Why Titanic sank

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Mik the stick, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Mik the stick
    Joined: Dec 2012
    Posts: 189
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 6
    Location: Devon

    Mik the stick Senior Member

    Ok everyone knows it hit an iceberg, but it did not have to happen. I'm sure most people would agree that steaming full speed on I think it was a foggy day in seas where icebergs are commonplace is lunacy. That said many reasons for the disaster have been put forward. My favorite was the rudder was too small.

    The ship could do a crash stop in 850yds in 3.25 mins but still hit the iceberg, therefore is the iceberg could not be seen soon enough to stop turning out of the way is the other alternative. From the dimensions of the rudder and allowing that much of it was out of the water I estimate about 680 sq ft of effective rudder. Recently I found a formula to estimate required rudder size. Now I know formulas are not everyone cup of tea but the results were interesting. required rudder 1552sq ft. With a bigger rudder it might never have happened.
     
  2. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    With better seamanship it may have never happened.

    The Capt. and crew of any vessel must operate it safely within the limits of it's capability.

    The TITANIC sank because it had a hole in it.
     
  3. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 2,936
    Likes: 139, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1593
    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    one of a critical but little known contributing factor, among many, was the hull material was more brittle than specified. The new type alloy that was specified was tough and strong (allowing a larger hull to be safely built), but the steel supplier could not deliver the quantities in time, so they substituted another type of steel that had the same strength, but was not as tough. when the brittle hull side swiped the ice burg it shattered a long breech in the hull rather than bending it, flooding multiple compartments, and than the hull also broke in half as it sank. Using the specified alloy alone could have stopped the sinking. I read about this in a engineering magazine, it was not discovered until the wreck was was found and samples of the hull were brought up and studied in a lab. Apparently the question never came up during the inquiry, and I am sure the supplier was not going to volunteer this information.

    Steerage is an interesting theory, but the recent sinking of the Concordia demonstrates the the crew needs to know how much room is needed to clear an obstetrical. So even in a modern design you could argue that the rudder was too small, it was crew error that sank both Titanic and Concordia. And lot of other issues that added up to make a really costly event.
     
  4. MikeJohns
    Joined: Aug 2004
    Posts: 3,192
    Likes: 206, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2054
    Location: Australia

    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Actually it was the moon that sank the titanic wasn't it:rolleyes: Wasn't it a king tide that floated a lot of grounded bergs off the Newfoundland coast.

    Whatever the cause of the ice field other ships slowed down, the Californian stopped and tried to warn Titanic's wireless operator who told her to shut up because he was sending personal telelgrams for important passengers.....and so it goes on.

    I don't think you should start blaming the designers. Turning circles of 2 Nautical Miles are just as common today as they were then. Remember ship design is about juggling the compromises for the best result given intended use(SOR). Destroyer type maneuverability was not in the Titanics SOR any more than Costa concordia's.


    As for formula not a boat designers cup of tea ! Maybe we should just read the entrails of a sacrificed goat for rudder design :)
     
  5. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 8,572
    Likes: 505, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    It was the captain's baby, and he didn't look after it too well ! Oh well, he did go down with it, I s'pose. :(
     
  6. peter radclyffe
    Joined: Mar 2009
    Posts: 1,406
    Likes: 59, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 680
    Location: europe

    peter radclyffe Senior Member

    it sank primarily because of arrogance,
    and because the watertight bulkheads were not full height watertight bulkheads,
    its interesting to read about the inferior quality of steel,
    a brittle scottish train bridge collapsed for similar reasons
     
  7. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member

    My first thought.
     
  8. MikeJohns
    Joined: Aug 2004
    Posts: 3,192
    Likes: 206, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2054
    Location: Australia

    MikeJohns Senior Member


    Really from any modern SOLAS perspective the watertight bulkheads did their job admirably. There was ample time to get everyone off had there been the capacity to do so. But regulation by the board of trade required an inadequate number of life boats and the designers just gave her the required number, that was the tradgedy. When the sister ship HMHS Brittanic sank not so long she carried sufficient life boats.

    The steel wasn't inadequate it was just open hearth steel and they didn't know about ductility and temperature effects then. That wasn't known until the 1940's It's doubtful that stronger steels would have made any difference anyway.

    The Scottish bridges were Dee and Tay. Dee was Stephensons cast iron not steel and suffered brittle failure. Tay was abysmally designed for wind loads.
     
  9. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    It sank because it was made by man and everything man does is a disater !! aske any women !! :(
     
  10. HakimKlunker
    Joined: Aug 2009
    Posts: 274
    Likes: 9, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 146
    Location: Thailand

    HakimKlunker Andreas der Juengere

    Y A A A A A W N

    Shall we next discuss OneAustralia, or why the Dinosaurs disappeared?
     
  11. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 8,572
    Likes: 505, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    OneAustralia ? Huh ?
     
  12. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,596
    Likes: 253, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2489
    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    OneAustralia? Is that like Mexamericanada?
     
  13. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,596
    Likes: 253, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2489
    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Good old John Howard. I get it now.
     
  14. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    Y A A A A A W N Yeah thats probably what the captain said !!!

    Why did the dinosaurs leave home any way ??:confused:
     

  15. Number4

    Number4 Previous Member

    I think he might have been refering to the 1995 America's Cup boat "oneAustralia" that snapped in half going "down under" in double quick time, and not to little Johnny Howard's immigration policy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Yau9A7XDHs
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.