|The trials were set to begin on April 1, 1912, but had to
be delayed until the 2nd because of a strong north-west wind. The crew
on board for the sea trials were: 78 in the engine room and 48 officers
and senior crewman - engineers, chiefs steward, cooks and storekeepers.
Harold A. Sanderson, Thomas Andrews, and Edward Wilding were also
aboard. Carruthers, surveyor for the Board of Trade came to
observe and Messrs C. J. Smith had several crew aboard to adjust the
compasses, once the ship was out in open water. Jack Phillips and
Harold Bride also were aboard to test and configure the Marconi wireless
At 6am the tugboats arrived and were fastened to the Titanic. Hercules, Harland &Wolff's yard tug was the first to be attached, then the Huskisson (port side) and Herculaneum (starboard side) were attached, to steady and guide the ship through the channel. The Hornby and Herald were used to steer the ship. The tugs cast off about two miles from the Irish town of Carrickfergus, and headed back to Belfast.
The engine were then started and they steamed out of Belfast Lough. When they reached almost 20 knots the bridge ordered the engines stopped and the Titanic glided to a stop. This was repeated, then they started again. Then they stopped the center turbine and conducted port and starboard turns using only the rudder. They sped up, slowed down, then turned with the assistance of the port propeller first, then starboard propeller. Also during this time, test messages were being sent, via wireless to Liverpool and Malin Head. Just before lunch, they did one more test. They accelerated to 20.5 knots and then the helm was ordered hard over. They made a complete circle and the diameter was measured to be approximately 3,850 feet, with a forward movement of about 2,100 feet. The ship was brought to a dead slow, then lunch was served.
After lunch the first test that was conducted was the full stop. They pushed Titanic to full speed and when they reached a buoy, that was placed in Belfast Lough, they order was given to turn the engines full astern. It took about 850 yards to come to a complete stop. At 2pm the running test was held. They ran for two hours and averaged 18 knots, but were up to 21 for a brief period of time. On the way back from the running test, they tested the handling, by doing a serpentine motion. At 7pm, all the tests but one were finished. The last test was to lower both the starboard and port anchors. After the anchors were lowered, the Board of Trade signed a passenger certificate, which was good for one year. At 8pm the anchors were raised and the ship turned and headed for Southampton. While on the way to Southampton, the builders continued to test the electrical, sanitary arrangements, and a once over of everything on the ship under actual sea conditions. As the ship entered the waters of Southampton, five tugs met the ship and brought it to the dock. The tugs were Ajax, Hector, Vulcan, Neptune, and Hercules, all of which belonged to the Red Funnel Line. After a 570 mile trip, Titanic was docked around midnight at Berth 44.