Saturday, 7 May 2016


Extract from Inquiry:

Wm. Macdonald. 

Trimmer on the "Waratah." 

At times the "Waratah" had a considerable list on. It was more noticeable at some times than at others. The list was nearly always to leeward. As a trimmer on the coal, I know that the list was not due to the uneven distribution of the coal, because the coal was worked down evenly on both sides. 

When there was any sort of a sea on at all, the vessel had a big roll. It was bigger than what I had experienced on other ships. 

At the end of each roll she seemed to stop for a little while before she commenced the return roll. The roll was different from what I had experienced on other vessels. I had not felt on any other vessel the same pause at the end of a roll.

William MacDonald echoed many accounts that Waratah tended to hang in a list to leeward. The force of wind on her prominent top hamper equated with her righting force, among other factors relating to reduced GM. He made it clear that the problem was not due to uneven working down of coal piles, which is important and confirmed in other accounts.

As regards 'stopping for a little while at the end of each roll',

'The big ship (battleship) was wallowing with that ever disconcerting 'hang' at the end of a roll, such a pause as one never experiences in an ocean liner (with no heavy guns and only light upper works) needs no great amount of time to make up its mind as to whether or not it is worth while going to the trouble of getting back on an even keel.'

This is an important period comment. Battleships were relatively top heavy, but so designed. The author makes no reference to the fact that the warship in question was unstable or dangerous. She simply represented a rolling pattern which was mimicked by Waratah in a tender lading condition. The Inquiry witness accounts were awash with this description and in all fairness it was unusual for commercial vessels. It is somewhat odd that no one at the Inquiry likened Waratah's tender rolling pattern to that of a warship.

USS Rhode Island - 1910.,+pause+at+end+of+roll&source=bl&ots=FxQe_zwAsr&sig=TpLjhtYutJOvHbfkchzUjRd5SGU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiH06Dy4sfMAhWoIcAKHVR9CZ8Q6AEIITAB#v=onepage&q=ships%2C%20pause%20at%20end%20of%20roll&f=false

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