RMS MAJESTIC SPECIFICATION FILE

Majestic Port Bow

Above: Majestic lived up to her name. The White Star Line were proud to operate the largest liner in the world. (Author’s Collection.)

Majestic’s reign as the world’s largest ship lasted from her maiden voyage in 1922 until Normandie’s appearance in 1935, if we count the title for the largest ship in service. Her size can be appreciated in her technical measurements and capacities. For instance, the space deducted from her gross tonnage figure to ascertain the net tonnage figure is almost equal to Mauretania’s entire gross tonnage when she entered service as the largest ship in the world back in 1907; and even then Majestic’s net tonnage was greater than Adriatic’s gross tonnage in 1907. Quite simply, Majestic had a greater gross tonnage than Adriatic and Mauretania combined. Although, like Olympic, she had been designed primarily for comfort and luxury rather than speed, by 1925 Majestic’s recorded speed left no doubt that she was also very fast. Her fastest eastbound crossing averaged 25 knots, while her best day’s run up to that time came closer to 26 knots.

The specifications in this file were recorded prior to the 1928 refit, as the gross tonnage and net tonnage figures were subsequently amended by hand. However, the vast majority of the information is applicable to Majestic right up to 1936, by which time she had surpassed two hundred round trips to New York. Oddly enough, the á la carte restaurant’s 133 seats are sometimes omitted from documents counting the ‘saloon seats’ in first class. The fact that this was an extra-tarriff facility seems irrelevant, since Olympic’s á la carte restaurant was usually included in her specifications.

Some dimensions will vary from other sources, due to different methods of measurement. For example, the length between perpendiculars was given on Majestic’s Certificate of Registry as 915 feet 5 inches, rather than the 912 feet seen here, and to complicate matters slightly her British Register entry from 1922 gave it as 915 feet 6 inches (as reproduced in RMS Majestic: The ‘Magic Stick’, page 89). Her ‘length on deck’ according to Lloyd’s 1885 rules was given as 913 feet 6 inches. Many variations stemmed from different methods of measurement, or rounding, and further explanation of these methods can be found at Dave Gittins’ website. Similarly, some secondary sources might give the ship’s breadth as 100 feet or 100 feet 6 inches depending on whether they use the moulded or extreme breadth. One White Star Line brochure rounded it up to 101 feet. Her overall length has been given between 956 feet and 954 feet 6 inches, as well, depending on the sources used. The dramatic variations evident in some of the different methods of measurement are evident from the competition between Leviathan and Majestic in the 1920s, as they competed for the title of the ‘world’s largest ship’. The fact of the matter was that under any comparable measurement, Majestic was the larger of the two, yet Leviathan’s owners tried to claim the title for their ship based on her American-based gross tonnage.

BUILDER

Builder
Regd. Date
Class
Board of Trade Passenger Certificate
Load Line Certificate
No. of Propellers
Normal Weather. Average Speed (knots)
Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
1922
German Lloyd’s 100 A-4
Yes
Yes
4
23.5

DIMENSIONS

Length
Breadth
Depth
Overall, feet
Between perpendiculars, feet
Moulded, feet
Extreme, feet
Moulded, Side feet
Moulded, Centre, feet
954.5
912
100
100.5
64
64.2

TONNAGE

Gross
Deductions for Erections, Propelling Space, etc.
Net
Nationality
Official Number
Builder’s Number
56,551.08
30,227.12
26,369.57
British
146,555
(B & V) 214

CREW

Maximum Deck
Maximum Engine
Maximum Vic’g
Grand Total
90
216
787
1,093

DRAFT, DISPLACEMENT AND FREEBOARD

Light
Summer
Draft, feet
Dispt. Tons
Tons per Inch Immers’n
Block Co-eff.
Draft, feet
Dispt. Tons
Freeboard, feet
Tons Per Inch Im-mers’n
Block Co-eff.
Deadweight Tons
30 8½
48,250
162
.597
38 10¼
64,700
25 7½
169.3
.629
13,477

TANKS

Double Bottom Tanks
Deep Tanks
Peak Tanks
Domestic Tanks
Fresh Water only Tons
Salt Water only, Tons
Oil only Tons
Fresh or Salt Water Tons
Salt Water only Tons
Oil Tons
Salt Water Tons
Total Fresh Water Tons
Total Salt Water Tons
Total [Fuel] Oil Tons
Fresh Water Tons
Gallons
1,658
2,285
No 3 756
2,157
Frahm Tanks 539
1,126 S. W. or 2,104 Oil
421
3,815
3,282
8,717
141
31,584

WATERTIGHT SUBDIVISION, CARGO AND APPLIANCES

No. of Trans. W. T. Bulkheads
Cargo Holds
Size of largest Hatch on Weather Deck
No. of Winches available for Cargo
Special Appliances
13
6 Compts. 2 for Cargo
20 x 16
12 3 Ton each

Sub. Sig.

