SS UNITED STATES Specifications:
  • LOA: Length over all: 990 feet (LWL: 940 feet; LBP: 905.25 feet)
  • Beam molded, maximum: 101.5 feet
  • Depth - Keel to top of Superstructure: 122 feet
    Keel to top of forward funnel 175 feet
  • Number of decks: 12
  • Number of Staterooms: 693 + 340 Crew Accommodations = 1033
  • Gross tonnage: 53,330
  • Net tonnage: 29,475
  • Total cargo capacity: 148,000 cubic feet
  • Refrigerated cargo capacity 48,000 cubic feet
  • Propulsion: geared steam turbines (Westinghouse)
    quadruple screw
  • Number of boilers 8 - IOWA Class Babcock & Wilcox Design
  • Steam conditions: 950 PSIG/1000 degrees Fahrenheit
    (later reduced to 965 degrees)
  • Propellers diameter: each of the four props is 18 feet in diameter
    forward outboard props are 4-bladed; aft inboard props are 5-bladed
    each propellor weighs over 60,000 pounds; manganese-bronze
  • Electric plants There are six 1,500 kilowatt steam turbo generators
    Plus two 250 kilowatt diesel emergency generators
  • Speed - cruising (100,000 S H P clean) 30.5 knots
    (130,000 S H P one year later)
  • Maximum Recorded SHP at Sea Trials: 241,785 SHP
  • Blue Riband Speeds: (obtained at less than 2/3rds power output)
    Eastbound Maiden Voyage: 3 days, 10 hours, 40 minutes. Avg: 35.59 knots
    Westbound Maiden Voyage: 3 days, 12 hours, 12 minutes. Avg: 34.51 knots
    Combined Round Trip Average: 35.05 knots (combined average)
  • Speed - maximum (241,785 SHP @ trials) 38.32 knots (44.1 mph - 71 kph)
  • Range - (at cruise speed 35 knots) 10,000 nautical miles non-stop
  • Bunker Capacity: 10,306 tons (fuel oil)
  • Displacement: 43,500 tons

Cost: $70 million
Naval Architects: Gibbs and Cox Inc., New York, New York USA
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News Virginia
This ship was constructed with the cooperation of the United States maritime administration.

In Service Owner/Operator: United States Lines Company, New York
Present Owner 2004: NCL Norwegian Cruise Lines, Miami FL USA
Previous Owner: Edward Cantor, Cantor Affiliated Interests, Linden, New Jersey

Interior Architects: Eggers & Higgins, New York
Interior Decorators: Smyth, Urquhart & Marckwald, New York

A Fraction of one of the Powerful SSUS Engine Rooms
Looking forward at Frame 153, Unit #4. Three of the four levels of the forward Engine Room of the SS UNITED STATES are visible in this Gibbs & Cox architectural plan. At the 26' level (above ship bottom) the high pressure and low pressure Westinghouse turbines of Unit #4 (Port). Steam exits the turbines down in the main condenser. You're seeing a slice of just half of the forward engine room. The mirror image of this machinery exists to the right of the thin blue vertical line(ship's centerline). Units #4 and #1 powered the outboard props. Farther back in the mighty Big U - yet another total duplicate of this engineering - the aft engine room, with units # 3 and #2 driving the two inboard props.

Learn more:

Passengers & Crew
Significant Big U Dates
Public Spaces Aboard
Power & Speed

How Big is the SS UNITED STATES?