Posted October 9th, 2017, 09:12 PM
Last edited by BlueRiband; October 9th, 2017 at 09:20 PM
You're right, Harland and Wolff did want the QM2 contract but there were two obstacles. One, they would have needed a government subsidy to carry on operations between Cunard paying the deposit and full balance upon delivery of the ship per contract. Second, they would have had to subcontract the interior work as they had not built a passenger ship since Canberra
In 2011 I toured the Titan Crane at the former John Brown fitting out dock. It was billed as "Glasgow Heritage" as there are museums and monuments to a now dead industry. FWIW, our tour guide blamed obstinance on the part of both labor and management for the demise of shipbuilding in the UK.
One example: making a port hole. In a Glasgow shipyard one man would cut the hole, a second man's job was to put in the frame, and a third had the job of fitting the glass. Japanese shipyard: one man does the whole job and on to the next one.
Second example: 5PM in a Glasgow shipyard and everyone goes home for the day. 5PM in a Japanese shipyard and the floodlights are switched on and the second shift comes on. The Japanese shipyard can therefore promise much faster delivery.
France is a country which has its share of labor/management arguments. But Chantiers de l'Atlantique had nonetheless adapted their techniques and labor practices to competitively and profitably build ships. SS France
was welded and not riveted like the Normandie
and large sections were prefabricated. And of course QM2 was constructed entirely in welded sections.