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Design Construction Fitting Out Trials Service War Service Final

Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson laid the keel of Ship No. 735 (a number arrived at by adding together the current yard numbers of Swan & Hunter and Wigham Richardson and in future even ship numbers were built at the Neptune Yard and odd numbers at Wallsend.)  on 18th August 1904 and framing commenced. The late decision on turbines meant that the forward part of the ship was given priority while the engine room  was redesigned to allow for the change of power plant. The framing was completed in February 1906.

Work on the vessel was carried out according to plan and the launch was scheduled to take place on 20th September 1906. The Dowager Duchess of Roxburghe accepted the invitation to carry out the ceremony and MAURETANIA entered the water at 16:15 hours.


. The launch itself was the subject of much thought as the river was only 1130 feet wide at this point and the vessel, it was calculated, would need at least 950 feet to be brought to a stop. During the short trip down the ways the vessel, weighing 16,800 tons in launch condition, reached a speed of 14 knots and 1015 tons of drag chains were required to stop it. It took 14.5 tons of tallow, 113 gallons of train oil and 1 ton of soft soap, applied to the ways, to get the vessel moving. The ship was then towed to special mooring dolphins in the river for fitting out. The shipyard had realised that the fitting out would take a long time so rather than tie up valuable quay space the dolphins were installed and this enabled other vessels to be worked  alongside the quay.
This is another illustration of the size and weight of the anchor chains.
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