Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Waratah - boltheads broke off.

The Register (Adelaide) Monday 19 December, 1910
December 17. 
The evidence of witnesses was proceeded with to-day. A steward named Herbert deposed that he left the boat because he disliked the way she rolled and because of her terrific creaking. He once called the engineer's attention to a movement of her promenade deck. The whole wooden structure moved bodily athwart the ship. Boltheads actually broke off owing to the strain, whilewoodwork around the saloon door was separated from the ironwork to the extentof a couple of inches.

This is a difficult one. On the one hand it is suggested from this report that the Waratah's build quality was substandard. The build budget of 139 900 pounds was to some extent less than equivalent cargo/passenger steamers of the time. We also know that a fire broke out on the maiden voyage due to insufficient heat insulation aft of the reducing valves, engine room. 
The Waratah was fitted with twin quadruple expansion engines which were notorious for creating significant vibration, a possible contributory factor.
However, it is difficult to source accurate information about the general standard of steamers, circa 1909. For all we know, the description above might have applied to many new steamers - teething problems, if you will.

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