Built at a cost of £8,000,000, and a magnificent contribution to ocean-
ARRIVAL AT NEW YORK of the Normandie, escorted by tugs and small steamers, at the end of her record-
THE Normandie is one of the most powerful and one of the largest electric floating power plants yet constructed. She was designed and built, at a cost of approximately £8,000,000, at the Penhoet shipyard at St. Nazaire at the mouth of the River Loire, for the Havre-
If, however, we can imagine the Normandie removed from her natural element and placed in Piccadilly, London, she would stave in the sides of the buildings to a distance of 18 feet on either side, her greatest beam being as much as 119 ft 5-
The Grand Dining-
The overall length of the Normandie from the bow to extreme aft is 1,029 ft 4-
Nearly 2,000 Passengers
The power plant takes its energy from twenty-
The hull of the ship has twelve decks -
Officers, crew and personnel number 1,345, made up of 66 officers, 120 deck crew, 187 engine-
The hull is of peculiar shape in relation to the water-
Aft of the breakwater is the forward end of the central superstructure, including the promenade deck, boat deck and sun deck, rounded in form and specially reinforced at its lower portion to withstand the eventual impact of waves. The fore end of the promenade deck is slightly recessed at its upper part. This limits the forward end of the boat-
Many of the Normandie’s characteristics are common to all recent ships built for the French Line, for the decks are absolutely stripped of ventilators, air fans, winches and other details. The ventilating system is concealed in the superstructure and is operated by means of fans; the whole of the navigating equipment -
BUILDING THE GIANT HULL of the Normandie. The vessel was designed and constructed at the Penhoet shipyard at St Nazaire, at the mouth of the River Loire, for the Havre-
READY FOR THE HIGH SEAS. The Normandie was successfully launched on October 29, 1932. After the launch the work of fitting out and installing her machinery proceeded rapidly. The overall length of the vessel is is 1,029 ft 4-
The enormous funnels are three in number; the after one is a dummy and contains a series of dog kennels. The funnels are streamlined, their height decreasing from forward to aft, and they are slanted at 10 degrees. The two forward funnels have been specially designed to prevent any boiler-
At the time of the launch, which took place on October 29, 1932, the weight of the hull was 26,380 tons, without taking into account the weight of 1,280 tons represented by the sliding ways and the make-
Considerable use has been made of electric welding, mainly in assembling the following parts: the seating of the auxiliary machinery, pillars, lift shafts, bulkheads of sanitary compartments, stairways, water tanks, stiffeners and coamings. In spite of this, the total number of rivets used in the hull is well over eleven millions.
The most minute care has been taken for the safety of the ship against the ingress of water and also against fire. The double bottom, for example, which forms the water ballast tanks, is divided into no fewer than forty sections. The double hull, extending over the entire length of the engine and boiler rooms, is divided into eighty-
With such large passenger quarters the fire risk is of more than ordinary importance. The superstructure above the main deck has been divided into sections by fireproof bulkheads and doors. Each sub-
In the Normandie there are only 126 inside cabins. There are twenty-
16 feet, with an uninterrupted view over the stern of the ship.
The public rooms in the Normandie are so large that the visitor who sees them for the first time is apt to become confused, not only by their lay-
The general theme is the portrayal of the history of Normandy since the days of the Conqueror down to modern times. The schemes embody much that is new in the art of decoration, and have used material which hitherto has not been used in ships to any great extent.
The Grand Dining Saloon is panelled entirely with moulded glass tiles, with vertical sections of hand-
Another feature of the Normandie is the permanent theatre-
The main lounge is panelled entirely by etched and painted glass plates depicting the story of navigation. There are also two bronze-
On the boat deck aft is a grill-
aquarium. Decoration has here been so thorough that the garden is separated from the public rooms farther aft by a marble wall covered by climbing plants and bordered with fine turf. There are also a large swimming pool, a gymnasium and a complete massage and Turkish bath room. A large children’s playroom is arranged at the base of the first funnel on the sun deck. An enormous main hall in Algerian onyx, with a monumental doorway in gilt bronze, leads to the Grand Dining-
THE CHAPEL in the Normandie is situated on “B” deck, with its nave extending two decks high. The chapel has been designed for Roman Catholic and Protestant services. The arched ceiling has been specially painted and the friezes are decorated with religious symbols. Below the friezes the walls are of Pyrenean marble relieved by fourteen panels illustrating scriptural subjects. The floor of the chapel is covered in rubber tiling.
In choosing propelling machinery for a ship of this size the architect has had the choice of geared turbines -
The power plant for main and auxiliary purposes is broadly divisible into three portions: the boiler-
Facing the main control boards are two small boxes resembling in shape a covered-
The main switchboard for direct current auxiliary purposes is at the forward or boiler-
Some idea of the auxiliary requirements of the ship may be realized when it is stated that the two refrigerating machines take 77½ kW each and the twenty special forced-
160,000 hp, equally divided between four shafts.
The Normandie entered service on May 29, 1935, when she left Havre for New York, via Southampton, on her maiden trip. Those who were privileged to be present on board during the cross-
AN UNUSUAL ANGLE of the Normandie’s deck was obtained by the photographer of this illustration. The funnels are streamlined, their height decreasing from forward to aft, and they are raked at 10 degrees. The picture shows also some of the ship’s life-
The Normandie, however, running westbound to New York from Southampton, made a mean speed of 29·53 knots at easy steaming. Her best day’s run from noon to noon was as much as 754 miles, the average over this twenty-
Eastbound on her maiden trip the mean speed for the voyage was slightly better -
These prosaic figures clearly show what the modern transatlantic mammoth is capable of doing. They also give an idea of the tremendous responsibility of the engineers. For a power plant such as that of the Normandie, it is evident that there must be many points which have to be watched continuously. Furthermore, in a novel type of power plant such as this many difficulties may occur which could not have been anticipated when the design of the ship was on the drawing-
This at first was inexplicable and every regulation test was tried to discover what had happened to the power plant. The tests confirmed that the ship was operating correctly and that no breakdown had taken place. It was finally found that, when the ship ran into shallow or shoal water near the American coast, the load on the motors differed from the normal load at full running power with the turbine valves fixed at their correct speed for that power. This difference in load without corresponding adjustment on the control levers at the desk in the engine room naturally altered the working of the governors and hence tended to cut
current out on the whole system. Another of the many advantages of electric propulsion for large ships is thus proved. It shows that when the vessel is approaching at full speed in shallowing water, perhaps unexpectedly, there is immediate and drastic warning of this -
A further example from the Normandie’s maiden voyage shows how much is learnt on such occasions. Some trouble was experienced with the condenser tubes in one of the four main condensers of the big compound turbo-
Difficulties with condenser tubes are quite common and reflect neither on the type of tubes nor on the builders. What was interesting in the instance of the Normandie, and equally true of any electric ship, was that all four screws could still be kept running and produce power with one of the main turbo-
Finally, in assessing the characteristics of the ship it must be remembered that many of them had no precedent. When the Normandie was designed a clean drawing-
Many people think that she is in appearance the first of the high-
MODERN DESIGNING is a characteristic of the tourist-
The Normandie also featured on the cover of Part 30 of Shipping Wonders of the World.