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Updated: Nov. 24th, 2007

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A Deck Bulwark. Author’s collection.

A Deck Bulwark - A photograph of Olympic’s A Deck bulwark, showing the frame legs that supported the outboard ends of the transverse beams of the Boat Deck above.
Author’s collection

Awning Stanchions Beneath No. 1 Funnel. Author’s collection.

Awning Stanchions Beneath No. 1 Funnel - Flanking the boiler casing at the base of the No. 1 Funnel on Olympic and Titanic were stanchions supporting a wire jackstay used to secure an awning.
Author’s collection

Railing with Teak Top Rail. Cork Examiner / Author’s collection.

Railing with Teak Top Rail - A railing with a teakwood top rail at the after end of A Deck on Titanic.
Cork Examiner / Author’s collection

Railing Stanchions. Author’s collection.

   Bulwarks - On steel vessels, solid bulwarks were fitted to many areas along the outer perimeters of the weather decks for the safety of the passengers and crew. The bulwarks were usually formed from thin steel plates which, although of lighter materials and not a component part of the hull proper, were substantially stiffened and braced from behind in order to endure the severe stresses placed upon them by the repeated impact of green seas in heavy weather.

  The bulwark plating was generally .20 inches to .44 inches thick, with the lighter plating employed on the higher decks to save weight and thereby minimize any negative effect on the ship’s stability. The plates were formed in lengths varying from 12 to 20 feet and were joined together with
. . . (continued)


Image above, Railing Stanchions - Drawing showing the details typical to shipboard open railings. Rivets were another way to secure the rail bars through the stanchion balls instead of wedging. The dimensions of the fittings shown are generic, and not specific to Titanic.
Author’s collection.

   Stanchions - Stanchions were made of galvanized iron, forged under a steam hammer from stout bar stock. The intersection with the rails was achieved through what appeared as a “ball” at each elevation. A hole was drilled through each of these balls after forging, which created a loose fit for the rails. After the rails were passed through, wedging and caulking was used to tighten them in place. On the Forecastle and Poop Decks, excepting those areas bordering the Well Decks, the stanchions were riveted directly to the inboard side of the sheer strakes. On the forward side of the Poop Deck and the aft side of the Forecastle Deck, the railings were riveted to the 6-inch steel wash plates . . . (continued)


   Teak rails - Wooden top rails, where fitted, were made of teak. These were intended for passengers to lean on when looking out to sea. The nomenclature given to these wooden rails varied not only by shipyard, but according to the location on the ship as well; “guardrails” and “accommodation rails” were commonly used terms.

   The wooden rails were fastened to the heads of the stanchions with flat-head bolts, sunk into the top of the rail to a depth of half an inch. The undersides of the bolt heads were coated with lead paint and oakum. To cover the head of the bolt and plug the hole in the rail, a dowel coated with paint around its circumference was driven in tight and trimmed flush
. . . (continued)


   Folding gangway doors - On Titanic, as with many other large passenger liners, large gangway doors were provided in the bulwarks opposite each hatchway to avoid having to lift cargo over the bulwarks. A pair of these doors was located on both sides of Titanic’s Well Decks. The Well Deck bulwarks and their gangway doors were designed as a faired continuation of the surface of the hull below, providing a continuity of appearance along the sheer line of the hull. These doors were secured to the curtain plate by rivets incorporating special hinges. When closed, they were locked in position by sliding bolts and buttressed by portable stays. To make up for the transverse weakness of the bulwarks due to the discontinuity introduced by these large gangway doors, the Well Deck bulwarks were particularly well stayed. (continued)


Other topics in this chapter:
Wash ports - Railings - Awning rafters and stanchions - plus general specifications of bulwarks and railings for individual decks

Copyright 2007 Beveridge, Hall, Andrews, Klistorner and Braunschweiger.

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