'Queen Elizabeth 2'

Some Details Of Her Construction & Interior

BUILT for the Cunard Steam-Ship Company Ltd., by John Brown's, the 'Queen Elizabeth 2' is intended for the North Atlantic service and for cruising. On her trials the ship attained a speed of 32.46 knots. This is a twin-screw ship with a bulbous bow, twin thrusters and two pairs of stabilisers. The hull has been the subject of exhaustive design studies into the underwater form and these have necessitated a rigorous model test programme, undertaken both in John Brown's own tank where towed and self-propelled model experiments were carried out, and also in the ship model tanks of the National Physical Laboratory at Feltham, Middlesex. These latter experiments were in waves and included some manoeuvring trials. As a result of these studies and tests the present bulbous bowed hull form was finally adopted.

This ship has been built under Lloyd's survey for classification 禄I< 100 AI. lt also complies with Board of Trade, U.S. Health Authorities and U.S. Coast Guard requirements in addition to complying with the latest IMCO fire safety regulations. Of all-welded construction, the hull is divided by 13 watertight transverse bulkheads. Steel has been used up to main deck level with the superstructure in aluminium, supplied by Alcan lndustries Limited, in order to minimise topside weight. The decks are framed longitudinally on the foyer deck and above and transversely on all other decks.

Deck beams are intercostal with continuous girders. The steel has been substantially strengthened forward at the double bottom to meet the heavy weather expected on the North Atlantic run. The bridge front has also been strengthened as has the steelwork in way of the bow thruster units. There is also additional material in the area of the stabilizers and in the area of the shaft brackets to offset the vibrations and higher stress conditions occurring in this area.

For the general structure mild steel has been used, but 'E' quality steel has been used around openings in the shell such as the ship's side doors, gangway doors, stabiliser openings and bow thruster openings. The use of aluminium for the superstructure has reduced the top weight by about half. However, a problem arose concerning the steel/aluminium interface as in the presence of moisture in such a situation an electrolytic action is set up which results in erosion of the metals. ln order to overcome this difficulty steel rivets were used for this joint, the sections being separated by Camrex Camolite 999 insulation material. With regard to the aluminium decks, due to welding of the thin material buckling arose which gave a 'springing' effect when they were walked on. To a large extent this has been overcome by bead welding in criss-cross patterns over the larger deck areas.

Outside decks which are wood sheathed, were first treated with Camrex non-oxidizing preservative before the teak sheathing was bolted in position over welded stud bolts. Because of the deck buckling previously referred to. the thinner than usual sheathing which has been used, to save top weight, was pulled to the deck contour. This has been overcome by local filling with plastic fillers under the timber to minimize the amount of deck finishing required. As a preservative, All Weather Paints Ltd.'s Pitalac polyurethane sealer has been applied to the decks.

Twin Bow Thrusters

Twin bow thrusters Twin Stone-KaMeWa bow thruster units have been installed right forward. Each unit is powered by an AEI 1.000-hp electric motor and is capable of producing a lateral thrust of ll tons. Four bladed variable pitch propellers of 6 ft 6 in diameter operating at 263 rev/min are fitted. The tunnels have at both ends flush mounted, butterfly action, hydraulically operated doors.

Two pairs of Denny-Brown fin stabibilisers have been fitted: they are of the swing-back type and are controlled by the usual gyro system by Muirheads. Each of the six-bladed, Meridian design, propellers has a diameter of 19 ft, a pitch of Zl.65 ft.. a developed area of 254 ft and weighs 3l.75 tons. Four propellers, all in Superston 70, and all identical, have been supplied by Stone Manganese Marine Ltd. Two propellers will be kept as spares.

