Titanic: Why ship never reached top speed
The Titanic’s sea trials were scheduled to start on an inauspicious date, April 1, 1912, the same day Captain Smith took over from one Herbert Haddock.
They were later considered inadequate. In fact, she was tested on April 2, manned by a basic English crew of 80, and watched by an enthusiastic audience of several hundred, the Titanic was finally taken from her dock by tugs and pulled onto Belfast Lough.
It was 6am and for the rest of the morning, the Titanic completed manoeuvres in the lough, doing twists, turns and full circles. Bringing the ship to a complete halt took three minutes, or half a mile.
In the afternoon, she sailed 40 miles into the Irish Sea before returning. The Titanic never achieved her maximum speed, 24 knots, and later Fifth Officer Lowe told the US inquiry, that “she was not really put to it”.