If you needed to get from the aft boiler room to the forward engine room you could take a short cut through the shaft tunnels. Imagine walking along this spinning drive shaft as it is rotating at 145 rpm as you move through the icy North Atlantic at 31 knots. Oh what would you give to crew on the mighty SS United States! This particular shaft drives the starboard, outboard prop, # 1. Shafts 1 and 4 (port) extend 390 feet through the ship from the reduction gear in the forward engine room to the two outboard props.

The outboard screws (#1 and #4) were 4 bladed and forward of the 5 bladed inboard screws (# 2 and #3). Each manganese bronze propeller is 18 feet in diameter and each weighs over 60,000 pounds.

You are standing looking aft in the No. 1 Shaft Tunnel, at D Deck level. The view above shows about 80 feet of the shaft. The red dot below shows your position. The shaft is 2-feet in diameter, and hollow. Hollow is actually stronger than solid. These shaft tunnels provide quick access from the aft boiler room to the forward aux machinery (distillers) and forward engine room.

Just off the port shaft tunnel is a plumbers shop, and across ship is an engineers store room and chem lab. Wing tanks for fuel oil and No 11 settling tanks appear in brown. Blue spaces are walk in coolers, for Mineral Water, Wines & Liquors, Frozen Foods and even a cooler for Champagne kept at 45 degrees F. Elevators 8, and 9 give access to coolers, while lifts 10 and 11 give access to the Tailor shop, laundry and linens. Dry stores port and starboard were accessed via ladder from the C deck. And in case you were wondering, both below and above this D level there are more walk in coolers (refrigerators). On C Deck there are dedicated coolers for Eastbound Meats, Westbound Meats, Fish, Kosher Meats, Kosher Fish, Potatoes, Ice, Ice Cream, Milk & Butter, Eggs, Cheese and even a cooler just for goodies served at those Bon Voyage Parties celebrated on board prior to sailing. Below on Hold Deck, there are vegetable, fruit, potato and beer dedicated coolers.


Well don't worry. The combined refrigerated spaces for food and drink on the SS United States totals 7,400 square feet. That's like having a fridge six times larger than your normal house! In all, the ship has 48,000 cubic feet of refridgerated cargo space.

At Speed ............

Pictured Above: Starboard forward shaft tunnel, No. 1 shaft. k80124

Knowledge Builder: Just 17 years of service on the clock. The SS United States sailed 2,772,840 miles and carried 1,025,691 passengers. Hardly broken in.