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vessel was built throughout of steel and had a cellular
double bottom of the usual type, with a floor at every
frame, its depth at the centre line being 62 in., except
in way of the reciprocating machinery, where it was 78
in. For about half of the length of the vessel this double
bottom extended up the ship’s side to a height of 7 ft
above the keel. It was so divided that there were four
separate watertight compartments in the breadth of the
vessel. Before and abaft the machinery space there was
a watertight division at the centre line only, except
in the foremost and aftermost tanks. Above the double
bottom the vessel was constructed on the usual transverse
frame system, reinforced by web frames, which extended
to the highest decks.
At the forward end the framing and plating was strengthened
with a view to preventing painting, and damage when meeting
thin harbour ice.
were fitted on every frame at all decks, from the Boat
deck downwards. An external bilge keel, about 300 ft long
and 25 in deep, was fitted along the bilge amidships.
The heavy ship’s plating was carried right up to the Boat
deck, and between the C and B deck was doubled. The stringer
or edge plate of the B deck was also doubled. This double
plating was hydraulic riveted.
All decks were steel plated throughout.
transverse strength of the ship was in part dependent
on the 15 transverse watertight bulkheads, which were
specially stiffened and strengthened to enable them to
stand the necessary pressure in the event of accident,
and they were connected by double angles to decks, inner
bottom and shell plating.
The two decks above the B deck were of comparatively light
scantling, but strong enough to ensure their proving satisfactory
in these positions in rough weather.
Sub-division. – In the preparation of the design of this
vessel it was arranged that the bulkheads and divisions
should be so placed that the ship would remain afloat
in the event of any two adjoining compartments being flooded,
and that they should be so built and strengthened that
the ship would remain afloat under this condition. The
minimum freeboard that the vessel would have, in the event
of any two compartments being flooded, was between 2 ft
6 in and 3 ft from the deck adjoining the top of the watertight
bulkheads. With this object in view 15 watertight bulkheads
were arranged in the vessel. The lower part of C bulkhead
was doubled and was in the form of a cofferdam. So far
as possible the bulkheads were carried up in one plane
to their upper sides, but in cases where they had for
any reason to be stepped forward or aft, the deck, in
way of the step, was made into a watertight flat, thus
completing the watertightness of the compartment. In addition
to this, G deck in the after peak was made a watertight
flat. The Orlop deck between bulkheads which formed the
top of the tunnel was also watertight. The Orlop deck
in the forepeak tank was also a watertight flat. The electric
machinery compartment was further protected by a structure
some distance in from the ship’s side, forming six separate
watertight compartments, which were used for the storage
of fresh water.
openings were required for the working of the ship in
these watertight bulkheads, they were closed by watertight
sliding doors which could be worked from a position above
the top of the watertight bulkhead, and those doors immediately
the inner bottom were of a special automatic closing pattern,
as described below. By this sub-division there were in
all 73 compartments, 29 of these being above the inner
doors. – The doors (12 in number) immediately above the
inner bottom were in the engine and boiler room spaces.
They were of Messrs. Harland and Wolff’s latest type,
working vertically. The doorplate was of cast iron of
heavy section, strongly ribbed. It closed by gravity,
and was held in the open position by a clutch which could
be released by means of a powerful electro-magnet controlled
from the captain’s bridge. In the event of accident, or
at any time when it might be considered desirable, the
captain or officer on duty could, by simply moving an
electric switch, immediately close all these doors. The
time required for the doors to close was between 25 and
30 seconds. Each door could also be closed from below
by operating a hand lever fitted alongside the door. As
a further precaution floats were provided beneath the
floor level, which, in the event of water accidentally
entering any of the compartments, automatically lifted
and thus released the clutches, thereby permitting the
doors in that particular compartment to close if they
had not already been dropped by any other means. These
doors were fitted with cataracts which controlled the
speed of closing. Due notice of closing from the bridge
was given by a warning bell.
ladder or escape was provided in each boiler room, engine
room and similar watertight compartment, in order that
the closing of the doors at any time should not imprison
the men working therein.
The watertight doors on E deck were of horizontal pattern,
with wrought steel door plates. Those on F deck and the
one aft on the Orlop deck were of similar type, but had
cast iron door plates of heavy section, strongly ribbed.
Each of the ‘tween deck doors, and each of the vertical
doors on the tank top level could be operated by the ordinary
hand gear from the deck above the top of the watertight
bulkhead, and from a position on the next deck above,
almost directly above the door. To facilitate the quick
closing of the doors, plates were affixed in suitable
positions on the sides of the alleyways indicating the
positions of the deck plates, and a box spanner was provided
for each door, hanging in suitable clips alongside the
Side Doors. – Large side doors were provided through the
side plating, giving access to passengers’ or crew’s accommodation
the saloon (D) deck on the starboard side in the forward
third-class open space, one baggage door.
In way of the forward first-class entrance, two doors
close together on each side.
On the upper (E) deck, one door each side at the forward
end of the working passage. One door each side on the
port and starboard sides aft into the forward second-class
All the doors on the upper deck were secured by lever
handles, and were made watertight by means of rubber strips.
Those on the saloon deck were closed by lever handles
but had no rubber.
Ladder. – One teak accommodation ladder was provided,
and could be worked on either side of the ship in the
gangway door opposite the second-class entrance on the
upper deck (E). It had a folding platform and portable
stanchions, hand rope, etc. The ladder extended to within
3 ft 6 in of the vessel’s light draft, and was stowed
overhead in the entrance abreast the forward second-class
main staircase. Its lower end was arranged so as to be
raised and lowered from a davit immediately above.
and Rigging. – The vessel was rigged with two masts and
fore and aft sales. The two pole masts were constructed
of steel, and stiffened with angle irons. The poles at
the top of the mast were made of teak.
A look-out cage, constructed of steel, was fitted on the
foremast at a height of about 95 ft above the water line.
Access to the cage was obtained by an iron vertical ladder
inside of the foremast, with an opening at C deck and
one at the look-out cage. An iron ladder was fitted on
the foremast from the hounds to the mast-head light.
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