A Giant

The biggest

The Titanic, the largest ship afloat at the time of her maiden voyage was actually one of three sister ships. The Olympic, the Titanic, and the Britannic were very similar in size (approximate 882ft long) and accommodations. The Titanic was the middle sister weighing in at 46,328 gross tons, only slightly larger than the Olympic at 45,323 gross tons. The Britannic was the largest of the three, weighing in at 48,158 gross tons. The extra tonnage of the Britannic was due to modifications made in light of the Titanic's disaster.

Although surpassed in size in later years by other liners (e.g. Queen Mary 1019ft, Queen Elizabeth 1031ft and the present day Queen Elizabeth 2 963ft) for their time, the Olympic class of liners represented the largest vessels ever constructed.

Overall length 882'8"
Breadth 92'0"
Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) 46328 tons
Weight 21831 tons
Full passenger capacity 3547
Passengers (embarked) 1343
Crew (embarked) 885
Olympic & Titanic under the gantry

Olympic & Titanic under the gantry

The Launch

The White Star Line, owners of the Titanic, and also the builders, Harland and Wolff, never publicly stated that the Titanic was unsinkable. They knew much better than that. Rather it was the public and the press who marveled at the many lifesaving devices such as automatic watertight doors and bulkheads.

White Star and Harland and Wolff never believed in christening any of their ships. At the launching one worker was overheard to say "They just builds her and shoves her in!" Over twenty-three tons of tallow and soap was spread one inch thick on the ways to better help the ship slide easily into the water during the launching the Titanic reached a speed of twelve knots during the launch, stopping in about her own length dragging chains to slow her down. The actual launch took 62 seconds to complete.


The launch of the Titanic

Data Sheet

Port of registry Liverpool
Build number 401
Official number 131428
Radio call sign MGY
Normal cruising speed 21 knots
Main bulkheads 16
Steam reciprocating engines 2
Reciprocating engine revolutions (per minute) 77
Turbine engine 1
Turbine engine revolutions (per minute) 127
Total horsepower 51000 hp
Coal consumption on normal service 825 tons/day
Double ended boilers 24
Single ended boilers 5
Furnaces 159
Steam pressure 215 psi
Propellers 3
Compasses 18
Water tight doors 12
Time required to fully close the water tight doors 25 - 30 seconds
Electric elevators for passenger use 3
Anchors 3
Anchors weight 15.5 tons (2x)
~ 10 tons (1x)
Rudder weight 101 tons
Rivets used for the construction > 3 million

The engines


The boilers