British Warships in the Age of Sail 1817-1863: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates

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Seaforth Publishing, Apr 30, 2014 - History - 414 pages
The publication of this book sees the completion of a monumental work listing the technical details and career histories of every significant British warship between 1603 and 1863. Following three earlier volumes, this one carries forward the story from the post-Napoleonic War reorganisation of the Royal Navy's rating system to the end of sail as the principal mode of propulsion. 

Although apparently well documented, this is a period of great complexity in the procurement and naval architecture of ships. The introduction of steam radically altered the design of vessels under construction and was later retro-fitted to others, while many 'names' lived a ghostly existence on the Navy List: ships ordered but not started, and in some cases having their intended draughts altered more than once before being cancelled entirely.

This book meticulously sorts out and clarifies these confusions – a major contribution in itself – but for the first time it also provides outline service histories for an era that is largely neglected. Like its companion volumes, the book is organised by Rate, classification and class, with significant technical and building data, followed by a concise summary of the careers of each ship in every class. 

With its unique depth of information, this is a work of the utmost importance to every naval historian and general reader interested in the navy of the sailing era and the formative years of the steam navy that supplanted it.

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First Rates of 104 guns and above
Second Rates of 80 to 101 guns
Third Rates
Fourth Rates largely frigates
The Fifth Rates frigates
The Sixth Rates later corvettes
Ship Sloops
Brig Sloops and other brigs
Miscellaneous Sailing Vessels
Steam Paddle Vessels
Screw Sloops
Screw Gunvessels and Gunboats
Miscellaneous Screw Vessels
The First Ironclads
Index to Named Vessels

Cutters and Schooners

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About the author (2014)

Rif Winfield has worked in the shipping and computer industries, has been for many years a charity director, has operated his own retail businesses (with his wife Ann), and has been a candidate for elections to Parliament and other levels of government, including serving as an elected Councillor and being appointed to government posts in health and in local government. A life-long researcher into naval history, he lives in Mid Wales and is the author of a number of standard works on the ships of the British Navy.

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