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Inside Titanic - the world's most famous passenger ship

RMS Titanic Owners' Workshop Manual 1909-12 (Olympic Class)
March 2011
David F. Hutchings and Richard de Kerbre
Out Now

As the centenary of the Titanic's loss approaches, the world's most famous passenger ship finally gets the Haynes treatment. The RMS Titanic Owners' Workshop Manual, including hundreds of photographs and illustrations, details how the ill-fated ocean liner was built, launched and fitted out. Classic Haynes style cutaways and technical illustrations show key machinery and equipment, including the features that were meant to make the Titanic 'practically unsinkable.'

Titanic - the second of the Olympic Class liners - was not revolutionary in design, but was remarkable for her size. She measured 882ft 9in from stem to stern, her navigating bridge towered 104ft above the keel, and she could carry more than 3,300 passengers and crew.

With a gross tonnage of 46,328 tons, Titanic sacrificed speed in favour of size and luxury, space and comfort on the North Atlantic passenger route.

This authoritative text outlines how this Leviathan was built, launched and fitted out. Lavish illustrations reveal everything from the opulence of the first class accommodation that made her the talk of Edwardian Britain, to the squalor of the engine rooms, where 48 firemen stoked the fires at any one time. Known as the 'Black Gang' or the 'Black Feet Brigade' they tended 159 furnaces that consumed 850 tons of coal a day. This unrelenting work, deep in the bowels of the ship, meant that suicide rates amongst stokers on coal-fired ships like Titanic were alarmingly high.

Titanic's 15 watertight bulkheads were believed at the time to make her one of the safest ocean liners in the world. But these bulkheads did not extend high enough, and this, along with insufficient lifeboats, proved to be her Achilles' heel. On her maiden voyage across the North Atlantic on 15 April 1912, Titanic struck an iceberg and sank with heavy loss of life.

Illustrations in the RMS Titanic Owners' Workshop Manual also show the fatigue cracks that appeared on her sistership Olympic in her expansion joints, designed to allow the ship to flex with the movement of the sea. These are the points at which the Titanic broke in two.

Daily life on board the White Star Line's flagship vessel is also described; including the Captain's many responsibilities, how the Chief Engineer kept the mighty ship and its systems running and how an army of staff toiled below deck from the engine rooms to the kitchens.

The RMS Titanic Owners' Workshop Manual offers a rare and fascinating insight into the design, construction and operation of one of the greatest passenger ships of the 20th century.

About the authors

David F. Hutchings I.Eng., MRINA served his shipwright apprenticeship in the Royal Dockyard at Portsmouth. He followed a career as a draughtsman, weights engineer and technical librarian in the Royal Dockyard, at the Admiralty Experimental Works, Haslar, with Vosper International and Marconi Underwater Systems, and finally with Vosper Thornycroft. This is David's tenth book on maritime history. Although born on the Isle of Wight he now lives in Lee-on-The Solent.

Richard P. de Kerbrech B.Sc., Cert.Ed., I.Eng., served his marine engineering apprenticeship with Shaw, Savill & Albion shipping company. He was an inspector at the Admiralty Marine Engineering Establishment before becoming a lecturer in Mechanical and Production Engineering. Dick is the author of twelve books on maritime history. He lives on the Isle of Wight.

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