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Updated: Nov. 24th, 2007

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A chart room aboard an unknown German ocean liner of the period. J. Kent Layton collection.

A chart room aboard an unknown German ocean liner of the period. Here, one officer is plotting a course while the other listens for the signals from a lightship through the telephone receivers of the submarine signaling device. On the bulkhead is a cabinet containing a master clock set up for the ship’s many clocks.
J. Kent Layton collection

Artist’s Impression of Gymnasium Interior. The Shipbuilder / Author’s collection.

Artist’s Impression of Gymnasium Interior - An early conceptual drawing of the 1st Class Gymnasium on Olympic. Though this illustration is far from how the room actually turned out, the illustration showing the exercise machines in use is helpful in understanding how some of these devices were utilized. The Shipbuilder / Author’s collection

View Aft Along Boat Deck From Forward 1st Class Entrance on Titanic. Josha Inglis collection.

View Aft Along Boat Deck From Forward 1st Class Entrance on Titanic.
Josha Inglis collection

Plan of No. 3 Funnel Deckhouse. Illustration by Bruce Beveridge.

   Introduction - The Boat Deck was the uppermost deck of the ship. Much of it was open to passengers for promenading and leisure. Dividing the deck along much of its length were deckhouses constructed around the boiler and machinery casings, as well as raised roofs over the several 1st Class public rooms located on the deck below. The majority of the ship’s ventilators were located here as well, but owing to the use of Sirocco fans to assist with moving air, Titanic's Boat Deck was not obstructed with the typical unsightly forest of ventilation heads prominent on so many other ships of the period. Also conspicuous by their absence were the huge cowls which delivered air to the forced-draft systems in the boiler spaces of ships like Cunard’s Mauretania.

   A large continuous deck area, sheathed in yellow pine, extended along both sides of the ship and around the after end of this deck. The raised roofs of the 1st Class Reading and Writing Room and the 1st Class Lounge, which extended upward through the Boat Deck by several feet, were also sheathed over in yellow pine, and provided space for deck games
. . . (continued)


Image above, Plan of No. 3 Funnel Deckhouse.
Illustration by Bruce Beveridge

   Wheelhouse - The Wheelhouse effectively formed the forward end of the Officers’ Quarters deckhouse. Like the Navigating Bridge shelter, it was constructed entirely of wood so as not to influence the magnetic compass. Although the engine order telegraphs were not located here, the Wheelhouse could well be regarded as the main control center for the ship - it was not only steered from here while at sea, but four of the six telephone circuits in the navigating group terminated here. Also, the telemotor was located in the Wheelhouse, with the wheel in the Navigating Bridge shelter linked to it by means of a shaft that could be engaged or disengaged.

   Access to the Wheelhouse was gained from the open deck outside via a teak door fitted on each side. These doors would have been solid (without a round bull’s-eye light), consistent with other Harland & Wolff ships of the period. As evidenced from photographs, in later years bull’s-eye lights were added to Olympic’s wheelhouse doors, but the approximate date of this alteration is unknown
. . . (continued)


   Exterior - The exterior of the Officers’ Quarters deckhouse (and most of the deckhouses on the Boat Deck), was fitted with white-painted iron storm rails. The margin planks around the roof of the Officer’s Deckhouse, 1st Class Entrance, and Gymnasium had a brown-painted wooden nosing running horizontally below the washboards on the roof. At the deck level on the port and starboard bulkheads were 10-inch circular windows which allowed air and light into the inner 1st Class staterooms below on A Deck. A shaft led from the backside of each of these “skid lights” through the Boat Deck room inside, passing downward at an angle into the A Deck stateroom ceilings below. These light-and-air shafts were ingeniously concealed behind the officers’ settees and were fitted with special prismatic glass to better disperse the light within the staterooms below . . . (continued)


   No. 4 Funnel deckhouse - The forward and side bulkheads of the No. 4 Funnel deckhouse surrounded the turbine engine casing. This casing contained ventilation fans, two additional light-and-air shafts to the Galley on D Deck and a spiral crew stairwell on the port side that led as far down as D Deck, opening out into the 1st and 2nd Class Galley. Along the port and starboard bulkheads were rows of rectangular glass windows mounted into the plating from inside, interrupted by ventilation fans and access doors. The after end of the deckhouse was used for storage, primarily for deck chairs, and also contained a Cloak Room. However, a mystery has surrounded this area of Titanic for years. It has been said by some that one of the two storage rooms was converted into a dog kennel at some point. This opinion is given further weight by the fact that Olympic would have a dog kennel in this area after 1912. Britannic was also built with a kennel very close to this area. The other opinion holds that the dog kennel was located below in the area of the 3rd Class Galley, a place convenient for feeding the pets, as one of the Cooks could feed the dogs kitchen scraps . . . (continued)


Image left-bottom, Looking aft along the port side of the Titanic’s Boat Deck at the raised roof over the 1st Class Reading and Writing Room. The bulkheads of the Reading and Writing Room and the Lounge were not in a straight line fore-and-aft because of the alcoves created by the bow and bay windows of the rooms below. On Olympic, the roof edge was contoured to follow all of these alcoves whereas on Titanic, the decking of the raised roof was plated and sheathed over above the alcoves between the bay windows of the Lounge. Also on Titanic, a 20-inch cowl and fan were added to this area of the roof.


Other topics in this chapter:

Navigating Bridge - Watchstanding - Chart Room, Navigating Room and Pilot’s cabin - Captain’s quarters - Officers’ and Marconi operators’ quarters - 1st Class staterooms - 1st Class Entrance - Gymnasium - Raised roof over 1st Class Reading and Writing Room and 1st Class Lounge - No. 3 Funnel deckhouse - Tank Room and reciprocating engine casing - Raised roof over 1st Class Smoke Room - 2nd Class entrance - plus Dimensions and Specifications

Copyright 2007 Beveridge, Hall, Andrews, Klistorner and Braunschweiger. All material represented as being included in this book subject to final considerations of publisher.

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