters and repeats of the same ships than the Germans<<
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>My thoughts were on the British Queen ships and present day,ect.....QE-QE2-QV-QV2-QM-QM2,all
sister ships and repeats,all produced by the British.<<

Strictly speaking, these were not sister ships. "Sister ships" in nautical parlance refers to vessels built to the same basic design.
 

Mark Baber

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Dec 29, 2000
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>QE-QE2-QV-QV2-QM-QM2

QV2?

>Strictly speaking, these were not sister ships.

Those aren't even "sister ships" in the sometimes-seen looser sense of "running mates." Nearly 40 years passed between the time QE and QM left service and the time QM2 came on the scene.

>if Germany's shipping line were still existing today

Both Hapag and NDL are still around in the form of Hapag-Lloyd, which operates both cruise ships and container ships.

>Germans would have a fair mount of sisters

Probably not, for the same reason that Cunard doesn't run sister ships any more. The passenger ship industry of the 21st century bears no resemblance to the passenger ship industry of the first half of the 20th century.

>and repeats of the Imperator,Vaterland and Bismarck

None of those names was ever reused.
 
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Brent Holt

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The QV and QE are sisterships. "Platform" designs, basically sisterships, are very common today.
 

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