The main 30 ft. lifeboats of Titanic were a focal point
of the disaster. Unfortunately.we do not have any detailed plans
of these boats. They may exist in the Harland and Wolff archives
but as yet we have been unable to locate them. It is also possible
that there were never any plans of these boats. Much of traditional
boatbuilding has been done without plans. The boatwright would
know the specific dimensions for any particular boat type and
He had made enough
of them and the methods passed down to him did not include specific
plans in many cases.
The model builder
is faced with a difficult situation when trying to model these
boats. While the major dimensions are known, very little has
been known about the interior details. The modeler has been
forced, in many cases, to model the main lifeboats with the
covers on. It is for these reasons that I decided to try to
draw the 30 ft. main lifeboats. To do so I have used the rigging
plans, photos of the interiors, and textual descriptions of
In some of the
Board of Trade literature the main dimensions are given in feet
It is my personal
opinion that the main dimensions were whole numbers. I believe
the Board of Trade numbers were arrived at by tape measure.
It is because of this that the measured dimensions may have
feet and inches. I believe the inches were either from the inaccuracies
inherent in tape measurement or the actual boats were built
fractionally different than the specified whole number measurements.
The interior details
were taken almost exclusively from photos of Titanic's actual
The photo survey
of these interiors was incomplete. From my study of other ships'
boats I have included details of construction that were common
to many boats of the day. At the present it is the best that
can be accomplished with the available information.
Rather than give
a lengthy treatise on the lifeboats I will instead comment briefly
on each of the drawings included in this article. While the
original drawings have nice smooth curves, the process of converting
them to a format that could be used here has introduced some
pixelization or "zig zag" of the curved lines.