The Boats
Harland & Wolff's boat shop

Originally, "Olympic" and "Titanic" were designed to carry 66 lifeboats, enough for everyone on board. This is also the reason why the new type Welin Quadrant Davits were installed: They could easily be swung back in to handle another set of lifeboats.

It was feared, however, by the White Star Line management, that the boat deck would look too crammed and that passengers and public could become uneasy about the safety of the new gigantic liners, so it was initially decided to scratch the inner row of lifeboats, reducing the number to 32. Shortly thereafter, however, an order was issued that both "Olympic" and "Titanic" be outfitted with only 20 lifeboats each.

This figure is still more than required by the antiquated British Board of Trade regulations: They asked for only 16 boats for a ship of "Titanic"'s size.

Lifeboat Specs

Number Length Width Height Capacity
ea.
Capacity
total
2 wooden emergency cutters
(Lifeboats #1 and #2)
25'2" 7'2" 3'0" 40 80
14 wooden lifeboats
(Lifeboats #3 through #16)
30'0" 9'1" 4'0" 65 910
4 Engelhardt collapsibles
(Lifeboats #A through #D)
27'5" 8'0" 3'0" 47 188
  GRAND TOTAL 1,178
  SOULS ON BOARD ON APRIL 15, 1912 2,208
  TOTAL LIFEBOAT SEATS MISSING 1,030

Other safety features

Aside from the lifeboats, "Titanic" also had 48 life-savers and 3,500 lifejackets on board. Although this was more than enough, they were utterly useless in the subzero water conditions that prevailed during the sinking.

Home
Home