On a Grand Scale

from “Rovings,” Professional BoatBuilder No. 153
Compiled by Dan Spurr

Queen Mary's many rivetsDan Spurr

During a recent visit to Southern California, I stayed at a Long Beach hotel with a view of the Queen Mary, launched in 1934 for the Cunard Steamship Co. The 1,019′ (311m) passenger liner was built by John Brown & Co. in Clydebank, Scotland, and designed to carry passengers from Europe to the U.S. faster than any other ship. Her other feats are no less impressive:

  • 3 years, 10 months, 26 days construction time
  • 12 decks
  • 1,957 passengers
  • 1,174 officers and crew
  • 16,082 soldiers ferried on one voyage to the European front
  • 145 persons lifeboat capacity (no lessons from the Titanic?)
  • 160,000 hp/120,000 kW (4 x 40,000-hp steam engines)
  • 140 tons weight of rudder
  • 8′–30′ x 1.25″ (2.4m–9.1m x 32mm) plates
  • 10 million-plus rivets
  • 2,000 portholes
  • 13′/gal (1m/l) fuel consumption
  • 990′ (302m) anchor chain
  • 224 lbs (101 kg) each chain link
  • 1,001 transatlantic voyages
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