Wireless

Anti-Rolling Tanks

 

Dynamos
Emergency Dynamos
No.
Makers
Voltage
Total Output in K’watts
Makers
Total Output in K’watts
5
Allgemeine, Elec. Ges., Berlin
115
1,440
A. E. G.
70

PASSENGERS

1ST CLASS

Permanent
Alternative 1st or 2nd Class
Rooms.
Berths
Rooms
Berths
Max No. of Berths
Saloon Seats
243
800
27
75
875
678

2ND CLASS

Permanent
Alternative 1st or 2nd Class
Alternative 2nd or 3rd Class
Rooms.
Berths
Rooms
Berths
Rooms
Berths
Max No. of Berths
Saloon Seats
174
513
27
75
65
212
800
361

3RD CLASS

Berths
Alternative 2nd or 3rd Class
Rooms
In Berths
Open
Max No. of Berths
Saloon Seats
502
1,889
327
65
222
2,438

Aft Saloon 442

Forward Saloon 363

CARGO

Refrigerated Cargo

Capacity of all Cargo Spaces, excluding 3rd Cl. Spaces, Bridge Spaces and Refrig’d Spaces, Cubic Feet

Refrigd. Spaces available for Cargo, Cubic Feet

Grand Total of Cargo Space, Cubic Feet
No. of Comp’ts
No. of Cubic Feet
No. of Quarters
System
6,000
32,160
38,160
2
32,160
4,400
CO2 & Brine

FUEL

Consumption
Class of Fuel
Permanent Bunkers above Double Bottom. Oil Taken at 38 c. feet per Ton. Coal taken at 44 c. feet per Ton
Double Bottom. Oil Taken at 38 c. feet per Ton
Deep Tanks. Oil Taken at 38 c. feet per Ton
Total Fuel Tons
Per Day
Per 100 Knots
Oil
Cub. Feet
Tons
Cub. Feet
Tons
840
148
American
210,900
5,550
28,728
756
2,104
8,717

BOILERS

Number
Dimensions
Maker
Date
Pressure Ibs. per Sq. Inch
Type
Water Tube
Dia or Width
Yarrow
48
Steam Drums 5 Diam.
Blohm & Voss
1922
240

FURNACES

Grate
Area Sq. Ft.
Heating Surface Sq. Ft.
Natural or Forced Draught
Type of Oil Fuel System
No. of Burners
4,013
219,504
Forced
White
240

PROPELLERS

Turbine
Diam. Ft.
Pitch Ft.
Expand. Surface Sq. Ft.
16.5
15
119

HORSEPOWER

Average Turbine S.H.P.

Ahead 66,000

Astern 36,000

TURBINES

Type
Makers
No. of Rotors
No. of Stages Ahead
No. of Stages Astern
No. of Nozzles
Gearing Single or Double
Propeller Revs. per Min.
Parson’s Direct Drive
Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
4

H.P. Ad. 4

I.P. Ad. 10

L.P. Ad. 12

H.P. An. 5

L.P. An. 5

H.P. An. 42

I.P. Ad. 20

Direct Driven
180
Note: Although the specifications given here are very technical in nature, some simple abbreviations are easily understandable, while others require a more lengthy explanation.
Regd.: Registered.
Cert.: Certificate.
Dispt.: Displacement.
W.T.: Watertight.
Refrig’d.: Refrigerated.
Ilbs. per Sq. Inch: Pounds per square inch.
Revs. per Min.: Revolutions per minute.
C. feet./Cub feet: Cubic feet.
Tons per Inch Immers’n.: Tons per Inch Immersion, or the number of tons that are required to change the draught of the ship by one inch at a given level of draught.
Block Co-eff.: Block co-efficient. This is the ratio of the underwater volume of a ship to the volume of a rectangular block having the length, breadth and draft of the ship.
Deadweight: The deadweight is the difference between the loaded displacement of the ship and the displacement when it is completely empty of cargo, fuel, passengers, crew, etc.
Trans.: Transverse, i.e. a watertight bulkhead running across the ship, from side to side, rather than along the ship.
Expand. Surface Sq. Ft.: Expanded surface area of the propeller, in square feet.
S.H.P.: Shaft horsepower, the method of measuring a steam turbine’s power output.
H.P., I.P. and L.P.: High pressure, intermediate pressure, and low pressure. Majestic’s turbines had three stages when running ahead, as steam entered at high pressure and was reduced to a lower pressure.
Ad.: Ahead.
An.: Astern.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Sam Halpern’s assistance with some of the technical terms within this file is greatly appreciated. However, he is not responsible for any errors that may have crept in.

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