Would the ship have survived longer if the boiler rooms had been capped off


Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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Dear everyone,
This is something that goes back to a thread on this board before Christmas; namely, were there any sealable doors at the top of the escape ladders from the boiler rooms?
From the discussion and emails I got, it seemed that there were no doors, and the ladders led out to Scotland Road. This means that once the boiler rooms were full, they would simply go up to the next deck up. What if the hatchways had doors on them though? The Titanic's upper decks might not have become flooded so quickly, as they would only have had water coming in from the overflowing of the forward-most compartments.

This of course doesn't take into account that water would have flowed up the funnel casing if the boiler's furnace doors had been left open...

Another "what if?" for history?

Best wishes

Paul

 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>namely, were there any sealable doors at the top of the escape ladders from the boiler rooms?<<

Nope. None...at least that I'm aware of. Unfortunately, we don't know that watertight hatches would have done more then slow things down. With the sheer mass of water being taken in up forward, and with the stern rising up...and thus recieving less support for the hull girder from the water...the stresses imposed would have imposed enormous bending loads on the hull.

I've a hunch that the water seen rising in boiler room 4 could be an indication of the early stages of structural failure, that is to say seams splitting and rivets failing under tension either in the double bottom or the watertight bulkhead. I'm not aware of anyone having observed water coming down from above when this was first noticed, and it had to come from somewhere.

Caveat: There are two reasons why there would be no account of water coming down from above. One being that it never did, and the other being that it may have been observed but the witnesses didn't live to tell the tale.

>>This of course doesn't take into account that water would have flowed up the funnel casing if the boiler's furnace doors had been left open... <<

I'd like to know how furnace doors being closed would have been a factor since this things weren't even remotely watertight.
 

Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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Hi Mike,
I didn't know that the boilers weren't watertight, although in retrospect it should be obvious...

...as or why I was curious about water going up the funnel casing if/when the boiler doors were shut, well, water would have had to get in there somehow....

By the way, ISTR reading in ANTR that one survivor did see water gushing down some steps, somewhere near the Turkish baths I think. The explanation given in the text is that this is water that has slopped over the top of the forward-most compartment into this aft one.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I'm sure that water was seen going down steps in quite a few sections. The question however is whether or not it was seen coming down from above in Boiler Room 4. It may have been, but I'm not aware of any witnesses who stated that, though I may have missed something too.
 

Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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I tend to agree with you, that if anyone did see water flowing into the boiler room 4, then they probably didn't survive to report it, after all, it must have been a fairly late point in the sinking process. It probably wouldn't have been important anyway.... water was flowing up from below in boiler room 4, and althoug the rate was slow, after the room was evacuated, it could have accelerated....?

Best wishes

Paul

 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>after the room was evacuated, it could have accelerated....?<<

Oh I'm sure it did...say around two in the morning!
wink.gif
 

Raymond Leggs

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Apr 3, 2003
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That was a common sence Mistake in the design of the ships as in there were no sealable doors above the Boiler rooms.
And If they knew a little better they would realize that the water on the top decks woud run down to the lower unflooded boiler rooms
I surely Hope Modern Ships arent still built like this.
sad.gif


Regards
Raymond Leggs
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Common sense...often isn't. Raymond, if you check Edward Wilding's testimony at the Mersey Wreck Commission, you'll see that these points were addressed. Watertight decks can be a benefit provided the damage you take happens below them. If it happena above the level of the watertight decks, this would impose certain topweight problems which can have an adverse effect on stabilty...read that to mean rollover and capsize if you have enough weight in the upper levels where you don't want it.

Not a good thing.

There are also maintainance problems to consider as watertight hatches need to be looked after to...for example...make sure that the gaskets are in good shape. This can be quite the time and labour intensive task to take care of. It's difficult enough on a warship where you have plenty of people who are trained to look after all of this. On a passenger vessel, you don't have that many trained people available who can do this sort of thing.

While watertight decks can have a value, I hope you can see now why any such could actually cause more problems then they solve.
 
A

Alicia Coors

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"...If they knew a little better they would realize that the water on the top decks woud run down to the lower unflooded boiler rooms..."

You should be designing ships.
 

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