The ship's stern frame weighs 63 tons. The propeller brackets 116 tons and the rudder and rudderstock 90 tons. Castings for these items have been supplied by Strommens Mek. Verk., Norway. Queen Elizabeth 2 is claimed to be the first ship in the world to have her rudder bearings lubricated automatically. An electrically controlled high pressure system delivers one gallon of oil a day direct to the two main rudder bearings. The system designed and installed by Higgs Lubrication of Glasgow, is operated by an electrically driven pump capable of creating a pressure of 8,000 lb/in squared. Every ten minutes, a measured quantity of 160 S.A.E. oil is delivered to each bearing. If the oil does not How, indicator lights register the failure on a control panel in the steering compartment.

Insulation and Panelling

ln a ship of this size large quantities of insulation materials are required. Cape Insulation Limited have supplied their Rocksil and Capositc materials for fire protection and thermal insulation purposes. Areas where these materials have been used include the engine room, many of the public rooms. and for insulating the ventilation trunking and ducts. Over 60 tons of Rocksil have been used in the insulation of the refrigerated store rooms and cold chambers.

Extensive panelling, forming fire-resisting bulkheads, linings, ceilings and doors. throughout the accommodation and public room areas, has been supplied by Marinite Limited. Few if any of these Marinite panels will be seen by the passengers or crew. On bulkheads, linings and doors the panels are faced with Formica laminated plastic, natural wood veneers or soft plastics. They afford built-in protection in the form of non路combustible barriers which in the event of fire will confine the outbreak to the area in which it started.

A non-infiammable insulating material manufactured by BTR lndustries and called Plasticell is being used in many areas as a lightweight decking insulation. Consisting of a rigid expanded PVC which combines lightness with strength, it is claimed to be non-absorbent and self extinguishing in the event of fire.

Refrigeration System

Refrigerated stores are kept in 23 separate chambers, each one maintained at a different temperature. Refrigeration is provided by four six-cylinder reciprocating compressors operating, with Freon 22, at 1,750 rev /min and driven by 65 hp motors. This equipment has been supplied by the Carrier Engineering Co. Ltd. A direct expansion system is employed, each chamber being fitted with a unit type air cooler through which the air in the room is circulated using constant speed fans. Each chamber is thermostatically controlled to its preset temperature and an automatic system of defrosting is employed.

Passenger and crew accommodation is air-conditioned throughout by a Carrier single duct, high velocity system with terminal reheat, enabling a complete range of cabin temperatures to be selected. The 500,000 ft3/min of conditioned air will be distributed through the cabins and public rooms by a continuous slot outlet, which has been designed to blend with the decor and to minimise noise and draughts. For the air-conditioning and ventilation system, 20 Vokes Autorolls automatic air filters have been supplied.

Deck Machinery

Deck machinery supplied includes eight self-tensioning mooring winches, four on Two Deck forward and four on Two Deck aft. The winches are of the electrically driven spur gear type, arranged to take 400 ft of 5-in circumference steel wire rope in five layers. Each winch is capable of 16 tons strain and 25 tons render. There are two electrically driven 25-ton warping capstans, one forward and one aft, duty from the barrel being 25 tons at 60 ft/min and with slack rope at 180 ft/min.

The cable lifters, two in number, are situated on One Deck forward, with the machinery on Three Deck, drive being by vertical shafts. They are electrically driven and the duty from each cable lifter is 60 tons at 60 ft/min with a stalled load of 140 tons. One electrically driven anchor windlass has been fitted on Three Deck aft, the duty from the cable lifter being 26 tons at 25 ft/min. All of this deck machinery has been supplied by Clarke Chapman & Co. Ltd.

Two 5-ton cranes have been fitted on the quarterdeck forward. The cranes have been supplied by ASEA of Sweden and have the ASEA Thyristor control system. They can be operated by remote control and are fitted with an automatic device for luff and slew motions hloisting speed at rated load is 210 ft/ min.

Two lengths, each of 120 fathoms, of 7-in circumference Viking braidline nylon mooring rope have been supplied by British Ropes Limited. Also supplied by the Company has been a quantity of 5-in circumference ML636 wire rope mooring lines, designed for use on powered mooring winches, and a set of four Speed Seal couplings used during the connection of lines for the transfer of bulk liquids.

Computer Installation

This ship is thought to have the most sophisticated computer system ever to be installed in a merchant ship. It is the first to combine technical, operational and commercial functions at sea. The installation, based on an Argus 400 computer supplied by Ferranti Ltd., is a progressive development - the out-come of over two years' investigation and research in which Cunard have cooperated with the British Ship Research Association, the National Research Development Corporation, Ferranti Ltd., and the shipbuilders.

Initially the computer system will have the following six main functions: data logging, alarm scanning, machinery control, weather routeing prediction of fresh water requirements and stock control. lt is expected that the computer's functions will be extended to other data-processing needs of the ship as a floating hotel, such as the billing of passengers' personal bar accounts. The computer is installed in a special room next to the main control room and the ship's engineer oflicers and technicians have been specially trained to operate the equipment.

lt is of interest to note that computers have also been used for planning functions during the ship's commissioning programme. The final run of a PERT program, which has been used monthly since April 1968 by Cunard to monitor and control the critical later stages of the commissioning, took place on a l900 Series computer in the London computer centre of International Computing Services Limited. It is believed that this is the first time that computer network analysis techniques have been adopted to cover the commissioning and working up period of a ship. 1900 PERT was also used by the builders in the planning and construction work.


A safety control room situated at the centre of the vessel will be manned by a trained operator at all times - in port as well as at sea. This 24-hour watch throughout the ship will give warning of any change from normal which might affect the safety of the ship and her passengers. Consoles with a complex array of instruments and alarms will give immediate warning to the watchkeeper before any emergency can arise.

While the structure of the ship is entirely incombustible, internal areas are covered by an automatic sprinkler and alarm system, which in the event of fire immediately activates the sprinkler system, and at the same time gives a visual and audible alarm in the safety control room, pinpointing the area in which the fire has occurred. In areas of the ship where it would be unwise to have water sprays, detectors which sense any minute changes in the atmosphere, are fitted. An incident occurring in one of al....... .... .... . ,..... iI..... I... .I....I¤ .-Z¢l. by the ship's fire party using special extinguishers.

Machinery spaces are extensively covered by foam spraying facilities and the cargo holds and car decks have been fitted with a smoke and petrol vapour detector, which again sounds an alarm in the safety control room and on the bridge, and gives the location where the smoke or vapour is present. Inert gas can then be released from the safety control room into the area concerned, smothering the fire.

The ship's water supply for fire fighting is independent of the other water circuits, and there are two separate pumps. Similarly, there are also two pumps to feed the sprinkler system. The whole of the ship is divided into fire zones with fire resisting bulkheads and doors which can be closed by remote control from the safety room to prevent fire from spreading. lt is also possible to stop all accommodation ventilation fans throughout the ship from the safety room. An extensive emergency communications system covers the ship. Break-glass alarm pushes are sited throughout alleyways and public rooms in such a way that it is always possible to see one from any point.

The ship is divided into 15 compartments which can be made completely watertight by closing 54 Hyston and four Hanston watertight doors which…………

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  • Length o.a. , . . , . , 963 ft
  • Length b.p. .. .. .. 885 ft
  • Beam .. .. ,. .. 105 ft
  • Keel to base of funnel 134 ft
  • Height of funnel .. .. 67 ft 3 in
  • Overall height of ship to top of funnel .. 201 ft 3 in
  • Height to top of mast 202 ft 3 in
  • Draught .. .. .. .. 32 ft 6 in
  • Gross tonnage . . . . 65.863
  • Service speed . . . . . . 28} knots
  • Passenger capacity .. 2,025
  • Total rooms 978
  • Output. m.c.r. . . . . ll0,000 shp
  • Output, n.s.r. , . . . 94.000 shp
  • No. of propellers ., .. .. 2
  • No. of boilers . . . . . . 3
  • No. of decks .. .. .. .. 13
  • Swimming pools: 2 outdoor, 2 indoor
  • Lifts .. .. .. .. 22

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